Milestone-Proposal talk:Virginia Smith HVDC Converter Station with Integrated AC Voltage Control Function


Thread titleRepliesLast modified
Advocate assessment218:24, 30 October 2014
HVDC converter station116:25, 23 September 2014

Advocate assessment

Great job! I will recommend acceptance of this proposal by the HC. There's only one issue to be addressed:

The proposed IEEE plaque and the Milestone site are separated. Please consider adding words stating that the Milestone is actually away from the lobby at .... such and such. Currently the citation has 69 words. Take a look at the way other milestones have dealt with this. Or consider installing an additional dummy plaque at the site.

Ggcooke15:11, 15 March 2014

Attempt No. 5

Thank you, dear Gill Cooke, for being our Advocate and for your comments!

Below, please find our revised text proposal for the plaque.


Gerhard Juette

"Built by SIEMENS and operated by Western Area Power Administration (US DOE) since 1987, the 200 MW HVDC Virginia Smith Converter Station (SCS) located near Sidney, Nebraska, connects the eastern and western US grids. The SCS core technology is an all solid state converter with integrated steady state, dynamic and transient voltage control up to its full rating. The SCS represents an important advance in HVDC technology and cost effectiveness."  

Gjuette16:14, 23 September 2014

I think this is a good proposal and I think the citation and plaque location are fine. I support it. Lyle

Feisel18:24, 30 October 2014

HVDC converter station

What makes this system unique? Is it the first of a kind? How significant was it to interconnect the two networks, as stated? Was it a difficult engineering job? What is the specific engring accomplishment?

Mischaschwartz15:26, 7 July 2014

Munich, September 23, 2014

Dear Mischa Schwartz,

Please allow us to refer to our proposal texts under the headlines: What is the historical significance of the work (its technological, scientific or social importance)? and: What obstacles (technical, political, geographic) needed to be overcome? and: What features set this work apart from similar achievements?

Also, please allow us to add the below explanations in response to your questions!

Yours with sincere thanks and best regards,

Gerhard Juette

What makes this system unique? The system is one of several back-to-back HVDC interconnections between the western and eastern US ac grids. Typically, these interconnections are located at weak points of the ac grids, i.e. far from regions with strong generation and heavy load. Therefore, ac system voltages are impacted by the load flow itself. As a result, reactive power compensation is required for voltage control.

Before Sidney, separate reactive power compensating devices (synchronous condensers or static VAr compensators) were used for ac bus voltage control on both sides of the converter. They represented a significant cost factor of these interconnections. With Sidney, the converter itself is designed to operate at variable power factors, i.e. variable reactive power consumption, independent of and up to the maximum dc load. Ac bus voltage control is achieved by varying the reactive power consumption of the converter. Thus, in addition to transmitting power, the converter itself provides control of the ac bus voltages. No separate hardware is required anymore for dynamic ac voltage control.

In addition to this dynamic ac voltage control and as another innovation specific to the Sidney HVDC Converter Station, limitation of transient overvoltage is accomplished by banks of rapidly switched MOV surge arresters.

Is it the first of a kind? Yes, it is: Both of the above-described unique features have first been realized with the Sidney HVDC Converter Station.

How significant was it to interconnect the two networks, as stated? The interconnection provides significant improvements in performance, flexibility, strength and reliability of the electric power supply within the affected areas.

Was it a difficult engineering job? Yes, especially the combination of the different interacting control algorithms required expertise, innovation, and accurate modeling to confirm and demonstrate the new concept.

What is the specific engineering accomplishment? Significant reduction of hardware necessary for back-to-back HVDC interconnections is accomplished.   

Gjuette16:25, 23 September 2014