Siemens has unveiled the first compact gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) for high-voltage direct current (HVDC) applications, which requires 95% less space compared to an air-insulated unit.
The 320kV GIS has the potential to reduce the size of offshore transmission platforms by around 10%.
The GIS has the similar capacity as air-insulated DC switchgear but requires only 200 cubic metres of space compared with 4,000 cubic metres.
It features disconnectors, grounding switches, current and voltage measuring systems, cable and connection modules, and surge voltage protectors.
The company said a pilot station based on 320kV direct-current components that simulates the connection of an offshore wind facility to the grid is being run through a long-term test.
Siemens head of development for gas-insulated direct current transmission systems Denis Imamovic said: "With the 320kV DC CS switchgear's market readiness, we have laid a cornerstone for the development of a completely new portfolio for efficient power transmission. Space-saving direct-current transmission solutions will continue to grow in significance in the future.
"We believe that the DC CS switchgear will establish itself as the standard for offshore converter platforms and thereby play a major role in decreasing costs for HVDC transmission grid connections."
Siemens said the switchgear's module-based design makes it simple to set up and allows the use of cost-efficient shipping and transportation methods.
The DC CS systems, which are being manufactured at Siemens' Berlin switchgear production facility in Germany, were unveiled at the Cigré conference in Paris, France.
Image: The 320kV GIS has the potential to reduce the size of offshore transmission platforms by around 10%. Photo: courtesy of Siemens.