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Abstract

This term paper is aimed at exploring the possibilities of conversion from High Voltage
Alternating Current (HVAC) transmission lines to High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC)
transmission in Lagos state due to the added advantage of HVDC over HVAC.
Introduction

The first electric generator was the direct current (DC) generator and hence, the first electric
power transmission line was constructed with DC. The basic discoveries of Galvani, Volta,
Oersted, Ohm, and Ampere were in the DC field. Thomas A. Edison built the first electric central
station in the world in 1882, on the Pearl Street, in the New York, which was the DC current.
Despite the initial supremacy of the DC, the alternating current (AC) supplanted the DC for
greater uses. This is because of the availability of the transformer, the induction motor, and
polyphase circuits in the 1880s and 1890s [1]. The transformer is very simple and easy to change
the voltage level for the transmission, distribution and use. The induction motors are the
workhorse in the industries and work only with AC. That is why AC has become very useful for
the commercial and domestic uses. But for the long transmission, DC is still more favorable than
AC because of its economical, technical, and environmental advantages. High voltage DC
(HVDC) Transmission system consists of three basic parts: 1) converter station to convert AC to
DC 2) transmission line 3) second converter station to convert back to AC. HVDC transmission
systems can be configured in many ways on the basis of cost, flexibility, and operational
requirements. The simplest one is the back-to-back interconnection, and it has two converters on
the same site and there is no transmission line. This type of connection is used as an inter tie
between two different AC transmission systems. The mono-polar link connects two converter
stations by a single conductor line and earth or sea is used as a returned path. The most common
HVDC link is bipolar, where two converter stations are connected by bipolar (±) conductors and
each conductor has its own ground return. The multi-terminal HVDC transmission systems have
more than two converter stations, which could be connected is series or parallel.

How HVDC Works

Figure 1 shows the structure of HVDC workflow. In first the power is produced in power plants
such as wind farms or so forth. The power will then be converted to DC, a process known as
rectification, using power electronic switches called thyristors. The power will then be
transmitted several hundred miles along a set of conductors called a transmission line before
getting converted back to AC, a process known as inversion, again using thyristors as the
switching devices. After the DC power is converted back to AC it is transformed to the common
voltage of the grid to which it is being connected

Figure 1: delivering energy through HVDC

HVDC versus HVAC Transmission

Alternating current (AC) became very familiar for the industrial and domestic uses, but still for
the long transmission lines, AC has some limitations which has led to the use of DC transmission
in some projects. The technical detail of HVDC transmission compare to high voltage AC
(HVAC) transmission is discussed to verify HVDC transmission for long distances. Current and
voltage limits are the two important factors of the high voltage transmission line. The AC
resistance of a conductor is higher than its DC resistance because of skin effect, and eventually
loss is higher for AC transmission. The switching surges are the serious transient over voltages
for the high voltage transmission line, in the case of AC transmission the peak values are two or
three times normal crest voltage but for DC transmission it is 1.7 times normal voltage. HVDC
transmission has less corona and radio interference than that of HVAC transmission line [2]. The
total power loss due to corona is less than 5 MW for a ± 450 kV and 895 kilometers HVDC
transmission line [3-4]. The long HVAC overhead lines produce and consume the reactive
power, which is a serious problem. If the transmission line has a series inductance L and shunt
capacitance C per unit of length and operating voltage V and current I, the reactive power
produced by the line is

and consumers reactive power

per unit length. If QC = QL

and is called natural load. So the power carried by the line depends on the operating voltage and
the surge impedance of the line. Table I shows the typical values of a three phase overhead lines.

Table I

Voltage Rating And Power Capacity

The power flow in an AC system and the power transfer in a transmission line can be expressed

E1 and E2 are the two terminal voltages, δ is the phase difference of these voltages, and X is the
series reactance. Maximum power transfer occurs at δ= 90º and is

Pmax is the steady-state stability limit. For a long distance transmission system the line has the
most of the reactance and very small part is in the two terminal systems, consisting of machines,
transformers, and local lines. The inductive reactance of a single-circuit 60 Hz overhead line
with single conductor is about 0.8 Ω/mi (0.5Ω/km); with double conductor is about 3/4 as
greater. The reactance of the line is proportional to the length of the line, and thus power per
circuit of an operating voltage is limited by steady-state stability, which is inversely proportional
to length of line [1]. For the reason of stability the load angle is kept at relatively low value under
normal operating condition (about 30°) because power flow disturbances affect the load-angle
very quickly. In an uncompensated line the phase angle varies with the distance when the line
operating at natural load and puts a limit on the distance. For 30° phase angle the distance is 258
mi at 60 Hz. The line distance can be increased using series capacitor, whose reactance
compensates a part of series inductive reactance of the line, but the maximum part that can be
compensated has not been determined yet [2]. On the other hand D.C transmission has no
reactance problem, no stability problem, and hence no distance limitation.

Advantages of HVDC over AC transmission

The most common reason for choosing HVDC over AC transmission is that HVDC is more
economic than AC for transmitting large amounts of power point-to-point over long distances. A
long distance, high power HVDC transmission scheme generally has lower capital costs and
lower losses than an AC transmission link. Even though HVDC conversion equipment at the
terminal stations is costly, overall savings in capital cost may arise because of significantly
reduced transmission line costs over long distance routes. HVDC needs fewer conductors than an
AC line, as there is no need to support three phases. In addition, thinner conductors can be used
since HVDC does not suffer from the skin effect. These factors can lead to large reductions in
transmission line cost for a long distance HVDC scheme.

Depending on voltage level and construction details, HVDC transmission losses are quoted as
about 3.5% per 1,000 km, which is less than typical losses in an AC transmission system.

HVDC transmission may also be selected because of other technical benefits that it provides for
the power system. HVDC schemes can transfer power between separate AC networks. HVDC
power flow between separate AC systems can be automatically controlled to provide support for
either network during transient conditions, but without the risk that a major power system
collapse in one network will lead to a collapse in the second.
The combined economic and technical benefits of HVDC transmission can make it a suitable
choice for connecting energy sources that are located far away from the main load centers.
Specific applications where HVDC transmission technology provides benefits include: Undersea
cables transmission schemes (e.g., 250 km Baltic Cable between Sweden and Germany, the 580
km NorNed cable between Norway and the Netherlands, and 290 km Basslink between the
Australian mainland and Tasmania).

Endpoint-to-endpoint long-haul bulk power transmission without intermediate 'taps', usually to


connect a remote generating plant to the main grid, for example the Nelson River DC
Transmission System in Canada. Increasing the capacity of an existing power grid in situations
where additional wires are difficult or expensive to install.

Power transmission and stabilization between unsynchronized AC networks, with the extreme
example being an ability to transfer power between countries that use AC at different
frequencies. Since such transfer can occur in either direction, it increases the stability of both
networks by allowing them to draw on each other in emergencies and failures. Stabilizing a
predominantly AC power-grid, without increasing fault levels.

Economics of Power transmission:

1. There was no effect of inductance and capacitance in DC transmission.

2. There was no leakage or charging current in the cables.

3. DC transmission was preferable over 500km.

4. DC line requires only two conductors.

5. The cost of terminal equipments was more in DC transmission.

6. Break even distance was the one at which the cost of both AC and DC systems was the same.
Break even distance for over head lines was 500 km and it was 40 km for cables. Break even
distance depends on several factors such as

 Labour cost

 Land cost
 Material cost

 Line cost

 Tower cost

7. DC transmission was preferable for long distances.

8. Total cost = installation cost + utilisation cost. Utilisation cost was less in DC lines.
Installation cost was higher in DC lines. Installation cost involves HVDC converters, cable cost,
land cost, tower cost. HVDC converters were costly. But, the costs of lines, land cost, tower cost
were less in DC links. Figure 2 shows the cost Vs distance graph for AC and DC systems.

Figure 2 cost vs. distance graph for AC and DC systems.

CASE STUDY (LAGOS)

The Nigerian Gas company (NGC) plays a major role in power generation in Nigeria as 80% of
the power plants in Nigeria are gas fired, hence, gas supply issues have a major effect on power
generation. In addition to the national grid supply, LASG has, Through the Public-Private-
Partnership (PPP) arrangement, commissioned and/or built the following Integrated Power
Plants(IPP) to generate and distribute Its own Electricity:

When the LASG IPPs are complete, These should bring the total to 47.35MW. These completed
plants Are expected to provide 24/7 supply availability to the state facilities although with the
ever growing requirements for power in the state due to increased industrialization and
considering the limitations from the generation sector, The relatively limited amount or power
the HVAC transmission lines are able to transmit as well as the two distribution companies
available in the sector, there is a very slim chance of this becoming a reality hence the need for a
more viable solution (HVDA).

HVDC IN LAGOS

Generation

Motor vehicles are in today‘s society one of the most indispensable means of transportation, it is
very convenient & flexible. The density of motor vehicle ownership per capita is escalating in a
rapid rate in our country. The number of motor vehicles is significant on the road, every day
which generates million joules of mechanical energy which is wasted in form of heat energy
which should not be underestimated. Traffic at roads and highways varies throughout the day,
with more traffic during the day than at night, and in certain time durations throughout the day.
By incorporating piezoelectric generators in the roads we can convert the vibrations caused by
the vehicles into useful electricity. Present day the most commercial ones are asphalt roads (Tar
road) on which thousands of vehicles run on it. At first the first layer is laid with fine gravel and
sand content. Then a thin layer of asphalt is laid which acts like a strong base for the generators.
Piezoelectric generators are placed in quick drying concrete as per design and left for 30min.
Then all the generators are wired in series to get collective output. A bitumen sheet is used to
cover all the generators to provide better adhesion of concrete to asphalt. Finally a thick layer of
asphalt is laid which finishes the construction. Recent experimentations carried out by
Innowattech in Israel, consists of putting IPEG (Innowattech Piezoelectric Electric Generators)
6cm under the road level and at a distance of 30cm apart, the piezoelectric system being covered
by a layer of asphalt. From these trials, it has been seen that a truck weighing at around 5 tons
can generate 2000 V, and a 1 km stretch of generators along a dual carriageway (assuming 600
vehicles go through that road segment in an hour), can generate about 200 kWh, enough energy
to power 600-800 homes. Similar method adopted in India considering the Outer Ring Road
project of Hyderabad to compare. The overall budget of this project is 6700 Crores (370 billion
Naira). In this 8 lane road of 158km stretch, if a piezoelectric road is laid, the overall cost &
energy generation scenario has been outlined below :-

Supplied Data: -

Generator size: 1 Square feet

Cost of one generator = Rs.2000 (11060 Naira)

No of generator needed = 3280 (for 1km of road.)

So, Total Cost estimation for that 8 lane road of 158 km stretch = 800 Crores (44 billion). The
overall budget becomes 7500 Crores (414 billion) which is about 12% increase in overall budget.
Every year 12000 (Average) Kwh can be generated in one km single lane road. So if we
calculate for the considered road total energy generated = 158km x 8 lane x 1,20,000 Kwh =
15,16,80000 Kwh can be generated. In general, Govt. of India charge Rs.5.50 on an average per
1Kwh, so total electricity bill worth of Rs.80 Crores can be saved. By this means, the amount
invested on this road returns in just around than 10 yrs. The average life of this piezoelectric road
is 30 years so the income generated in the next 20 years would be a profit. The most beneficial
sides of this project are green solution for power generation, minimization of centralization of
power, reaching to the even most remote & undeveloped areas, minimization of dependence on
thermal electricity. The only disadvantage is that the maintenance of these roads is a bit difficult
and constant inspections are to be made.

The traffic situation in Lagos has always been known to be very high hence adopting this
approach on the major roads wouldn’t just be able to provide electricity for Lagos alone but the
entire country in general.

Transmission and Distribution

The piezoelectric power coming from the roadside storage is transmitted via AC transmission to
an AC to DC converter. This Dc power is then transmitted through the HVDC Transmission
Lines. On getting to the distribution station, the DC power is converted to AC which connects
with existing transmission systems for distribution to consumers.