Converter transformers – A crucial component of HVDC system
Global HVDC converter transformer market is projected to reach $5.3 billion by 2025 at a CAGR of approximately 18 %. The market is mainly driven by new installations of HVDC systems for new off-shore wind systems and long-distance power transfer to load centers, however, refurbishments also plays a significant role. Some of the leading players in the global HVDC converter transformer market today are ABB, Siemens, GE-Alstom, BHEL, TBEA, XD transformers, NR Electric, RXPE and C-EPRI. ABB and Siemens still have the largest market share of HVDC systems globally and are well positioned to win projects in Europe, North and South America.
Keywords: converter transformers market, HVDC, LCC, VSC
With more and more generation being distributed unevenly and often at long distances from load centers (e.g. offshore wind), AC transmission systems are being replaced by DC transmission to avoid losses and reactive power issues. Moreover, interconnected AC power grids at different frequencies across countries (e.g. in Europe) makes HVDC a highly reliable solution for transporting energy between two asynchronous systems. An HVDC system consists of two or more converter stations connected with a transmission medium (underground/subsea cable or overhead line). A converter station is equipped with following sub-components depending on the technology:
- Converter transformer
- Converter valves
- Filters (AC and DC)
- Smoothing reactors
- Reactive compensation equipment
- Control and protection equipment
The most important component out of these are the HVDC converter transformers; their efficiency and reliability play an extremely important role in the overall functioning of the system. Since converter transformers act as the interface between AC and DC systems, they must fulfil superimposed requirements related to AC and DC systems.
- Converter transformers market overview
HVDC is a mature technology with hundreds of projects installed and several projects in planning. As a result, the global HVDC converter transformer market has also gained remarkable momentum during the last few years. More than 700 single phase two-winding transformers were installed in more than sixty HVDC projects commissioned around the globe in the last five years.