Oct 2012
Electricity Transmission
DC Circuit Breaker Technologies
Oct 2012
Apr 2016
National Grid Electricity Transmission
Paul Coventry
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Network Innovation Allowance
The project will examine and assess DC circuit breaker technologies available for use in VSC HVDC multi- terminal systems and DC grids. This in turn will ensure that National Grid is in a knowledgeable position if and when a DC breaker is required to be used on the UK network. Commencement of the research sooner rather than later will help in developing technical specifications for DC circuit breakers. It will also allow for greater time to develop the required international standards needed regarding DC breaker design and testing.

The European Union Renewable Energy Directive has committed the UK to a target of more than 30% of electricity to be generated from renewable sources by 2020. The report ‘Our electricity network’ by the Electricity Networks Strategy Group (ENSG) recognised that a key technology to achieve the above aims is Voltage Sourced Converter (VSC) HVDC transmission. This is well suited to multiterminal and HVDC Grid applications being considered for onshore and offshore network integration.

The above areas have been identified as needing to be addressed as part of the risk managed introduction of multi terminal VSC HVDC technology onto the transmission system and the future development of DC grids. In particular, if the UK plans on developing truly economical and secure DC grids, a thorough understanding of both the operation and the application of DC breakers will be required. The project will deliver reports on the results of studies and a documented set of models for use in National Grid’s internal system studies. The work forms an essential step in being able to implement the technology on the transmission system. 


  • Interim 1 - Report 2.1

  • Interim Report 2 – Report 2.2

  • Full Report 2.1

  • Interim Report 2.2

  • Full Report 2.2

  • Full Report 2.3