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The Future of DC Transmission

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An inside look at the rise of HVDC technologies

BY DIETMAR RETZMANN & KARL UECKER, Siemens Energy

The answer to the dreaded cry from towns and neighborhoods against building substations close by may be as simple as a four letter word (or acronym)—HVDC. Short for high-voltage direct current, this evolving technology has numerous applications and benefits. High-voltage direct current transmission systems combine high reliability with a long life expectancy, making this trending technology a powerful alternative when planning transmission system expansion.

The highlights of this technology include the ability to transmit large amounts of power over long distances, with lower capital costs and lower losses than alternating current (AC), without significantly increasing the short-circuit currents.

Add in that HVDC increases your transmission capacity and system stability, while helping to improve reliability and prevent cascading disturbances, and improved reliability, and HVDC is looking better and better.

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