IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2019 - 23

provides an overview of the planning and technical
implications of ac-to-dc conversion as well as a proposed
ranking methodology to select candidate lines for such
a conversion.

When Should ac-to-dc Conversion
Be Considered?
given that the conversion process involves work on an exist-
ing operational ac transmission line, it must focus on solu-
tions that will not involve long line outage durations. This is
especially important because the conversion process is gen-
erally related to a need for an increase in transmission capac-
ity. as such, it is expected that a majority of ac transmission
lines considered for conversion would likely be critical and
constitute part of a network path that is highly used under
both normal and contingency conditions.
To the extent possible,
the conversion process
should be cost-effective and
limit the number of outages.
To achieve this, the follow-
ing key criteria need careful
consideration:
✔ Maintaining the existing tower structures:
different dc pole
configurations can be
studied to make use
of the existing tower
structures with minor
or no modifications.
The changing struc-
tural loads and exist-
ing design margins
need to be evaluated
as part of the option
screening process.
✔ Maintaining the existing conductors: con-
ductors for dc applica-
tions do not physically
differ from those used
for ac transmission
lines, although the
ampacity rating will
differ depending on
ac or dc application.
as such, it may be
possible to reuse the
existing conductors if
they are in good con-
dition. in most cases,
however, it will be nec-
essary to change the
insulators because
©istockphoto.com/metamorworks

the identification of a project and its commercial operation
to more than five years, with a high degree of uncertainty. it
is, therefore, necessary to find alternatives to overcome this
obstacle and build the needed transmission reinforcements
within a faster timeframe. ac-to-dc conversion becomes an
attractive alternative for planning the future grid, along with
line reconductoring.
ac-to-dc conversion allows for a more efficient use of
the existing assets and rights-of-way and, under adequate
work procedures, can be performed with relatively short
outages. in addition, there are added benefits provided
by dc converter stations, such as power flow control and
stability-enhancing functions. The possibility of convert-
ing ac transmission lines to dc lines has been studied for
the past 30 years, including several detailed feasibility
and case studies published in recent years. This article

may/june 2019

ieee power & energy magazine

23


http://www.istockphoto.com/metamorworks

IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2019

Contents
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2019 - Cover1
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2019 - Cover2
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2019 - Contents
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IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2019 - Cover3
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