The University of Southampton

Professor Steve Swingler recognised for work on HVDC link

Published: 11 January 2013

Professor Steve Swingler, a member of academic staff at the Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory, has received an award from National Grid in recognition of his work on the Western HVDC Link. He has worked on a number of large HVDC cable projects in recent years (including BritNed and Basslink) and played a key advisory role during the design process for the Western HVDC Link.

The Western HVDC Link is being jointly developed by National Grid Electricity Transmission and Scottish Power Transmission. It will provide a vital reinforcement to Great Britain’s transmission grid, bringing renewable energy from Scotland directly to England and Wales without having to pass through a transmission bottle-neck in northern England. The link comprises 400 km of HVDC cable and converter stations at Hunterston, North Ayrshire in Scotland and at Connah's Quay in Flintshire, North Wales. This link will be the longest HVDC cable system in the world at this rating (2.2GW) and will also be the first subsea link rated at 600kV DC.

Professor Swingler says “The Western HVDC Link is crucial in removing transmission constraints between England and Scotland. It is a challenging project, as there are a number of world firsts in its delivery. Based on my experience of working on previous HVDC interconnector projects, my role was to assist the design team through providing specialist advice on the submarine cable elements of the link. The project is now moving in to the construction phase, during which I will be continuing to work with the team at National Grid and Scottish Power”

Staff at TDHVL is still actively involved in the project, with work on going to develop fully coupled thermo-electric models of the cable system to allow detailed rating studies to be carried out. A significant component of this work draws in the experience of staff based at the National Oceanography Centre Southampton in modelling thermal processes in seafloor sediments.

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