DNV GL’s expanded KEMA High-Power Laboratory performs first-ever ultra-high-voltage component tests

First UHV component, an ABB transformer, successfully passed testing in extended KEMA Laboratories High Power Laboratory

ARNHEM, the Netherlands - 27 March 2017 - DNV GL is helping the power industry move into the era of the “super grid” with the announcement that testing of ultra-high-voltage (UHV) grid components has started at its recently expanded KEMA High-Power Laboratory (HPL) in Arnhem, the Netherlands. Following a EUR 70 million, multi-year investment, the KEMA HPL is the first facility in the world for testing UHV electrical grid components including power transformers up to 800 kV and switchgear up to 1200 kV. The expanded lab has now successfully completed dynamic short-circuit testing on 800 kV class power transformers.

The first component to successfully pass testing at the expanded KEMA HPL of DNV GL was a 315 megavolt-ampere (MVA), 765 kV single phase generator step up transformer (GSU) manufactured by ABB. “Utilities around the world are looking to use UHV technologies to meet the growing demand for energy and they need to rely on transformers that are designed to the highest standards” said Kieran Kenealy, Global Product Group Manager Large and Medium Power Transformers at ABB. “Facilities such as the KEMA HPL to help us demonstrate our best in class short circuit performance and being the first to complete dynamic short-circuit testing on a 765-kV transformer is a major milestone.”

Electricity is essential to every aspect of modern life. Consequently, demand is growing fast – globally, regionally and nationally. To deal with this, power systems are being asked to do more and more: to carry higher volumes of electricity over longer distances. This is leading to the emergence of so-called super grids, large-scale electricity transport networks operating at voltages of 800 kV and above.

The importance of electricity means that the social and financial consequences of a power outage are huge, making grid reliability critically important. Most power outages are due to the far-reaching impact of a single failed grid component. Standards-based equipment certification allows component manufacturers, power utilities and network operators to verify the quality of a component before it is installed and thus reduce the risk of outages. Effective certification relies on having testing facilities capable of delivering high enough power and voltage levels to accurately recreate the conditions components will face during operation.

To support the electricity transmission and distribution (T&D) industry as it transitions to higher transport voltages and super grids, DNV GL took the decision to expand its KEMA High-Power Laboratory (HPL) in Arnhem, the Netherlands. The KEMA HPL was already the highest-power testing lab in the world, and the expansion extended the available testing power to 15 GVA. The upgrade also allows the facility to test power transformers and circuit breakers up to 800 kV, and increases its testing capacity for all components. 

“We are very pleased to announce the start of testing at the expanded KEMA HPL,” said Jacob Fonteijne, Executive Vice President KEMA Laboratories at DNV GL. “Throughout our long history, DNV GL has always believed in investing to support the industries we serve as they adopt new technologies and ways of working. In expanding the KEMA HPL in Arnhem, we have created the world’s first facility capable of testing 800-kV-plus power components, helping the T&D industry move into the super grid age with confidence.”

Driven by our purpose of safeguarding life, property and the environment, DNV GL enables organizations to advance the safety and sustainability of their business. We provide classification and technical assurance along with software and independent expert advisory services to the maritime, oil & gas and energy industries. We also provide certification services to customers across a wide range of industries. Operating in more than 100 countries, our professionals are dedicated to helping our customers make the world safer, smarter and greener.

In the Energy Industry
In DNV GL we unite the strengths of DNV, KEMA, Garrad Hassan and GL Renewables Certification. DNV GL’s 2,500 energy experts support customers around the globe in delivering a safe, reliable, efficient and sustainable energy supply. We deliver world-renowned testing, certification and advisory services to the energy value chain including renewables and energy efficiency. Our expertise spans onshore and offshore wind power, solar, conventional generation, transmission and distribu¬tion, smart grids and sustainable energy use, as well as energy markets and regulations. Our testing, certification and advisory services are delivered independent from each other.  Learn more at www.dnvgl.com/energy.