Siemens is developing a gas-insulated transmission line technology that will boost grid integration of renewables.
The DC transmission line known as the Compact Transmission Line for Direct-Current High Voltage (DC CTL) will be installed underground and transmit up to 5GW of power per system.
The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is providing €3.78m to back the project and Siemens is leading a team that includes Berlin Technical University and Dresden University of Applied Sciences.
Expansion of Germany’s transmission network is vital if renewables are to meet 80 per cent of electrical energy demand by 2050, said Siemens. Power generated by wind turbines in the north of the country and off the coast will need to be transported as efficiently as possible to the load centres in southern Germany.
Siemens said developing the grid using HVDC transmission technology with overhead power lines and gas-insulated DC transmission lines buried underground could use considerably less resources than three-phase technology.
The system would also “make power transmission routes more environmentally compatible as well as cheaper”, the company added.
“The underground DC transmission line is of significance for Germany’s transition to a new energy mix because its development will initially take place in Germany. Later on, inquiries from other countries in the EU or elsewhere in the world would be quite possible,” said Denis Imamovic, who is responsible for gas-insulated transmission systems at Siemens’ energy management division.
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