Dr.-Ing. Nadew Belda

Working area(s)

External PhD candidate, Innovation Engineer, KEMA Laboratories, DNV GL - Energy


cell +31 621640336

Power transmission using HVDC technique is now a proven technology. Especially it has been a preferable technique for efficient transportation of bulk power over a long distance. Besides, for offshore windfarms located farther than roughly 80 km from shore, it has become the only viable option for exporting power from such remote locations. So far, the HVDC transmission projects in service as well as under construction are point-to-point links. The next logical step is to build and/or interconnect the point-to-point links to form HVDC grid for increased security, reliability and efficient utilization of resources. However, with the exceptions two recent projects in China, the interconnection of HVDC transmission systems has never materialized. There are a few major technical as well as economic hurdles which need to be addressed before realizing multi-terminal HVDC grid.

Among the technical barriers, the lack of fast, reliable and proven technology of HVDC circuit breaker is the major one. To solve this age-old problem, recently, several manufacturers have proposed and developed prototypes of HVDC circuit breakers based on various DC current interruption principles. However, due to lack of operational experience with these equipment, there are no clearly defined requirements that these new developments must meet. And hence, there are no international standards specifying test requirements, test methods and procedures to verify the performance and ratings of the HVDC circuit breakers.

Testing of HVDC circuit breakers is fundamentally different from testing of HVAC circuit breakers. One of the main differences is that both voltage across and current through the HVDC circuit breaker exist simultaneously leading to energy absorption requirement

As such the main goal of this research work is, first, to investigate the performance requirements of the HVDC circuit breakers based on transient studies of a hypothetical HVDC grid. Then, based on this, propose test requirements, develop test method and design proper test circuit. Thus, the stresses on different technologies of HVDC circuit breakers while interrupting DC fault currents are identified. Based on these stresses generic test requirements are defined. In addition, the impacts various system parameters which affect the stresses of the HVDC circuit breaker are evaluated.

Next, based on the defined test requirements, various potential test circuits are investigated while taking their economic feasibility into account. Hence, adequate and economic test circuit capable of producing the necessary stresses is designed, implemented and demonstrated. Given the absence of commercially mature HVDC circuit breaker, the main goal is to develop a test circuit that exploits the available infrastructure at high-power test facility.

Moreover, the test circuit is used to study the performance limits of the main components, namely, the vacuum interrupter and the metal oxide surge arrester, which are common to most technologies of HVDC circuit breakers. This is used to analyze the electrical and thermal stresses as well as to study the failure modes of these components, with the aim to refine the test requirements the HVDC circuit breakers. This is conducted by setting up experimental DC circuit breaker in a laboratory environment.

The works in this research are part of EU funded project called PROMOTioN (Progress on Meshed HVDC Offshore Transmission Networks) where manufacturers of HVDC circuit breakers are involved. Thus, the goal is to develop adequate test circuit that can be used for demonstration of the performances of different technologies of HVDC circuit breakers supplied by manufacturers within the project consortium. Before the actual tests of the HVDC circuit breakers, the developed test method and circuit is validated by conducting tests on prototypes of HVDC circuit breaker supplied by manufacturers. This is aimed at verifying whether the test circuit can supply range of desired stresses to the test object, and its special features operate as expected. Later, tests focusing on the demonstration of the performance of various technologies of HVDC circuit breakers are conducted within the framework of the project.


1. N. A. Belda, C. A. Plet, R. P.P. Smeets, “Full-Power Test of HVDC Circuit-Breakers with AC Short-Circuit Generators Operated at Low Power Frequency”, IEEE Transaction on Power Delivery, under review

2. N. A. Belda, C. A. Plet, R. P.P. Smeets, “Analysis of Faults in Multiterminal HVDC Grid for Definition of Test Requirements of HVDC Circuit Breakers”, IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, vol. 33, no. 1, pp. 403 – 411, 2018.

3. N. A. Belda, C. A. Plet, R. P. P. Smeets, R. Nijman, S. Tokoyoda, K. Tahata, F. Page, H. Ito, C. Spallarossa “Full Power Short-circuit Tests of HVDC Circuit Breakers using AC Generators Operated at Reduced Power Frequency”, CIGRE Paris Session 47, paper no. A3-115, 2018


4. N. A. Belda and R. P. P. Smeets, “Test Circuits for HVDC Circuit Breakers,” IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, vol. 32, no. 1, pp. 285-293, 2017.

5. N. A. Belda, R. P. P. Smeets, C. A. Plet and R. Nijman, “Stress Analysis of HVDC Circuit Breakers for Defining Test Requirements and its Implementation,” in CIGRE Colloquium, Winnipeg, Canada, 2017


6. N. A. Belda, R. P. P. Smeets, S. Tokoyoda, and H. Ito, “Testing of HVDC circuit breakers,” CIGRE Paris Session 46, paper no. A3-109, 2016.


7. R. P. P. Smeets, N. A. Belda, R. Scharrenberg, A. Yanushkevich, “Design of Test-Circuits for HVDC Circuit Breakers”, 3rd International Conference on Electric Power Equipment–Switching Technology, 2015, (ICEPE–ST 2015), Oct. 25-28, Busan, Korea, 2015

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