Farewell to the Eiffel-Tower-shaped substations!
Landmark of Paris, the Eiffel Tower, will be reborn as a virtual Eiffel Tower 133 years after its construction. This is designed to create a low carbon, cyclical, and regenerated version for sustainable future, resolving the issues of accelerated urbanization, greenhouse gas emissions, and excessive energy consumption.
You might find similar shapes around you, those “analog” substations, which are gradually being digitalized. They have a smart digital system to monitor the status of power facilities, collect data, and control various devices.
What would happen if electricity became unavailable for just a few seconds in Korea? It is unimaginable. Korea recorded 10,039㎾h of electricity usage per person in 2019, much higher than that of the U.K. (4,431㎾h), Germany (6,107㎾h), France (6,739㎾h), and Japan (7,545㎾h). A high demand calls for ways to increase energy efficiency. Transition into digital substation is valid in terms of cost and environment. That is why Hyosung Heavy Industries, the leader of transmission and substation business at home and abroad, has been focusing on digitalizing the substations and making them eco-friendly.
Transition to digital substations to build an intelligent power grid
Though substations visibly around us, it is hard to see how important they are. This is where electricity with a higher than 50,000V of voltage from power plants is transformed and transmitted to end users. This is also where transformers and other electric facilities are located. Electricity goes through substations from power plants to end users via long transmission lines.
To minimize the power loss while passing through the transmission lines, thicker lines are chosen for lower resistance or transmission voltage is increased. However, thicker lines require bigger substations and utility poles, so it is more economical to increase the transmission voltage and decrease the current at substations. In Korea, it is increased to hundreds of kV (154kV, 345kV, 765kV) or decreased to 22.9V or 220V at the substations before it reaches end users at home and businesses. Substations concentrate or distribute the voltage and control load flow and protect transmission lines and equipment.
Hyosung Heavy Industries has provided power equipment including extra-high voltage transformer, circuit breaker, and electric components for more than 50 years. It succeeded in developing the voltage-type extra HVDC for the first time in Korea. This is a core technology for the next-generation power grid as it can improve the transmission efficiency and reliability for long-distance transmission compared to AC. It is also equipped with the world-class technology related to heavy electric machinery, a critical part in industrial energy. Thanks to its know-how, it is recognized as a company with excellent quality and technology in global markets including the US, the Middle East, and Europe.
Substations are becoming digitalized in the age of digitalization, which is automatically operated. Connection and disconnection of power can be controlled with the IT system, and real-time monitoring is possible. Previous with analog substations, the health of the equipment had to be checked manually, but digital substations are intelligently operated as they have automated and advanced digital technology for monitoring, controlling, and instrumentation of power equipment. Faults can even be predicted and troubleshot. This is why it is called an “intelligent substation” thanks to its high performance and easy operation.
Substations play a prominent role in power supply, working like a person’s heart. Therefore, it is important to manage it in a sophisticated manner. Facilities and equipments in the substation communicate with each other for monitoring, controlling, and protection. In the analog way, there was a limit to the amount of data that can be secured, with electric signals transmitted through copper wires. Also, workers had to take a risk as they had to manually handle the faults. With the digital substation, however, it is possible to transform electric signals into digital signals thanks to fiber cables among substation systems, which enables a faster and more efficient operation. You can identify the health of more complicated and sophisticated systems. Inefficient distribution of power might lead to power shortage or errors in usage instrumentation and bills. With the digital substation, you can check and resolve these issues in a swift manner.
The digital substation is an essential part to build an intelligent power grid and digitalize power equipment as it enables a stable and efficient operation of a complicated grid system with various energy sources. This is the reason countries with advanced grid systems focus on digitalizing substations for future power grid. Hyosung Heavy Industries is also committed to creating digital substation under the belief that it will improve the quality of life and prepare for an eco-friendly future.
Hyosung Heavy Industries’ core technology opened the door to overseas markets with technology localization
Hyosung Heavy Industries has led the power equipment business including transformers and circuit breakers, major devices for power transmission lines. Countries around the globe have been building an intelligent transmission infrastructure with digital substations. In line, Hyosung Heavy Industries’ LPIT and MU with its own technology passed the official certificate test by the IEC. LPIT and MU are core technology to build a digital substation based on IEC 61850-9-2, and international companies have dominated the domestic market so far. With its successful localization, Hyosung offers an alternative to imports, sharpening its competitive edge.
Hyosung’s LPIT applies the built-in voltage/current sensor within the GIS module, offering better precision than the existing metal pin-type transformers with less volume and 60% less SF6. With the digital data communication based on MU, it will use less control cables and trays. It will be easier to apply new technology such as predictive diagnostics and asset management system. Also, it reduces the required space by scaling down the control and protection board. It has a great potential in the global market.
Hyosung Heavy Industries’ efforts to supply eco-friendly power
Hyosung Heavy Industries has also concentrated on developing and providing products with eco-friendly insulating materials. It uses ester oil instead of mineral oil, removing the risk of environmental degradation and securing the safety. It has offered transformers with eco-friendly insulating oil to countries in Europe and the Middle East while continuing its research. Ester oil is from plants or animals, and it has the best viscosity and excellent solvency without any impurities. It works well at a low or high temperature and causes less sludge. Though it is more expensive than mineral oil, it is environmentally friendly as it can be dissolved in nature.
Hyosung has also been developing 170kW eco-friendly gas switchgear with CO2 (combined with fluorine nitril) instead of SF6 for internal insulation. It will take the lead in reducing greenhouse gas from the power system by applying it to new substations and replacing dilapidated facilities in Korea.
Hyosung Heavy Industries will apply sustainable and eco-friendly technology to various power facilities including switchgears and transformers. With its environmentally friendly cutting edge, it will continue to expand its global market share, starting with Europe. Hyosung has expanded its investment in future technology to prepare against the domestic and global market trend of eco-friendliness and digitalization.
Hyosung has continued its efforts to provide the optimal performance and quality in line with the market demand and trend. It has also concentrated on minimizing the environmental impact by developing technologies for the next generation energy including ESS, expansion and supply of hydrogen charging stations.
Hyosung is proud to be committed to making people’s lives more convenient and sustainable with smarter digital substations and eco-friendly energy system, replacing the Eiffel Tower-like substations. Hyosung Heavy Industries will continue to progress in the direction of future technology and sustainability.