The overarching concept of the infrastructure is to be able to test relevant high voltage materials and components, with the loading that is expected in the future electric grid.
The infrastructure is divided in three subprojects (SP) described below, based on their physical extension and interdependency with the other SPs; each SP can in principle be used independently, but only serves its full potential in context of the other SPs.
What can we do in the lab?
Flexible high-power source Subproject SP 1
SP 1 will establish two new test facilities: 1) A flexible high current source for studying thermal issues at a broad frequency and current magnitude ranges, and 2) High voltage sources that can emulate converter switching with varying rise times and frequencies (kHz range), with sufficient power to test high capacitance objects.
In-situ insulation materials characterization Subproject SP 2
In order to understand and monitor the changes in the insulation and connector systems during the tests in SP 1, on-line and semi-online measurements of physical and chemical changes of the components are strongly advised. SP 2 involves procurement of apparatuses for thermic, mechanic and electrical analysis of insulation materials.
Ultrafast data acquisition Subproject SP 3
Dielectric breakdown and mechanical fracture development are extremely fast processes, and to study such phenomena requires equipment that can give information about the temporal development of processes taking place on nanosecond and microsecond timescales. SP 3 contains two camera systems with optical fittings as lenses/filters/flashlights; one ultrafast image converter camera with nanosecond shutter time and frame rate, and twin cameras suited for stereoscopic recording, with fast shutters and kilohertz frame rate. These cameras are combined with fast oscilloscopes for recording of breakdown currents, light emission from photomultipliers, and are suited for investigating fast breakdown of insulation and fracture propagation in mechanical structures.
SINTEF Energy Research is granted 29 MNOK from the Research Council of Norway as part of "National research infrastructure".