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HVDC transmission

HVDC technologies have the greatest potential for the transmission of high-voltage electricity over very long distances.

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For this reason, HVDC transmission is playing a gradually increasing role in modern power systems, exemplified by stable growth in the number of interconnections and levels of installed power. Even more relevant is the application of HVDC conversion systems in offshore settings where the use of subsea cables limits the usefulness of more conventional HVAC technologies to transmission distances of less than 100 km. In such settings, HVDC transmission is essential in applications such as:

  • Electricity exchange between neighbouring countries in the context of a common electricity market
  • The integration of offshore wind facilities and electricity transmission to shore  
  • The interconnection of non-synchronous power systems  
  • The reinforcement of existing transmission systems

Considerable research and development efforts have been devoted to the field of HVDC in order to increase power ratings while improving the efficiency and reliability of grid service provision. Relevant examples include the introduction of MMC topologies and the progressive transition from LCC- to VSC-based schemes for new installations. Another current trend is increased configuration complexity, especially in connection with multi-terminal schemes.

Our competence and services

SINTEF has accumulated extensive experience in the analysis of HVDC transmission systems involving private industry and public sector clients in both Norway and overseas.

Our expertise covers the following fields

  • Electromagnetic transient analysis of point-to-point and multi-terminal systems using simulation tools such as PSCAD, Matlab/Simulink and EMTP-RV.  
  • Small signal modelling, and stability and critical mode analysis  
  • The development of dedicated numerical models for power converters, cables and control logic 
  • The design and completion of laboratory-scale prototypes and experimental demonstration models  
  • Rapid prototyping and real-time simulation

Projects / research areas

  • The protection of multi-terminal systems 
  • The analysis of undesired interactions in HVDC systems and the interoperability between alternative topologies and control strategies 
  • The development of MMC control strategies  
  • Laboratory demonstrations of multi-terminal systems


  • SINTEF is active in this research area and is currently involved in major domestic and international projects.  
  • SINTEF has a good track record of recent conference presentations and publications in relevant journals.  
  • SINTEF operates a laboratory with a scaled, VSC-based, three terminal system  
  • SINTEF is currently developing a multi-terminal system, including MMC converters, for the first demonstration as part of the 'BestPaths' EU project.

This is a part of our expertise on Power Electronics   


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Transmission for sustainability




Protection and Fault Handling in Offshore HVDC Grids


Electrotechnical laboratories

Electrotechnical laboratories

SINTEF Energy Research operates laboratories for high voltage, high power and climatic testing. Customers are manufacturers, suppliers and users of electric power equipment.