A high voltage direct current (HVDC) converter is a distinctive type of substation used as an equipment for HVDC transmission lines. These converter stations are especially used to transmit bulk of power to long distances and for converting alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC) or vice versa. An HVDC converter station is generally used for the transmission of electricity from renewable energy sources situated at remote areas to metropolitan areas, with fewer energy losses by converting AC to DC. Growing concerns over gradually reducing fossil fuels and increasing carbon emissions have led to the growth of offshore wind farms that require HVDC converter station for connecting farms to the grid. HVDC system has the capability to reduce costs and electrical losses, and is the single possible solution to facilitate the use of renewable energy sources. HVDC systems are installed at every possible voltage point which connects the systems between two asynchronous grids.
The key drivers for the HVDC converter station market is the increasing adoption of efficient power transmission systems, rising number of offshore wind farms, growing requirement for connecting asynchronous grids, and encouraging government policies to establish HVDC converter station. Also, indirect factors such as growing GDP in emerging economies are driving the growth of the HVDC converter station market.
In the coming years, a large number of offshore wind farms are anticipated to be built in deep water with high efficiency and large capacity which would support the growth of the HVDC converter station market. HVDC cables are primarily used for submarine transmission. The share of emission-free and clean power from solar, wind, hydro, and other renewable energy sources in the global energy combination is expected to increase.
The key factors that challenge the growth of the HVDC converter station market includes transmission congestion and instability, high initial cost, lack of investment in grid infrastructure by power utilities, lengthy approval processes for transmission projects, and limitations at the technology level. However, increasing investments in HVDC systems is the current major trend emerging in the HVDC converter station market.
The HVDC converter station market can be segmented on the basis of technology, application and type. On the basis of technology, the HVDC converter market can be segmented into line commutated converters (LCC) and voltage source converters (VSC). Recently, high number of projects were deployed by using line Commuted converter (LCC) technology. On the other hand, the growing adoption of non-renewable energy sources has improved the demand for voltage Source Converter (VSC) technology.
The application segmentation includes powering Island and remote loads, underground power links, connecting wind forms, interconnecting networks, bulk power transmissions, grid access for offshore applications, long distance transmission via cables, and oil and gas platforms. Further, on the basis of type, the market can be segmented into monopolar, bi-polar, back-to-back, and multi-terminal. Currently, the bi-polar HVDC configuration covered the largest market size and is estimated to grow more in the coming years.
The major players in the global HVDC converter station market include TransGrid Solutions Inc., Toshiba Corporation., Siemens A.G., Prysmian Group, NR Electric Co., Ltd., Nexans SA, BHEL, Hitachi, Ltd., General Electric, American Superconductor and ABB Ltd.