This prestigious accolade was presented to the French industrial group at the 2012 Excellence in European Best Practices Awards Banquet, at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel in London on 5th December 2012.
Alstom Grid is commended for its newest generation HVDC product that helps to tackle the cost, space and efficiency issues generally associated with classic Line Commutated Converter HVDC solutions, and opens the door for many additional applications. Alstom's HVDC MaxSine* (1st and 2nd generation) is a family of voltage source converter (VSC) technologies that significantly improves the functionality of HVDC transmission.
HVDC transmission is one of the most effective technologies for long distance transmission. The 2nd generation HVDC MaxSine technology overcomes the traditional challenges associated with HVDC by leveraging its inherent hybrid topology that can handle multiple interconnections. This makes the technology readily available to address the demands of rapidly growing application areas like offshore wind farms and also reliably support the traditional large grids.
Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Aleksander Buchacz remarks: "The main improvement on functionality of the HVDC MaxSine technology is its low susceptibility to faults and the ability to quickly respond to any fault that may occur. Conventional VSC HVDC technology suffers from significant losses and is intolerant to certain types of faults which can occur on the DC system. The 2nd generation hybrid topology from Alstom Grid combines the advantage of a full-bridge converter and a half-bridge multi-level converter, resulting in low losses, low harmonic distortion and improved fault tolerance."
This feature brings additional functionalities in applications such as multi-terminal DC grids, where the HVDC MaxSine not only isolates the DC fault but also offers support to the AC grid if a major fault occurs. This feature is especially important in the formation of future DC grids. Apart from higher reliability of HVDC, which also results in lower distortions and losses, the HVDC MaxSine also offers other advantages that impact customer value.
For instance, HVDC MaxSine converters are scalable and modular, allowing them to be adapted to any space requirement.
The converter modules can be stacked vertically or horizontally, depending on site limitations and is ideal for offshore wind power plants where floor space is restricted.
VSC has been identified by many industry experts as a future technology that will connect most of the fluctuating, renewable energy sources such as on- and offshore wind power. To leverage the development of the HVDC MaxSine technology, Alstom Grid has invested in a 24 megawatt VSC demonstrator unit in Stafford, UK to enable the long-term testing and development for the VSC converter technology.
"At this point, VSC HVDC is the only technology that can handle smart grids' multiple interconnections, making it a strong competitor for connecting microgrids and future continent-wide DC supergrids," concluded Buchacz. "This puts Alstom in an enviable position with its pioneering HVDC MaxSine technology."
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry.
*HVDC MaxSine™ is a trademark of Alstom Grid's Voltage Source Converter technology.
Alstom (alstom.com) is a global leader in the world of power generation, power transmission and rail infrastructure and sets the benchmark for innovative and environmentally friendly technologies. Alstom builds the fastest train and the highest capacity automated metro in the world, provides turnkey integrated power plant solutions and associated services for a wide variety of energy sources, including hydro, nuclear, gas, coal and wind, and it offers a wide range of solutions for power transmission, with a focus on smart grids. The Group employs 92,000 people in around 100 countries. It had sales of €20 billion and booked close to €22 billion in orders in 2011/12.
Alstom Grid (alstom.com/grid) has 130 years of expertise in electrical grids. Whether for utilities or electro-intensive industries or facilitating the trading of energy, Alstom Grid brings power to its customers' projects. Alstom Grid ranks among the top 3 in electrical transmission sector with an annual sales turnover of more than €4 billion. It has 20,000 employees and over 90 manufacturing and engineering sites worldwide.
At the heart of the development of Smart Grid, Alstom Grid offers products, services and integrated energy management solutions across the full energy value chain—from power generation, through transmission and distribution grids and to the large end user.
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