Development of DC transmission grids using DC-DC converters

Impact: Other Impacts

Description of impact

The expansion and secure transmission of large-scale offshore wind energy is likely to require direct current (DC) high-voltage electrical grids. Research undertaken at the University of Aberdeen High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) research centre, led by Professor Jovcic, has demonstrated the advantages of building DC offshore grids using DC/DC converters designed in his research projects. Building on this research, Jovcic has contributed to the development of influential documents via the establishment of working group B4.76 in the International Council on Large Electric Systems (CIGRE - a leading organisation, which informs decision-makers and regulators). The team’s research has underpinned the implementation of a hardware prototype DC/DC converter for Réseau de Transport d'Électricité (RTE) in Europe and shaped the development of a CIGRE DC grid benchmark system, used around the world including in Norway and China.

Project summary and aims

Outcomes to Date / Future Developments

Wind energy is expected to be the primary source of electrical energy by 2027, necessitating an increase in the pace of the renewable energy buildout. Considering the expected cost, in excess of GBP100,000,000 per gigawatt (GW) DC/DC converter, development of these technologies relies on scaled-down hardware prototypes, and simulation on full-power test cases and Benchmark models agreed with all stakeholders. Upscaling of these prototypes requires a long lead time and considerable investment. Research carried out at the University of Aberdeen has yielded important new evidence demonstrating the potential role for DC/DC converters in future offshore DC transmission grids.
Impact statusImpact Completed (Open)
Impact date20132020
Category of impactOther Impacts
Stage of ImpactEngagement


  • Technological