The first static frequency converter (SFC) solution in the world, generated by Hitachi Energy will be used by the biggest power generator VERBUND with multi-level technology in a pumped hydro storage application. It is Hitachi’s pioneer solution for Europe’s pumped hydro storage plant.
Hydro storage technology enables the transition and modernization of 21st century power generation by providing production, storage, and grid stabilization. Also, it brings critical benefits distinguishing it from other forms of water management.
With this innovation, VERBUND got a chance to optimize the pumped storage process at Malta Overstufe, which is a pump storage plant belonging to Malta-Reisseck power generation group of VERBUND. The plant has a total turbine power of 1.5 MW.
The operator of Malta Overstufe power plant gets an opportunity to actively participate in the process of balancing Austria’s power grid. Further, it will improve the integration of more green energy into the European grid. SFC has a unique ability to control voltage, power flow, and frequency. Marco Berardi,
Head of Hitachi Energy’s Grid & Power Quality Solutions global product group said, “This technology breakthrough is the result of a close and deep collaboration with VERBUND to enhance the performance and extend the operating life of one of its most important assets. By making the plant more efficient and by stabilizing the power grid, our unique technology and application know-how is advancing the world’s energy system to be more sustainable, flexible, and secure.”
Karl Zikulnig, Head of the Electrical Engineering Department at VERBUND said, “The defining features of the Hitachi Energy solution are its low losses, robust modular design, limited maintenance requirements, and durability. Its inherent redundancy is also key – we need exceptional reliability and availability, as the plant is inaccessible during the heavy winter snows.”
The Hitachi Energy solutions enable a 45-year-old pumped storage plant to switch its 2-pump turbine units from traditional fixed speed to state-of-the-art variable speed operation. With this new solution, pump turbines instead of constantly running at the same speed will now automatically adjust according to the grid conditions and water levels in the reservoir.
This method would likely increase the overall efficiency of the pumped storage process. Pumped hydro storage is the natural large-scale energy storage solutions to cope with higher needs for storage and grid support services. Service from reactive power support to frequent control, synchronous or virtual inertia as well as black start capabilities are handled by pumped hydro storage.
Previously managed fossil fueled power plants are now controlled by hydro storage with more reactivity and that too sustainably. This is Hitachi’s pioneer solution for Europe’s pumped hydro storage plant.
For more than 40 years Hitachi Energy has been innovating static frequency converter solutions. SFCs are based on the company’s high-performance semiconductors which are also essential parts of several Hitachi Energy power technologies.