Test Circuits for HVDC Circuit Breakers
High voltage direct current circuit breakers (HVDC CBs) are necessary for reliable and safe operation of future multi-terminal meshed HVDC grids. So far no commercially mature products of such equipment exist. A few industrial concepts as a result of advances in power electronics have been proposed and prototypes have been built. However, performances of these concepts have never been demonstrated under realistic operation conditions. Since these tests require construction of high power DC sources incurring significant investment costs, alternative test circuits providing equivalent stresses must be considered. In this paper various test methods and circuits used for testing HVDC CBs are investigated and their performance is evaluated against the stresses in a conceptual future HVDC grid. A novel method of testing an HVDC CB using existing installations in a high power ac test laboratory is proposed and its prospective fault current and voltage is experimentally demonstrated. It is concluded that adequate test circuits need to maintain the supply voltage not only up to the current zero in the main interrupter unit of the HVDC CB, but also during the entire energy dissipation phase of the interruption process.