Siemens is building a modern system test center in Nuremberg for the latest generation of power converters, which are used in international high-voltage transmission projects.
A test hall with five test bays, control rooms, and office areas is being built in approximately 9,400 square meters of space on the grounds of the Nuremberg transformer factory, on behalf of the Transmission Solutions Business Unit in the Energy Management Division.
The construction will be completed by the spring of 2018. The total investment in buildings and technology amounts to approximately $38mn.
Converters are part of high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) transmission technology and convert the type, voltage, or frequency of the current fed in for transmission. For example, alternating current generated for transmission over long distances is converted into direct current in order to mitigate losses due to electrical resistance.
These converters are used in offshore projects and for overland power highways like those in the Ultranet project. The line- and self-commutated converters will be manufactured in the factory in Nuremberg.
Diverse standard conformance tests must be conducted before products for a customer project can be released for shipment. Due to stricter requirements for the testing, Siemens is investing in a new, modern, and future-viable test lab for performance testing.
“Our system test lab will be one of the most advanced test facilities in the world,”said Mirko Düsel, CEO of the Siemens Transmission Solutions Business Unit. “With a new test circuit, powerful DC sources, and an innovative measurement and automation system using the latest software, we’ll also be able to accommodate individual customer requirements in the future.”
In future performance tests, an innovative technology will make it possible to use higher currents and voltages in the plant than with the current test circuits. Variable frequency settings will also facilitate test orders for the American market, among other things, which is expected to shorten test times by as much as 50%.
Additional parallel test bays will permit not only standard conformance tests but also the implementation of long-term tests (continuous tests). With the high infeed power of up to 10 megavolt amperes, the plant is designed for parallel operation of all test bays and, at the same time, is equipped for the requirements of the next generation of converters over the coming decades.
Despite the high performance requirements, high priority has been given to active energy management, which optimises energy consumption in all areas of the factory.