Nexans joins the Current/OS Foundation for the promotion and adoption of active DC microgrids
Grids
11 December 2023
4 min
Nexans and Current OS Foundation

Nexans is happy to announce its membership to the Current/OS Foundation, a non-profit, open and independent foundation for the promotion and adoption of active direct current (DC) microgrids.

Make the transition to DC-powered buildings a reality

Cables are a fundamental part of a building’s electrical infrastructure in the transition to DC-powered structures: Nexans is committed to design and manufacture cable systems that are compatible and optimized with future DC building infrastructures.

DC is a game-changer in tomorrow’s energy transition

Max-André Delannoy, Group Technical & Innovation VP at Nexans, explains : “we already live in a DC world: electronic devices, solar generation, battery energy storage systems, LED lighting, electric vehicles, ventilation and air-conditioning systems are all DC-powered. But all these devices are interfaced by AC/DC converters that introduce significant losses during conversion. DC is a game-changer in tomorrow’s energy transition for a more efficient, smarter electrical infrastructure. It is essential for Nexans to better understand such architecture and its deployment in buildings, to develop the most suitable cable solution. Joining Current/OS and leveraging Nexans’s expertise, we are helping to make the vision of smart, connected, sustainable DC-powered structures a reality.

Towards unified standards and codes

Several challenges need to be addressed for the adoption of DC-powered buildings to become widespread. One of the significant challenges is the uptake by industry professionals who have extensive knowledge and experience in AC power. It will take a collective effort by industry leaders, manufacturers, and regulators to educate and train professionals on DC-powered infrastructure.

In addition, building standards and codes need to be built to address specifications for DC-powered devices. This will ensure that buildings are designed and constructed with DC infrastructure in mind and that the safety and performance requirements for DC-powered devices are met.

The Foundation was set up to assure the availability of the Current/OS Set of Rules to any product manufacturer. It aims to come to a unified standard for DC microgrid control purposes. The Foundation provides its partners with an open set of rules and clear guidelines on how to manufacture products that work in a Current/OS based DC environment.

By joining the Foundation, Nexans is showing its commitment to innovate to make possible the transition to more efficient electrical systems.

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Nexans breaks ground with world’s first 525 kV cable innovation
Innovation
10 October 2023
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Nexans Calais, France

As a world’ first, Nexans successfully achieved electrical Type Test for 525 kV DC SF6 gas free cable terminations. This allows us to offer a safer and sustainable solution to connect HVDC cables and brings us closer to our goal to electrify the future.

As the importance of electricity continues to grow, the demand for High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) connections is increasing, for both offshore and onshore applications, coupled with the need for decarbonized electric grids. This requires the development of new robust power network solutions.

Sustainable power solutions in HVDC technology

Targeting products with lower CO2 equivalent emission potential, Nexans leveraged an extensive and in-depth knowledge to develop a full 525 kV HVDC cable system with SF6-free accessories including a dry-type Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIS) cable sealing end, and g3 gas filled GIS cable sealing end and an Outdoor Composite (or Air-Insulated Switchgear – AIS) cable sealing end.

The electrical type test according to international standards (CIGRE TB 852 and IEC 62895) was accomplished in Nexans’ High Voltage laboratory in Calais (France), under the certification of an independent third-party. The successful testing performed so far is an important step towards showing that SF6 free HVDC accessories is technically achievable and places Nexans at the forefront in the development of innovative and advanced technological solutions for the power grids, and in particularly at this voltage level of HVDC application.

To eliminate the use of SF6 in high voltage cable systems will be a significant contributor in our strive to reduce the environmental impact. We are proud to have achieved this important milestone to this.

Bjørn Sanden

VP Engineering and R&D for Transmission & Distribution Business Group, Nexans

Advantages of SF6-free high voltage accessories

The main benefits of using SF6 free high voltage accessories include a reduced environmental impact, lower maintenance requirements, and improved reliability. By eliminating the use of SF6 gas, cable terminations can reduce their potential greenhouse gas emission by 99% or more and will contribute to a more sustainable power grid.

This technological breakthrough signifies Nexans’ commitment to innovation and sustainability as it reinforces our position as a strong contributor into electrification.

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Nexans joins the new Aluminium Forward 2030 coalition
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Aluminium Forward 2030

The International Aluminium Institute (IAI) has today launched Aluminium Forward 2030, a coalition of IAI’s 25 production members and 20 downstream and customer companies who have committed themselves to transforming the aluminium sector. The aim is to accelerate progress toward net zero emissions while working together on a roadmap that is inclusive of all the other UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and combatting climate change have become priorities for the aluminium industry. However, the sector needs to move comprehensively toward net zero carbon in a way that addresses all other aspects of sustainability. This is why the IAI has formed the Aluminium Forward 2030 coalition, which Nexans has already endorsed.

Nexans takes steps to use as much low-carbon aluminium as possible in product manufacturing. In addition, through our recycling solutions, the Group recovers all types of end-of-life aluminium and copper cables, thus making a positive contribution to the environment. Our customers and partners can also benefit from this cable waste recovery service.

The coalition aims to protect and enhance the societal value of aluminium in all its applications. It also gives members the opportunity to be part of a learning community that will transform the future of supply chains.

In the fight against climate change, it is essential that our industries come together to share insights and best practices – the tools, technologies and approaches that are going to make a real difference. This is why Nexans has decided to join Aluminium Forward 2030. Through this coalition, we are keen to participate and collaborate with others to find out how we can continue to make progress.

Vincent Dessale
Vincent Dessale

Chief Operating Officer and Senior Executive President, Nexans

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Nexans and SuperGrid Institute perform their first transient overvoltage test on a 525kV DC cable system
Innovation
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5 min
SuperGrid Institute

Nexans and SuperGrid Institute have recently performed a successful transient overvoltage test (TOV) on a 525kV DC cable system in accordance with new High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) recommendations. The DC cable system, produced and installed by Nexans, successfully passed several sequences of damped oscillating voltage tests at both 350 Hz and 6 kHz using SuperGrid Institute’s High Voltage testing facility. This is a new milestone for the development of a resilient interconnected European grid and the integration of renewable energy.

To reach its ambitious target, Europe needs to connect a substantial amount of renewables to the grid (450 GW of offshore wind by 2050). HVDC cables will play a major role in the infrastructure necessary for renewable energy integration. Multi-terminal topologies, mixed cable overhead line systems, and hybrid AC & DC grids will progressively reinforce the single point-to-point HVDC links currently being built, increasing the reliability requirements for HVDC cable systems.

New cable testing standards to ensure system resilience against transient overvoltage events

HVDC cable systems might be subject to system-specific transient overvoltage (TOV) during disrupting events such as a fault in a converter station or a failure to ground the cable itself.

Over the past several years, work has been undertaken to list and classify the most common TOV waveforms into a new CIGRE recommendation. The main European high-voltage laboratories have designed suitable test setups to adapt to clients’ requirements and perform a wide range of TOV tests.

A first successful TOV test on a Nexans 525kV DC Cable System at SuperGrid Institute

Nexans and SuperGrid Institute have recently performed their first TOV test on a 525kV DC cable system, consisting of two external terminations, two joints, and an extruded DC cable. The DC cable system produced and installed by Nexans successfully passed several sequences of zero-crossing damped over voltage tests at both 350 Hz and 6 kHz.

The completion of this test demonstrates and confirms the robustness and high reliability of Nexans HVDC cable systems even under transient events at the highest voltage levels.

Bjorn Sanden

Technical Director and Head of High Voltage Techno Center, Nexans

The validation of new damped over voltage test circuits is an important milestone for SuperGrid Institute’s high voltage laboratory. Located in the Lyon area (France), the laboratory is now ready to support European DC cable system manufacturers in the qualification of 525kV DC cable systems through extended type test programs, as required by TSOs.

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Department Director – High voltage cable systems, SuperGrid Institute

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