ORE Catapult boosts HV testing

The Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult’s high voltage (HV) electrical laboratory has taken delivery of a 640kV resonant transformer for testing bushings, HV power cables and a range of other transmission kit.

Being set up at the National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec) with Doble Engineering, the new transformer adds to the facility's existing 1MV DC voltage supply capability, while upgrading the laboratory to handle 50Hz power frequency withstand testing as part of the type test requirement on equipment for use on systems with operational voltage levels up to 400kV.

The transformer will also be used to carry out insulation breakdown testing on HV power cables, such as partial discharge, radio interference voltage and tan delta tests.

Testing services at Narec are targeting offshore wind inter-array systems moving to ever higher operational voltages, as well as tidal and wave power, and offshore oil and gas electricity transmission systems.

"Electrical infrastructure is a key area of focus for [us]. The combined strength of this partnership will enable us to deliver a unique and much needed development platform to the market," says ORE Catapult head of HV Alex Neumann.

“With the demise of testing facilities of this nature in the UK over the past decades, it is refreshing that partnerships like this can be formed to make best use of existing infrastructure to deliver a quality-assured, efficient and future-facing business opportunity."