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With the joint efforts of countless Chinese power elites, China’s UHV power transmission technology and engineering construction have been at the forefront of the world. In March 2009, “High Voltage” published the article “Development and Status Quo of UHV Transmission Technology in China” signed by Chairman Shu Yinbiao of State Grid Corporation of China, and a series of micro-articles “Telling about UHV” will be launched one after another, so stay tuned.


Since the second industrial revolution, mankind has entered the “electric age”. Since then, electric energy has become the most widely used energy source and one of the cornerstones of modern civilization. Today, it can be said that wherever the power grid covers, modern civilization can go, and the importance of power transmission technology is evident. In the process of power transmission, the power loss caused by wire resistance increases with the continuous increase of the transmission energy and the continuous extension of the transmission distance, resulting in energy and economic losses. In order to improve the transmission capacity and economic performance of the line, the voltage level of the world power grid is also continuously improved. At present, ultra-long-distance and ultra-large-scale power transmission technology represented by UHV is the commanding height of global power transmission technology, and provides technical means for realizing the optimal allocation of energy resources in a wider range.


1 The world’s leading UHV in China


In fact, since the 1960s, the United States, the Soviet Union, Italy, Japan and other countries have successively carried out research on UHV transmission technology. The 427-kilometer-long 1,000-kV double-circuit line on the same tower, etc., but overall, the development of UHV abroad is still in the stage of experimental research and practical exploration, and no breakthrough has been made in commercial applications.


my country’s follow-up research on UHV technology began in the 1980s, and since the end of 2004, large-scale research and demonstration, technical research and engineering practice have been concentrated. Through the joint efforts of all parties, the development of UHV transmission technology in my country has continuously made breakthroughs. The UHV AC test demonstration project and the UHV DC demonstration project have been completed and put into operation successively, and they have continued to operate safely and stably, marking that my country’s UHV technology has matured. China has successively planned and constructed a number of national UHV lines. As of November 2017, China has built and put into operation eleven DC UHV lines and eight AC UHV lines, forming a transmission backbone network with a total length of more than 20,000 kilometers.


2 China needs UHV


The vast land and abundant resources are a description of the motherland that every Chinese is proud of. However, the rich resources and the population of nearly 1.4 billion are not evenly distributed on the land of more than 9.6 million square kilometers: the central and eastern regions have developed economies, dense populations, and manufacturing enterprises. Concentration, the power consumption is large; among the resources for power generation, coal reserves are mainly located in the northwest, such as Shanxi, Shaanxi, eastern Inner Mongolia, Ningxia and parts of Xinjiang, and hydraulic resources are mainly distributed in the western region, the middle and upper reaches of the Yangtze River, the upper reaches of the Yellow River and the southwest. The Yalong River, Jinsha River, Lancang River, Yarlung Zangbo River, etc., wind, light and other new energy sources are mostly collected in the open and inaccessible areas. The national conditions of the reverse distribution of energy resources and load centers determine that long-distance power transmission is one of the important challenges that my country’s power industry needs to face.


The transmission power of 1000 kV UHV AC transmission lines is about 4 to 5 times that of 500 kV lines; the transmission capacity of plus or minus 800 kV DC UHV transmission lines is more than twice that of plus or minus 500 kV lines. At the same time, the UHV AC line can extend the farthest power transmission distance by 3 times under the condition of transmitting the same power, and the loss is only 25% to 40% of the 500kV line. At the same time, to transmit the same power, 60% of land resources can be saved by using 1000 kV lines for power transmission compared with 500 kV lines. Coal power and wind power are transmitted from the northwest to East China and North China, with a span of more than 3,000 kilometers. The resources saved by the UHV transmission technology are undoubtedly considerable.


In March 2005, the then Vice-Premier Zeng Peiyan held a special meeting to listen to the State Grid Corporation’s UHV work report. The minutes of the meeting pointed out that the development of UHV power grids is a concrete manifestation of the implementation of the scientific concept of development in the power industry, and is a way to meet the continuous demand for electricity in my country in the future. An important guarantee for growth is an effective way to optimize my country’s energy allocation.


3UHV – the “national business card” of high-end manufacturing


Since the state agreed to start UHV work in 2005, with the support of the National Development and Reform Commission, the National Energy Administration, the Ministry of Science and Technology and other departments, the State Grid Corporation has adhered to the guidelines of “scientific demonstration, demonstration first, funding innovation, and solid advancement”. , unite domestic forces to carry out in-depth planning research, technical demonstration, equipment research and development, engineering construction and other work. More than 3,000 scientific research and engineering technicians, including more than 30 academicians, as well as 11 institutions and organizations at home and abroad have participated in UHV demonstrations, and more than 240 important thematic demonstration meetings have been held; major domestic power research and design units and Nine universities participated in UHV research and design; more than 500 construction units and more than 100,000 people participated in UHV engineering construction; more than 200 equipment manufacturers participated in equipment development and supply. (The above content is excerpted from the book “China Electricity and Energy” by Liu Zhenya in 2012)


By November 2017, 8 1000kV UHV AC projects and 11 ±800kV UHV DC projects have been completed and put into operation. The construction of “one AC and three DC” UHV projects is continuing and will use UHV AC GIL technology to cross the Yangtze River. At the same time, it is developing and constructing a higher voltage level ±1100kV UHV DC transmission technology. China has fully mastered the core UHV technology, becoming the first and only country in the world that has successfully mastered and practically applied UHV technology. This allows China’s “ultra-high pressure people” to shout with confidence that “China’s standard is the world’s standard.”


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