Review of technologies for DC grids - power conversion, flow control and protection

Grain Philip Adam, Till Kristain Vrana, Rui Li, Peng Li, Graeme Burt, Stephen Finney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)
55 Downloads (Pure)


Abstract: This article reviews dc transmission technologies for future power grids. The article emphasizes the attributes that each technology offers in terms of enhance controllability and stability, resiliency to ac and dc faults, and encourage increased exploitations of renewable energy resources (RERs) for electricity generation. Discussions of ac/dc and dc/dc converters reveal that the self-commutated dc transmission technologies are critical for better utilization of large RERs which tend to be dispersed over wide geographical areas, and offer needed controllability for operation of centralized and decentralized power grids. It is concluded that the series power flow controllers have potential to restrict the expensive isolated dc/dc converters to few applications, in which the prevention of dc fault propagation is paramount. Cheaper non-isolated dc/dc converters offer dc voltage tapping and matching and power regulation but they are unable to prevent pole-shifting during pole-to-ground dc fault. To date hybrid dc circuit breakers target dc fault isolation times ranging from 3ms to 5ms; while the resonance-based dc circuit breakers with forced current zeros target dc fault clearance times from 8ms to 12.5ms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1851-1867
Number of pages17
JournalIET Power Electronics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jul 2019


  • dc transmission technologies
  • power grids
  • renewable energy resources
  • RERs
  • dc fault propagation


Dive into the research topics of 'Review of technologies for DC grids - power conversion, flow control and protection'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this