Germany

Germany

Siemens switchgear aims to shrink offshore platforms

GERMANY: Siemens has revealed its first compact gas-insulated switchgear for high-voltage direct-current applications, which it claims could reduce the size of offshore wind converter platforms by 10%.

Siemens has installed a number of platforms in the North Sea, including HelWin2
Siemens has installed a number of platforms in the North Sea, including HelWin2

The German manufacturer said the new 320kV switchgear uses up to 95% less space compared to previous air-insulated units, helping to reduce the overall size of offshore platforms.

Direct-current switchgear is made up of electrical disconnect switches used to control, protect and isolate electrical equipment. Currently this is insulated using air, but its low insulating capacity means there must be a large space between components.

Siemens current air-insulated switchgear used for offshore platforms requires around 4,000 cubic metres to house it. When insulated with a higher insulating-capacity gas, only 200 cubic metres are required.

Siemens said it believes that this new technology will reduce the cost of converter platforms and therefore help to bring down the cost of offshore wind energy.

The company also claimed that the module-based design makes the equipment flexible and simple to set up, and enables the use of cost-efficient shipping and transportation methods.

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