Site Selection for Hvdc Ground Electrodes

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Paulo Fonseca Freire, PAIOL Engenharia, Paulinia, Brazil and Sueli Yoshinaga Pereira, UNICAMP State University of Campinas, IG - Instituto de Geologia, Campinas, Brazil
High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmission systems are composed of a bipole transmission line with a converter substation at each end. Each substation may be equipped with a HVDC ground electrode, which is a wide area (up to 1 km Ø) and deep (from 3 to 100m) electrical grounding. When in normal operation, the ground electrode will dissipate in the soil the unbalance of the bipole (~1.5% of the rated current). When in monopolar operation with ground return, the HVDC electrode will inject in the soil the nominal pole continuous current, of about 2000 to 3000 Amperes, continuously for a period up to a few hours.

HVDC ground electrodes site selection is a work based on extensive geophysical and geological surveys, in order to attend the desired design requirements established for the electrodes, considering both its operational conditions (maximum soil temperature, working life, local soil voltage gradients etc.) and the interference effects on the installations located up to 50 km away.

This poster presents the geophysical investigations conducted primarily for the electrodes site selection, and subsequently for the development of the crust resistivity model, which will be used for the interference studies.

A preliminary site selection is conducted, based on general geographical and geological criteria. Subsequently, the geology of each chosen area is surveyed in detail, by means of electromagnetic/electrical geophysical techniques, such as magnetotelluric (deep), TDEM (near-surface) and electroresistivity (shallow). Other complementary geologic and geotechnical surveys are conducted, such as wells drilling (for geotechnical characterization, measurement of the water table depth and water flow, and electromagnetic profiling), and soil and water sampling (for measurement of thermal parameters and evaluation of electrosmosis risk).

The site evaluation is a dynamic process along the surveys, and some sites will be discarded. For the two or three final sites, the inversion of the combined deep, near-surface and shallow apparent resistivity curves, results in the layered crust resistivity models. These models will allow for the preliminary interference studies, that will result on the selection of the final electrode site (one for each converter substation).