GE UWave Technology Provides Compact Solution for Hydroelectric Production within the City of Ottawa

GE

November 16, 2017

Small things can make a huge impact. When it comes to GE Power’s solutions, a small converter can sometimes help power a considerable part of a city. Successfully commissioned in July at the hydroelectric project on the Ottawa River, GE’s MV7-5L Series Ultimate Waveform (UWave) high-power converter is now helping enable clean hydropower to power residents’ homes.

Working together with its long-term partner Andritz Hydro, one of the global leader in low head hydro projects, GE’s Power Conversion business has supplied four units of the new MV7-5L UWave converters, helping Andritz Hydro’s double regulated ECO Bulb turbines to connect to the grid. In parallel, Andritz Hydro also supplied a complete water-to-wire equipment package featuring four, 8.5-megawatt (MW) ECO Bulb turbines including permanent magnet generators.

“We’re excited to be partnering again with GE to meet the interconnection requirements for a metropolitan project of this nature where solutions with smaller footprint coupled with high reliability and robustness are key to the project’s success. GE’s MV7-5L UWave technology helps us to efficiently connect to the grid while respecting the constraints of operating in the urban environment,” said Maxime Mailloux, project engineer, Andritz Hydro.

Commenting on the project, Azeez Mohammed, president & CEO, GE’s Power Conversion business, said: “GE is continually innovating to bring solutions that can help the industry move forward. Our new UWave converter technology that offers improved grid integration and power quality while being more compact than its predecessor is one such example. We’re proud to be partnering with Andritz Hydro and are convinced that our solutions will add value to the customer.”

The four new MV7-5L Ultimate Waveform high-power converters are used as static var compensators , helping Andritz Hydro’s turbine to connect to the grid and providing reactive power control up to 10 MVAr (mega volt ampere reactive) under 3 kilovolts.

Thanks to its innovative multilevel topology, GE’s MV7-5L converters are delivering higher power quality with less total harmonic distortion (THD), enabling friendly grid integration. By improving the voltage waveform, the size of the filter is reduced, which enables MV7-5L to minimize the grid disturbances. Reducing the filter size also reduces the overall losses of the system, especially in no-load conditions. Therefore, the system proposed is more stable and robust.

The lower THD is also key to one of the most important features of the MV7-5L UWave converter: its smaller footprint. Located at the heart of the city, the 29-MW hydroelectric project is constrained by the amount of civil work carried out around it, thus requiring a compact solution to minimize the project’s footprint. Lower THD allows use of a simpler filter, which in-turn reduces its footprint. For this project, the MV7-5L converter’s footprint would be 15 percent smaller than other conventional solutions.

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