SCiBreak will be part of a new European R&D project contributing to the field implementation of DC and hybrid AC/DC grids. The HYPERRIDE (Hybrid Provision of Energy based on Reliability and Resiliency by Integration of DC Equipment) project gathers key players in Europe in this field, among manufacturers, grid operators, research centers, and academia. The overall project budget is 8 233 KEUR. HYPERRIDE will raise the TRL of the most promising enabling technologies currently available, with the main focus on MVDC breakers. SCiBreak will develop an ultrafast DC breaker at 5 kV to be deployed in an MVDC grid demonstrator in Aachen, Germany. Furthermore, together with the project partner Eaton, SCiBreak will also develop a 14 kV DC breaker, which will be evaluated under realistic conditions. The circuit breaker design will be based on SCiBreak’s voltage-source converter assisted resonant current (VARC) technology and Eaton’s proprietary vacuum mechanical interrupter solutions. With demonstrations in three locations — Aachen in Germany, Lausanne in Switzerland, and Terni in Italy — HYPERRIDE will showcase the enabling technologies within a wide range of use cases. The benefits of the solutions will be evaluated, especially the integration potential of renewables, compared to conventional AC grids. Finally, business models will be created for the products, services, and applications in HYPERRIDE. Consequently, HYPERRIDE will actively identify and provide solutions to overcome barriers for a successful roll-out of new grid infrastructure concepts throughout Europe.
Every year the weekly newspaper Ny Teknik selects the 33 most innovative and promising Swedish technology startups. This year SCiBreak made the list. Ny Teknik is the largest-circulation weekly Swedish magazine in the field of technology and engineering.
On Aug 18-20 an 80 kV modular HVDC breaker was successfully tested at the KEMA test laboratory in Arnhem, Netherlands. The test was carried out as part of the PROMOTioN project, which gathers all main HVDC players in Europe, and aims to accelerate the development of meshed offshore HVDC grids. The capability of interrupting fault currents was tested. This is needed in HVDC grids to rapidly clear faults. It was shown that the breaker is capable of interrupting fault currents of up to 15 kA against a returning voltage of 120 kV within 2 ms, and 12 kA in less than 1.5 ms. Suppression energies up to 2.5 MJ were tested.
– This was a very important step in showing the capabilities of the SCiBreak VARC circuit breaker technology. We are most grateful for the excellent collaboration with KEMA and the other partners in the PROMOTiON project says SCiBreak CTO Tomas Modeer.
One of the tests was live-streamed on Aug 19. A recording from the live stream can be seen below.
2020 is a big year for SCiBreak. We have started our first major customer project, providing grid protection for the Swedish Transport Administration, and we will also develop medium voltage DC switchgear as part of an upcoming EU research project. With our growing commitments ahead, our team needs to be expanded.
We are currently looking for a development engineer, a Swedish-speaking senior development engineer, and a summer intern. To see more, go the Careers section
SCiBreak has been selected by Trafikverket (the Swedish Transport Administration) to develop and supply equipment for the Swedish rail network. Swedish railways are seeing increasing passenger streams, resulting in a need for more traffic. The power supply system needs to be upgraded, but this often leads to excessive short-circuit currents in case of faults, which are damaging, and therefore are not allowed. SCiBreak will provide ultra-fast circuit breakers that can interrupt fault currents before damage is done.
“The technology provided by SCiBreak can enable us at Trafikverket to upgrade the railway power supply network at low cost as well as to avoid damage to equipment and distortions to rail traffic”, says Mårten Eklund, project leader at Trafikverket.
“We are proud of the confidence shown in us and our technology, by Trafikverket, and we will do our best to meet their expectations”, says Staffan Norrga, CEO of SCiBreak.
The total order sum is 38 MSEK which includes development work, delivery and commissioning of ten circuit breakers.
SCiBreak AB is a Swedish company founded in 2014 to commercialize new technology for interrupting electric current. Our unique and patented technology allows users to protect electric power systems against short-circuit faults at minimum cost. We are located in Järfälla outside Stockholm, and our roots are with the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. We have been supported by Innoenergy during our development.
A bidirectional, ultra-fast DC-breaker, such as the breaker technology offered by SCiBreak, can with great benefits be used also in AC-systems. Especially in 16.7 Hz railway applications, the ability to dramatically reduce the total fault clearance time brings a unique and valuable tool to the grid owners.
The requirements on and possibilities enabled by a fast-acting fault detection system will be investigated in the form of a EUREKA-project called LimBreak-Rail.
The project will be carried out as a collaboration together with the innovative Finnish SME Arcteq, which develops detection systems for both 50 Hz and 16.7 Hz applications. A fault detection system will, as a part of the project, be demonstrated and tested in the grid of the Swedish national railway operator, Trafikverket.
During last week, SCiBreak AB tested a DC circuit breaker module prototype at the KEMA laboratories of DNV GL, as a task within the EU-project PROMOTioN. A fault current of 10.8 kA was delivered by short circuit generators and was interrupted against a transient voltage exceeding 40 kV.
These tests verify the function of the developed technology and constitute a major milestone for SCiBreak. The fault current was interrupted, and the corresponding energy of 0.6 MJ was dissipated in surge arresters included in the module. An artificial zero-crossing was created in the vacuum interrupter by an oscillating current excited by a power electronic converter. An ultra-fast Thomson coil actuator created the necessary contact separation in less than 3.5 milliseconds after the trip order was received by the DCCB module.
The photo below shows the tested module surrounded by engineers from KEMA Laboratories and SCiBreak.
SCiBreak got some good news for Christmas, a significant milestone was reached. For the first time, a 10 kA current was interrupted against a recovery voltage of 40 kV with SCiBreak’s technology. After ramping up the ratings of the prototype during the whole year of 2017, we thus reached our initial target.
The current was successfully commutated to the energy absorption branch within 3 ms after the trip order was given to the circuit breaker. This was achieved thanks to the ultra-fast main interrupter which is operated with our Thomson-coil actuator.
In the picture below, the measured resonant current reaches the same value as the fault line current at 800 us. At that moment, the arc is extinguished and the voltage across the breaker increases to a voltage level of nearly 40 kV.
These current and voltage levels correspond to the test that will be performed at the KEMA laboratory next june. To be continued!
SCiBreak has been accepted as a partner in the PROMOTioN project, which is part of the EU-financed Horizon 2020 program. The project seeks to develop meshed HVDC offshore grids on the basis of cost-effective and reliable technological innovation. It gathers more than 30 partners among manufacturers, TSOs, consultants and academia and has a budget of more than 50 MEUR.
SCiBreak will contribute in several ways to the project.
SciBreak is moving into new facilities in Kallhäll north of Stockholm. The new facilities comprise 100 m2 in the ground floor for test setup and workshop and 100 m2 office is available on the upper floor.