for sustainability

Best Paths project goes international and lands in Africa

17 July 2017 - The Best Paths project overcomes European borders and recently ‘landed’ in Africa, where partners from Cardiff University showcased its results at the Nigeria Energy Forum 2017 from 4 to 6 July 2017 in Lagos, Nigeria. The event focussed on the use of sustainable energy technologies to power economic development and bridge the wide gap between energy demand and supply. The Forum had representation of the Acting President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria – His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, and the Minister of Power – Mr. Babatunde Fashola, both represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Power – Mr. Louis Edozien.


Grid integration of offshore wind farms


Best Paths partners presented the first of the five large-scale demonstrations of the EU-funded research project to over 150 participants at the Forum’s Innovation Exhibition. One of the key results is the development of an open-access simulation toolbox and a laboratory-scale demonstrator for the integration of offshore wind farms using Multi-Terminal High Voltage Direct Current grids.


The toolbox contributes to a better understanding of the complex interactions and related risks occurring where large offshore wind farms are connected with high voltage direct current links.


Postdoctoral Research Associates at Cardiff University had an active participation in the event. Dr Oluwole Daniel ADEUYI held a keynote speech and chaired the Forum, while Dr Sheng WANG presented a poster on the simulation toolbox and delivered a live interactive demonstration for interested participants to learn potential applications of the toolbox.


They also made a series of recommendations to professionals in the public and private sector, including the need to provide collaborative international research and training opportunities on the integration of renewable technologies into power systems and energy networks.


HVAC vs HVDC in Best Paths


In 2016 the installed wind capacity in Europe was 154 GW, of which 12.6 GW is located offshore across 10 different countries. While High Voltage Alternate Current (HVAC) technology is mature and suitable for subsea electricity transmission, High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) has better control capabilities, lower power losses and occupies less space compared with HVAC.


In addition, HVDC can interconnect power systems operating at different frequencies and phase angles. At transmission distances typically beyond 100 km and at transmission voltages typically above 220 kV, HVAC is not practical due to the capacitance and hence charging current of the subsea cables.


Setting off from this basis, Best Paths intends to:

  • Investigate the electrical interactions between the HVDC link converters and the wind turbine converters in offshore wind farms
  • De-risk the use of Multi-Terminal High Voltage Direct Current technologies to integrate offshore wind farms to onshore grids
  • Demonstrate the results in a laboratory environment using scaled models
  • Use the validated models to simulate a real grid with Offshore Wind Farms connected in HVDC.


See the presentation on Open-Access Simulation Toolbox for Wind Power Transmission through HVDC Links at the Nigeria Energy Forum 2017