Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

ELEC6226 Power Electronics for DC Transmission

Module Overview

The syllabus will be based upon several topics relating to the use of power semiconductors and components in power systems. The course starts with considerations of the individual power electronic devices, before moving on to their use as part of an HVDC convertor station. Finally, you will consider issues surrounding HVDC transmission links as a whole, including the relevant cable and line technologies. This will be set against the context of the changing requirements for bulk transmission of power which are affecting electrical grids around the world.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Appreciation of overhead line and underground cable technology applicable to long distance DC transmission, using both LCC and VSC technologies
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Understand the characteristics of power semiconductor devices
  • Know the limitations of different power converters and how they affect the design of transmission links
  • Design of compensating circuits for reducing harmonic distortion in current and voltage waveforms
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Search for technical data from a wide range of sources
  • Write a technical and critical document on power electronic systems
  • Coherently present technical information for in a group interview environment


The syllabus will be based upon several topics relating to the use of power semiconductors in power systems. Power semiconductor devices: - Review of devices – field effect and bipolar. - A study of high voltage and high current devices. Their input and output characteristics. - Gate drive circuits and their limitations and effects of turn-on and turn-off characteristics. - Thermal models and the cooling of devices. - Experimental circuit protection. - Series and parallel operation Six pulse power convertors - Naturally commutated three phase convertors. - Bi-directional power conversion. - Electronic synchronisation to a supply Harmonic analysis of current waveforms: - Twelve pulse power convertors - Star delta phase shift using two six-pulse convertors - Harmonic reduction of power waveforms - Study harmonics in common power convertor waveforms - Regulations for power supplies - Simulation of typical power waveforms - Investigation of power compensation circuits and their analysis HVDC Transmission Systems: - Benefits of using HVDC links - Overview of links in operation - OHL vs Cable - Paper vs Polymeric Cable technology - Requirements for multi-point transmission grids

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Combination of lectures, drop-in tutorial sessions for technical discussion and directed independent study.

Preparation for scheduled sessions10
Wider reading or practice33
Follow-up work10
Completion of assessment task67
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Rashid, M H (2014). Power electronics : circuits, devices, and applications. 

Chappell P H (2013). An introduction to power electronics. 

Acha, E, (2002). Power electronic control in electrical systems. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Continuous Assessment 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Set Task 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Set Task 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Share this module Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings