Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

LSIS builds SVC to stabilise South Korean power generation

Steve Rogerson
September 22, 2015
South Korean energy company LSIS has developed a static VAR compensator (SVC) and is set to apply it to actual power systems for the first time in South Korea. The SVC is designed to complement the reactive power generated during power transmission and distribution in order to stabilise power systems.
LSIS completed the construction of the 100MVar SVC at the 154kV substation of the LS-Nikko Copper refinement factory in Onsan.
The SVC is designed to complement the reactive power generated during power transmission and distribution so as to boost power transmission stability. As such, it is the core component of the flexible AC transmission system (Facts), which is designed to supply power stably not only to electric power companies and steel makers, but also to wind power, solar power and other types of new energy sources subject to abrupt changes in power generation. It is also designed to complement AC system power loss by adopting power transformation technology such as thyristors.
LSIS is a domestic leader in high-voltage DC (HVDC) technology, which is also designed to reduce power transmission loss. The company developed its SVC using thyristor valve technology, the key component of HVDC.
South Korea’s power systems involve the generation of electricity at large-scale power plants and its supply to the Seoul metropolitan region and other large cities. As such, a significant amount of power is lost in the process of transmitting power, while an increasing number of power plants and pylons need to be constructed to respond to the ever-increasing demand for power, which is unfeasible in this age of environmental protection and strict regulation.
As such, there is a growing global trend towards the adoption of Facts to use existing power networks and stabilise power systems. Thus the global Facts market is rapidly growing and is forecast to exceed US$5bn by 2022.
Although the South Korean Facts market sees yearly projects worth KRW30bn being conducted through Kepco and steel makers, the SVC market has thus far been dominated by overseas companies such as ABB in Sweden and Temic in Japan.
In particular, the steelmaking industry uses huge amounts of electricity in the casting process due to the use of electrical furnaces, which probably disrupt the country’s power systems. Steel factories are thus legally obliged to install Facts, in which case they prefer to use SVCs due to their greater reliability and price competitiveness.
LSIS, under its copper refinement partnership with LS-Nikko Copper, has successfully launched the SVC facility. It is set to provide SVCs to the substations of refinement factories, including Kepco and steel manufacturers, where a significant amount of electricity is used.
“By successfully developing and commercialising this SVC technology, the key component of Facts, we have secured a full line-up of power and electronics-based transmission solutions, together with our existing HVDC technology,” said Lee Jeong-cheol, head of LSIS’s power infrastructure division. “Thanks to our development of SVCs, we expect to replace the country’s importation of SVCs in the short term, while aiming to advance into the global Facts market in the long term.”
• LSIS is reported to be considering using Indonesia as a smart-grid hub for south-east Asia as well as rolling out microgrids in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.