An interconnector is a component that enables the flow of electricity between the grids. These are the cables responsible for the transmission of electricity flow from one country to another. It allows electricity to flow between the alternating current networks and connect coexisting links. They can be made of either underground power cables, submarine power cables, or overhead power lines. These allow electricity trading between various territories. For example, such trading occurs by the East-West connector that permits electricity trading between Ireland and the United Kingdom. Hence, such a territory capable of generating more electricity than its requirement can sell the extra energy to its surrounding territory. The option of cross-border electricity is much more economical in terms of its cost to decarbonize the energy supplies and reduce local generation requirements. Moreover, it allows the transmission of energy anywhere it is required to ensure economic friendliness.
The primary purpose of the interconnectors is to increase the security of the supply of energy and manage peak demand. It enables access in the cross-borders to the consumers and the electricity producers and increases the competition in the relevant markets. It also helps reduce the utilization of carbon dioxide emissions and fossil fuel power plants as it helps in the integration of more energy generated via renewable sources. They can help adapt to the changes in demand patterns, such as the uptake of electric vehicles. The interconnectors can be connected to two different areas separated by water or run across the land border. As of 2016, the longest interconnection reported was the undersea NorNed (between Netherlands and Norway) link. It spans up to 600 kilometers and delivers approximately 700 MW of direct high-voltage current power.
The benefits of interconnectors include:
There are many kinds of electronic connector analysis during the manufacturing and technical stage of the connector, but the manufacturing process is the same. The manufacturing of connectors can usually be divided into four stages: stamping, plating, injection molding, and assembly.
We can classify interconnectors into two types;
Two alternating current systems are interconnected via a link. To interconnect the AC system, it must be close to both systems. For the system of 50 Hz, the frequency should be in between the range of 48 Hz and 51.5 Hz. This interconnection is known as a synchronous tie or synchronous interconnection. As for interconnecting two AC systems, the AC link is responsible for providing a connection between the two.
The DC tie, also known as the DC interconnection, provides loose coupling between both the AC systems that are to be connected, and this tie between both the AC systems is Asynchronous. The DC interconnection has various benefits. Due to the interconnection being asynchronous, the system that is required to interconnect can have either a different or the same frequency. The DC interconnection provides the benefit of interconnecting the two networks of alternating current at different frequencies. It helps to maintain the standard of frequency and the system’s operation independently.
In addition, HVDC links are more reliable and faster in controlling the magnitude and the direction of the power flow as it holds the firing angles of converters. The limit of transient stability increases as the power flow is controlled rapidly. The system’s overall stability can increase as the power swings in the interconnected AC networks can be damped through the rapid modulation of power flow via the DC tie (Electrical Grid, 2021).
Interconnectors provide transmission capacity for electricity to flow between two distinct grids, with power moving to the market where prices are greater. Interconnector operators primarily profit from capacity auctions, with revenues determined by the magnitude of the price differential between the two markets.
The interconnection between the electrical grids ensures the maximum usage of the power resources, ensuring efficient security for the supply. As a result, the whole system becomes more reliable and economical. The stations generated are connected in each area to reduce the reserve generation capacity. The zone can borrow energy from neighboring interconnected territories if the load increases or loses generation. It is worth mentioning that for the interconnections of the network, a specific amount of generating capacity is required, known as the spinning reserve. It consists of a generator that runs at a nominal speed and is immediately ready for power supply.
The top 10 connector manufacturers are:
BD Electronics Ltd. provides efficient services to their customers when they require the best quality electrical components. In addition to all the other electromechanical components, interconnectors are available and can be supplied to the customer. They ensure that the customer will receive the best quality electromechanical component and components; and will be delivered to them as quickly as possible. They supply all of these components to different manufacturers globally.
Electrical Grid. (2021). Retrieved from Circuit globe: https://circuitglobe.com/electrical-grid.html
NMPP. (2017). CONNECTING THE GRID: DC TIES SERVE CRITICAL ROLE. Retrieved from https://www.nmppenergy.org/feature/dc_ties