Successful Black Start Testing in Record Time

The Challenge

High Capacity Black Start Functionality Test for Large System Operator

When a technology developer took on a project to lead the substation commissioning of an HVDC to HVAC Converter Substation (50 MW), he committed to extensive testing that would ensure smooth operations. He commanded the highest level of testing and assurances from the load bank supplier and didn’t compromise on quality or safety.

Part of the substation commissioning schedule required a 400MW, 200kV HVDC transmission system undergo a black start functionality test. One of many considerations when preparing for this test was reducing the environmental impact of HVDC transmission technology options. The utility independent system operator chose an underwater DC transmission to aid in this effort.

The challenge then became finding a load bank supplier who had the ability to create a sizable electrical load for such a test. The project’s requirements also included testing their system & upgrades (50MW, 30MVARS @ 115kv.)

This developer chose ComRent because of its extensive experience with black start functionality tests, inventory of equipment for a large-scale test, superior service and best-in-class load bank testing equipment.

The Solution

High-Voltage Transformer and Load Bank Package

A project of this magnitude required a large project team to properly and safely carry out the preparation, testing and substation commissioning, specifically connecting load banks, and supporting switchgear, transformers, and circuit breakers. In conjunction with plant personnel, ComRent coordinated the mobilization, staging, and testing of all phases of the project.

With a goal of performing a black start to full load from 0, and a quick start sequence designed to increase the load gradually to 55MVA @ 0.9pf, ComRent designed a load bank testing package consisting of 10 CR922 medium voltage load banks, with each load bank capable of providing 5 MW of load.

The Impact

Successful Black Start Testing in Record Time

As the load bank supplier, ComRent delivered the specially designed load bank testing package demonstrating compliance with ISO regulations for quality and safety, and successfully relieved capacity constraint in the transmission system while providing the right solution to complete the black start functionality test. The substation commissioning test operated successfully for 24 continuous hours, reducing the client’s anticipated timeline from five days to one and bringing the total time for the entire project to only four weeks.

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