An advanced thyristor valve for HVDC transmission
The development of an advanced outdoor valve requires coordinated research in the areas of light-triggered self-protecting thyristors, light triggering systems, insulation, cooling and mechanical design aspects. This thesis addresses the first two areas primarily, with a conceptual discussion of the remainder. Using the experience gained from evaluation of a prototype thyristor and computer IKdelling of turn-on behaviour, a light-triggered thyristor with immunity to damage from weak optical triggering and dv/dt triggering was designed, manufactured and evaluated. The optical turn-on process was investigated by measuring currents and voltages in the gate structure during turn-on, and this yielded insights not obtained through conventional measurement techniques. The mechanism by which the thyristor was immune to weak triggering damage is explained, and techniques for optimising the design of the gate structure are proposed. The most significant achievement, however, was the first demonstration of the feasibility of self-protection against forward recovery failure onditions. Furthermore, this was achieved without the need for complex structures or high levels of irradiation. The perfomance of the devices was limited by the inrush capability of the Zones, but it is believed that this can be improved by conventional means. A light triggering system was developed using sem~conductor lasers, and this incorporated several improvements over prior art In terms of optical performance and flexibility.