Speakers at Invited Lecture

Dr. René Peter Paul Smeets
Affiliation: KEMA Laboratories of DNV GL, the Netherlands
Title: HVDC circuit breaker technology
Abstract: After explaining the need for HVDC fault interruption, an overview will be given of past and actual projects in the world where HVDC circuit breakers are (going to be) installed. A generic description will be given of the interruption process in DC, from low voltage to extra high voltage and this will be compared with AC current interruption. Fault current development, local current zero creation, commutation, counter voltage build-up, energy dissipation and DC withstand are indentified as the relevant steps in DC fault interruption. Each of the steps will be analyzed from technological, fundamental point of view, highlighting the importance of the intimate breaker-circuit interaction which is very different compared to AC interruption.
In the technology part, details will be explained of the technology that is used/under study of HVDC fault current interruption. Passive resonance, active current injection and hybrid technologies will be highlighed, along with some very recent technologies employing current limitation and active resonance. Examples of each technology will be highlighted, together with the actual status in the application and/or laboratory.
Based on recent, unpublished experimental results, stresses on major components (vacuum interrupter, metal oxide sure arrester) will be quantified and analyzed, helping to understand the application of vacuum interrupters in HVDC circuit breakers.
Finally, standardization status and testing of HVDC circuit breakers will be highlighted. Test methods are in development, and realized with a number of HVDC breaker prototypes. It is demonstrated that with low-frequency short-circuit AC generators all relevant stresses during the DC interruption can be replicated.
Biography: Dr. René Peter Paul Smeets received a Ph.D degree for research work on switchgear in 1987. Until 1995, he was an assistant professor at Eindhoven University. During 1991 he worked with Toshiba Corporation in Japan. In 1995, he joined KEMA, the Netherlands. At present, he is with KEMA Laboratories of DNV GL, as a service area and innovation leader. In 2001 he was appointed part-time professor at Eindhoven University, the Netherlands in the field of high-power switching and testing technology.
In 2013 he became adjunct professor at Xi’an Jiaotong University, China. Dr. Smeets is convener/member of working groups of CIGRE in the field of emerging high-voltage equipment such as high-voltage vacuum -, HVDC switchgear and SF6 alternatives. He was convener of CIGRE A3.27 (high-voltage vacuum switchgear), was secretary of CIGRE WG A3B4.34 (HVDC switchgear) and at present he is convener of CIGRE WG A3.41 (impact of SF6 alternatives on switching) as well as member of B4A3.80 on HVDC circuit breakers.
As a workpackage leader in the EU Horizons 2020 project PROMOTioN (“Progress on meshed HVDC offshore transmission networks”) he is responsible for testing of various technologies of HVDC circuit breakers.
He is convener of two maintenance teams in IEC on high-voltage switchgear, and member of the Perm. Int. Sci. Comm. of ISDEIV and ICEPE.
Dr. Smeets published and edited three books and authored over 300 international papers on testing and switching in power systems; in addition he conducted many tutorials and workshops all over the world.
In 2008 he was elected Fellow of IEEE and since 2008 he is chairman of the “Current Zero Club”, a scientific research group on current interruption. He received seven international awards.

Prof. Masayuki Hikita
Affiliation: Kyushu Institute of Technology, Japan
Title: Recent Insulation and diagnostic technology in power apparatus and power electronics
Biography: Prof. Masayuki Hikita received the B.S., M.S. and Dr. degrees in electrical engineering from Nagoya University, Japan, in 1977, 1979, and 1982, respectively. He was an Assistant Professor, a Lecturer and an Associate Professor at Nagoya University in 1982, 1989, and 1992, respectively. Since 1996, he was a professor of the Department of Electrical Engineering of Kyushu Institute of Technology (Kyutech), and since 2019 he is Professor Emeritus and Research Fellow of Kyutech. He was a Visiting Scientist at the High Voltage Laboratory in Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, from 1985 to 1987. He received Doctor Honoris Causa from Paul Sabatie University, France in 2018. He has recently been interested in research on development of insulation and diagnostic technology of electric power apparatus, and power electronics apparatus such as inverter fed motors as well as semiconductor power module. He is a member of the IEEE (Senior member), the IEE of Japan and CIGRE.