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MACH control and protection system

The control system is the brain in HVDC transmission systems. One of the most important advantages with modern HVDC technology is the controllability.

The MACH control system provides unequalled calculation capacity and enables a high degree of integration and handling for all control and protection functions. Moreover, MACH control provides advanced fault registration and remote control functions. The system is designed to run 24/7 for thirty years or more, allowing the HVDC system to be controlled and protected in the most reliable way throughout its life time.

To fulfill current and future requirements ABB has developed the MACH system as a fully computerized one, using state-of-the-art computers, microcontrollers and digital signal processors connected by high-performance industrial standard buses and fiber optic communication links. Because of the extensive use of computers and micro-controllers, it has been possible to include very powerful internal supervision, which eliminates periodic maintenance of the control equipment.

The system consists of the station control and monitoring servers, operator workstations, control and protection main computers, digital signal processor units, I/O systems and valve control units. Thanks to the modularity and high performance of the MACH equipment, the type of hardware and system software used for a VSC-HVDC  control system are the same as in an LCC-HVDC or a FACTS control system. In fact, only the application software and the valve control differs.

The ability to upgrade is yet another advantage with MACH. That means even an older HVDC system can enjoy the benefits of great controllability. This is a great way to prolong the lifetime of an existing transmission link with rapid project completion and minimal transmission disruption.

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