Imagine a power generation laboratory housing a generator equivalent to a 40 kilometre-long line of AA batteries connected in series. Well, now it’s here – and was formally opened by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon on 2 September.
The new SINTEF Energy Lab in Trondheim, Norway represents the next generation of energy laboratories, and will be instrumental in the development of an efficient future power generation system.
It will be in the forefront of addressing many of the energy challenges currently facing Norway, including development not only of tomorrow’s electrical power grid technologies, but also the know-how and systems needed to reap the benefits of offshore wind-power and supply electricity to deep-water subsea oil and gas installations.
Imagine a mobile phone 450 metres high!
The laboratory also provides new opportunities for the development and testing of high-voltage grid components with high reliability requirements.
The high-voltage laboratory is the biggest and most spectacular of the facilities assembled under one roof at the new SINTEF Energy Lab.
At home we use 230 volts to charge our mobile phones. The new laboratory is equipped with an alternating current generator that can supply 800,000 volts – 3,500 times greater. This would be equivalent to a mobile phone about 450 metres high.
A bolt from the blue
The lab also houses a so-called transient voltage battery that researchers will use to generate pulses of up to 2.4 million volts. They will literally be generating lightning bolts from the blue.
The high-voltage lab is also equipped with a direct current generator that can supply 1.2 million volts. Think of this in terms of a 40 kilometre-long line of 800,000 AA batteries connected in series.
SINTEF Energy Research has invested NOK 165 million in the new laboratory. It is located next to Statnett’s electrical substation at Blaklia in Trondheim, which is a vital hub in the electrical power supply infrastructure in Mid-Norway. Research work at the laboratories will be carried out in close collaboration with NTNU.