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Testing is a science in itself

TenneT’s Substation Replacement/Bay Replacement Programme is faced with the enormous challenge of renewing almost 150 high voltage substations within 10 years. These substations are approaching the end of their service life and must be adapted to meet the needs of our modern times.

This challenge can only be met by standardising and digitalising these substations. Strukton and Croonwolter&dros will initially adapt six substations, so that we, as market parties, can jointly learn from the conversion. Both contractors have come up with a modular concept. The concept is designed to make the conversion safer, simpler and faster.


The conversion also involves implementing the automation facilities. A digital fibre optic cable network will be installed in the high voltage substations to enable the various systems to communicate together. This replaces the old way of communicating between equipment using copper cables. The new systems allow components to be monitored more extensively, which makes it possible to better plan maintenance on the basis of this data. This prevents malfunction and provides for an enhanced security of supply. 

Trial Installation 

To test this new concept, Strukton has created a trial installation. This trial installation can be used to simulate various situations, so that all equipment parameters can be tested. It also allows the new concept to be checked in the factory to determine that it works in various situations as specified in the design.

The test cabinets contain all of the equipment that will be installed in the actual substations. This makes it possible to simulate the real situation. A computer is used to measure currents and voltages and to control a number of signals. A room adjacent to the test installation is used to observe exactly what is happening and to discuss improvements. Where necessary, the systems can be improved on the basis of the test results before they are actually installed in the high voltage substations