Home » BB Solves 100-Year-Old Electrical Puzzle
BB Solves 100-Year-Old Electrical Puzzle
Development of a DC breaker for high-voltage transmission will help shape the grid of the future.
ABB has announced a breakthrough in the ability to interrupt direct current, solving a 100-year-old electrical engineering puzzle, and paving the way for a more efficient and reliable electricity supply system.
After years of research, ABB has developed the world's first circuit breaker for high-voltage direct current (HVDC). It combines very fast mechanics with power electronics, and will be capable of interrupting power flows equivalent to the output of a large power station within 5 milliseconds—which is 30 times faster than the blink of a human eye.
The breakthrough removes a 100-year-old barrier to the development of DC transmission grids, which will enable the efficient integration and exchange of renewable energy. DC grids will also improve grid reliability and enhance the capability of existing alternating current (AC) networks. ABB is in discussions with power utilities to identify pilot projects for the new development.
HVDC technology is needed to facilitate the long-distance transfer of power from hydropower plants, the integration of offshore wind power, the development of visionary solar projects, and the interconnection of different power networks. ABB pioneered HVDC nearly 60 years ago and, with over 70 HVDC projects, ABB accounts for around half the global installed base, representing an installed capacity of more than 60,000 megawatts (MW).
Deployment of HVDC has led to an increasing number of point-to-point connections in different parts of the world.
The logical next step is to connect the lines and optimize the network. ABB is already working on the construction of multi-terminal systems and the latest DC breaker innovation is a major step in the evolution of HVDC grids. In parallel to the new hybrid breaker development, ABB has established an HVDC grid simulation center developing solutions for future DC overlay grid operations.
"ABB has written a new chapter in the history of electrical engineering," said Joe Hogan, CEO of ABB. "This historical breakthrough will make it possible to build the grid of the future. Overlay DC grids will be able to interconnect countries and continents, balance loads and reinforce the existing AC transmission networks."
Hybrid HVDC breaker development has been a flagship research project for ABB, which invests over $1 billion annually in R&D activities.
Exele TopView Enters Strategic Partnership With Canary Labs
Exele Information Systems has entered into a partnership with Canary Labs located in Martinsburg, PA.
VTT TEchnical Research Centre of Finland Predicts Smart Lighting Boom
According to VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, the lighting systems of the future could be multi-purpose devices not dissimilar to smart phones.
Metso Wins Order from Smurfit Kappa for Metso DNA Control System
Metso has won an order from Smurfit Kappa for the supply of a Metso DNA control system and a pulp cooking process optimization solution to its Cellulose du Pin mill in Biganos, France.
Invensys Acquires SmartGlance Mobile Reporting Product
Invensys, a focused supplier of state-of-the-art industrial software, systems and control equipment to the world's major industries, has acquired the SmartGlance mobile reporting product of Sarla Analytics, LLC, a privately held company headquartered in Barrington, R.I.
ABB Names New CEO: Ulrich Spiesshofer
ABB Names Ulrich Spiesshofer CEO to Succeed Joe Hogan
Avantech Announces C-TPAT Certification
Advantech’s Industrial Automation Group has announced that Advantech has successfully been certified for C-TPAT (Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism).
Significant Increases in Earnings for Oil and Gas Engineers
A report from Rigzone indicates significant upward movement of earnings for engineers in the oil and gas industry
Weekly Roundup. Stories We Covered So You Didn't Have To
Stories from ControlGlobal and elsewhere that caught our eye this week.
Endress+Hauser Releases New Free Online Thermowell Calculator
Endress+Hauser introduces a free on-line thermowell calculation tool to help customers stay compliant with the new ASME PTC 19.3 TW-2010 thermowell standards.
Batch Manufacturing Requires State-of-the-Art Batch Management Software
ARC Advisory Group has released an ARC Insight comparing Batch Management System Software
- All news »
Access the entire print issue on-line and be notified each month via e-mail when your new issue is ready for you. Subscribe today.
- Featured White Papers