ABB is pioneering a power grid revolution

ABB has announced a breakthrough in DC transmission with the development of the world's first circuit breaker for high-voltage direct current (HVDC), paving the way for a more efficient and reliable electricity grid
 DC grids will improve reliability and lower costs per M..

By combining ultra fast mechanics with state-of-the-art power electronics, the innovative ABB has pioneered a circuit breaker capable of ‘interrupting’ power flows at the same level as that of a power station within 5milliseconds – thirty times faster than the blink of an eye.

With this development, ABB has solved an electrical engineering conundrum which has stumped scientists for over a century, and will enable the efficient integration and exchange of renewable energy in the future.

The integration of these superior DC grids will not only improve reliability, lower costs per megawatt and facilitate the long distance transfer of alternative power from hydropower plants, offshore wind farms and innovative solar projects; they will also enhance the capability of existing AC (alternating current) networks.  

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CEO of ABB, Joe Hogan commented:

“ABB has written a new chapter in the history of electrical engineering. 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.”

Swiss-based ABB is the leading power and automation technology group, investing over $1 billion annually in R&D and first began exploring HVDC over 50 years ago. ABB’s previous experience of working with power semiconductors, converters and high voltage cables – all key components of HVDC systems – offered a unique advantage in its latest creation.

Operating in almost 100 countries, the company is now in discussions with some of the world’s leading power utility providers to seek potential pilot projects for its latest development.

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