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Back You are here: Home Low-Carbon Smart Grid Guest Post: ABB confirms ‘supergrids’ breakthrough

Smart Grid

Guest Post: ABB confirms ‘supergrids’ breakthrough

A major breakthrough in power transmission technology has come just last week, from the Swiss engineering conglomerate, ABB that will allow for wider use and exploitation of renewables in the energy sector. The main obstacle for projects involving offshore wind farms, hydroelectric plants and desert-based solar schemes has been the lack of a heavy-duty circuit breaker capable of handling the high voltage levels normally required for DC transmission over long distances. Read the full article here.

Joe Hogan, chief executive of ABB, said “the development of its circuit breakers would finally allow for long-distance DC output to be easily integrated into existing local and national power grids, which are based on the more robust alternating current (AC) system. 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.”

Brice Koch, head of power systems at ABB, said that solving the puzzle was equivalent to “bringing a speeding 40-tonne truck to a halt within five milliseconds”. Many of Europe’s offshore wind farms already transmit energy to shore using high voltage direct current (HVDC), but problems arise when HVDC has to be integrated into local AC grids. Mr Cowdroy, head of grid services at WSP Future Energy, said that the development of heavy-duty breakers was “a key component in getting towards a supergrid”.

Read the full article here

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