ABB designs higher capacity HVDC transmission lines

ABB’s HVDC Light technology enables the transmission of large amounts of electricity over longer distances, underground, underwater and on overhead lines

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ABB announced the latest development in high voltage direct current (HVDC) Light, making it possible to reliably transmit large amounts of electricity over ever greater distances, economically and efficiently. ABB’s Power Grids division is the partner of choice for utilities around the world as they build or upgrade their power infrastructure.

The next level of ABB’s HVDC Light will enable more than doubling the power capacity to 3,000 MW. System design enhancements will bring a step change in compactness, with a potential to deliver 350 percent more power per square meter of space used—a big benefit in applications like offshore wind or interconnections, in terms of converter station footprint be it on offshore platforms or onshore installations.

ABB’s latest advances, doubling power and distance capability, were made possible with the development of semiconductor-based power electronic devices that provide greater control and make smaller HVDC systems economical.

ABB’s HVDC Light technology enables the transmission of large amounts of electricity over longer distances, underground, underwater and on overhead lines. Due to its versatility, it is a solution for applications with space limitations. It enabled interconnections between countries to support the integration and balancing of renewables while facilitating electricity trading. It has also been deployed to integrate offshore wind energy and bring the power to shore, via converter stations positioned on offshore platforms.

The last two decades have seen significant advances in this technology. Power capacity has gone up nearly 30 times from 50 to 1400 MW – enough electricity to power several million households. Voltage levels have gone up from 80 to 525 kV, and distance capability from 70 to over 1,000 kilometers (km). At the same time transmission losses have been brought down to less than 1 percent.

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