Swiss firm ABB has developed the world’s first circuit breaker for high voltage direct current (HVDC).
The firm says it will also improve grid reliability and enhance the capability of existing AC (alternating current) networks.
“This historical breakthrough will make it possible to build the grid of the future,” says Joe Hogan, CEO of ABB. “Overlay DC grids will be able to interconnect countries and continents, balance loads and reinforce the existing AC transmission networks.”
ABB says 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.
“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 an established HVDC grid simulation center developing solutions for future DC overlay grid operations.”