Ultra-high-voltage transformers to help deliver clean hydropower

16th January 2017
Posted By : Anna Flockett
Ultra-high-voltage transformers to help deliver clean hydropower

An order worth around $75m has been won by ABB, to supply advanced converter transformers for the Belo Monte 800kV ultra-high-voltage direct current (UHVDC) transmission link. The 2,518km link will transmit clean power generated in the north of Brazil, from the Xingu substation, to the Rio Substation in the southeast. 

It will be capable of transporting up to 4,000MW of electricity – enough to meet the needs of around ten million people. The order was booked in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Claudio Facchin, President of ABB’s Power Grids division, said: “Ultra-high voltage technologies are a key focus area of our Next Level strategy, and our advanced converter transformers are making it possible to integrate renewable energy sources and transmit clean power across long distances with minimum losses, reliably and efficiently.”

Facchin added: “We have a long and successful track record in Brazil and remain committed to continue supporting the country’s power infrastructure development.”

ABB supplies for the Belo Monte UHVDC link include fourteen 400MVA, 400kV converter transformers and other related equipment. Converter transformers are among the most vital components in a transmission system, enabling grid stability and power reliability, while minimising losses.

UHVDC is an advancement of HVDC; a technology pioneered by ABB over 60 years ago, and represents the biggest capacity and efficiency leap in over two decades. In keeping with its pioneering heritage, ABB was also the first to successfully develop and test 1,100kV converter transformer technology setting the record for the highest DC voltage levels ever and making it possible to increase the power transmission capacity of UHVDC links to the unprecedented level of 12000MW.

Transformers are integral components of an electrical grid enabling the efficient and safe conversion of electricity to different voltages. ABB’s world leading transformers are designed for reliability, durability and efficiency with a portfolio that includes power transformers rated up to 1,200kV, dry- and liquid-distribution transformers, traction and special application transformers and related components.

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