ABB-powered battery enters Guinness Book of World Records

Energy storage system in Alaska is world’s most powerful battery

Zurich, Switzerland, April 29, 2005 - A massive multi-celled battery system developed by ABB and battery maker Saft has powered its way to a certified Guinness world record as the world's most powerful battery.

ABB's BESS (battery energy storage system), which occupies an area larger than a soccer field, is composed of 13,760 nickel-cadmium energy cells in four strings.

The BESS was built for Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA), an energy cooperative serving the area around Fairbanks, Alaska. Energized in 2003, it gives GVEA power network continuous voltage support during normal operations as well as access to instantaneous emergency power.

That's important in an area where temperatures dip to -50 C and water pipes can freeze in two hours. In an emergency, the BESS can deliver 27 megawatts of power for 15 minutes - enough to power 10,000 households - and up to 46 megawatts for shorter periods.

ABB designed the power conversion system, metering, protection and control devices, and service equipment. The Ni-Cd cells were made from primary and recycled cadmium by the leading industrial battery maker, Saft.

The system provides instant, reliable power until a back-up generator can come online, eliminating the need for idling generation. The cells are safe, reliable and recyclable at the end of the system's 20-year life.

Platts' Global Energy Awards recognized ABB with the 2003 Engineering Project of the Year for its work on the BESS project.

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 102,000 people.

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