ABB’s high-voltage products help to modernize China’s oldest hydropower plant

Gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) and generator circuit-breaker (GCB) to enhance reliability and provide protection for Fengman hydropower plant.

For over half a century, Fengman hydropower plant has contributed to the economic and social development of the Jilin Province, Northeast of China. Nicknamed "Mother of China's hydropower plants", it is built in 1937 and is the longest running hydropower plant of its kind.

The water source from Heaven Lake at the top of Changbai Mountain at an elevation of 2,189 meter above sea level is captured by a the plant's catchment area of 42,500 square kilometers, equivalent to the size of Switzerland.

For the past 80 years, Fengman hydropower plant has played a key role in electricity generation, flood control, irrigation, municipal and industrial water supply, fish farming and tourism.

Heaven Lake at Changbai Mountain (Courtesy of Wikipedia commons)

To ensure that Fengman hydropower plant continues to play its role in the socio-economic development of the region, State Grid Xinyuan Company, the pumped storage subsidiary of State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) is restoring and expanding the plant to achieve a total installed capacity of 1.48 gigawatt (GW) when completed.

A new boost of life to an iconic landmark

ABB will design, supply and commission 550-kilovolt (kV) gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) type ELK-3, a compact solution with increased reliability and safety, while minimizing environmental impact. ABB's 550 kV GIS have been installed in some of the world's largest hydropower plants including Three Gorges Project China and Itaipu Binacional in Brazil-Paraguay.

In addition, ABB is supplying generator circuit-breakers (GCB) types HVR-63 and HECS-80M equipped with GMS600 monitoring system. GCB protects key equipment in power plants like generators and power transformers by clearing harmful short-circuits in tens of milliseconds to prevent severe damages.

"ABB's proven GIS and GCB technology will help to generate clean energy and enhance power transmission capacity to help the plant to continue it supply of reliable electricity in the region", said Peter Maritz, Global Product Group Manager, GIS & GCB, a part of the company's Power Grids division. "We have an extensive track-record and network in China and are pleased to deploy our leading-edge technologies to support the integration of renewables, a key element of our Next Level strategy."

Upon completion in 2018, the Fengman hydropower plant will make an even greater contribution to the economic and social development in Northeast China.

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