ABB enables world’s highest UHVDC link in China

ABB enables world’s highest UHVDC link in China

Advanced power technologies facilitate ultra-high voltage converter station at altitude of 2,350 meters above sea level, the highest in the world

Rich in hydro resources, Southwest China is embarking on large grid development projects to send clean power to the country’s load centers in the South. The 800 kilovolt (kV) Dianxibei-Guangdong ultra-high-voltage direct current (UHVDC) transmission link, operated by one of China’s two major grid operators, China Southern Power Grid Company Limited, went into full operation in May. The link will transmit clean hydro power to Shenzhen, which is located in China’s Pearl River Delta region, one of the most densely urbanized regions in the world.

ABB has provided dead-tank breakers, live-tank breakers, DC capacitors, transformer bushings and valve components deployed at the Xinsong converter station in Yunnan province and the Dongfang station in Guangdong province. The Xinsong station is located in northwestern Yunnan, which sits at an altitude of 2,350 meters, the highest UHVDC station in the world.

The Xinsong station is also in an earthquake-prone area. As a result, the valve hall’s overall layout and equipment were specifically designed to meet the demanding electrical and mechanical needs of such a harsh environment.

When operational, the Dianxibei-Guangdong project will be able to transmit up to 5,000 megawatts (MW) of power over a distance of more than 1,950 kilometers. It will help the Pearl River Delta region reduce coal consumption by six million tons, and carbon dioxide emissions by 16 million tons annually, which is equivalent to planting 16 million hectares of trees.

“We are pleased that our advanced power technologies will help southern China to increase the use of clean energy and lower environmental impact,” said Patrick Fragman, head of ABB’s Power Integration Business Unit, part of the Power Grids division. “Our innovative UHVDC technologies will help expansive countries like China to reliably and efficiently transport increasing amounts of clean, renewable power over greater distances.”

UHVDC transmission 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. ABB is contributing to a number of UHVDC links across China and, in keeping with its pioneering heritage, has successfully developed and tested technology for the highest 1,100 UHVDC voltage level in the world.

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