Power semiconductors are used in many industrial applications to control voltages and currents. Almost all process lines in the metal and paper industry feature variable speed drives. Pumps and fans equipped with drives result in energy savings of up to 50 percent. Additional applications for drives are ships and harbor cranes.
In recitifiers power semiconductors are also used for welding and metal smelting.
An example of a power semiconductors application is one of the world’s largest aluminum plant, located in Sohar in Oman. ABB has installed 5 high current rectifiers rated at 103 kilo-ampere (kA), 1650 volt (V) each which provide approximately 650 MW total power.
In summary power semiconductors are applied in
- Medium voltage drives (MVD)
- Excitation systems
- Uninterruptable power supplies (UPS)