ABB cables connect the world’s power systems


Source: ABB

The orders are from an impressive cross-section of utilities, grid operators and large industrial energy consumers. They want stable grids, an efficient and reliable way to trade energy, and the ability to deliver electric power in an environmentally friendly and cost effective way, from the mainland to consumers at sea, or from the sea to consumers on the mainland.

Some current projects using ABB high-voltage cable include:

  • a 580-km long high-voltage direct current (HVDC) submarine cable NorNed linking power networks in Norway and the Netherlands enabling both countries to trade energy strengthen each others power grids passed operational testing on June 27, and will be officially innaugurated on Sept. 11;
  • a 2,000-km long ultra high-voltage direct current transmission line Slinking Shanghai with the Xiangjiaba hydropower plant in western China, with a 6,400 megawatt power capacity that is double the most powerful rating in operation today;
  • a 260-km long HVDC submarine and underground cable that will link the Dutch and U.K. power grids and enabling energy trades that strengthen each grid;
  • a 58-km HVDC power link that will connect Denmark’s western and eastern power grids and create the country’s first ever nationwide power network;
  • a 30-km submarine power cable that will connect 60 offshore wind turbines to the Belgian national power grid, helping Belgium avoid the generation of 450,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions and meet one-third of its European Union renewable energy targets;
  • the world’s longest AC power link to a floating installation - a 98-km submarine cable that will connect Statoil’s Gjøa oil and gas platform to the Norwegian mainland and avoid 230,000 tons of annual carbon dioxide emissions.

These recent orders show ABB remains the first-choice provider of large-scale, high-voltage power system solutions for customers investing in major infrastructure projects.

In September 2007, ABB was awarded a $400 million contract from E.ON to supply the power equipment that will connect the world’s largest offshore wind farm, Borkum-2, to the German electrical grid.

The HVDC Light system will include 128-km of submarine cables and 78 km of land cables. The park's emissions-free generation capacity is equivalent to avoiding the 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions that would be created by generating the same amount of electricity using conventional methods.

ABB can trace its roots in the power cable business back to Sweden in 1870 and the manufacture of fuses for dynamite, a recent invention of Alfred Nobel.

With the growth of electrification in the late 19th century, ABB's ancestor companies developed the fuse technology into copper conductors and electric wiring, and later power cables.

Over the decades, the ABB name has come to represent an astonishing number of innovations in cable technology.

They range from the development of the lead extrusion process and cable armoring in the 1920s (both of which are still in use today) to the world’s first HVDC cable in 1954 and the first cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) underwater power cable in 1973.

ABB also holds the world record for the longest underground and submarine power cables.

Many of these milestone projects were developed in collaboration with customers like:

Vattenfall (for the world’s first 400 kilovolt (kV) low-pressure oil-filled cable in 1952 and the world’s first HVDC system in 1954);

TransEnergie U.S. (for the world’s first HVDC Light submarine cable at Cross Sound in the United States);
Statoil (for the world’s first power-from-shore installation to an oil and gas platform using DC cables);
ConEd and EPRI (for a new method of replacing old high pressure fluid-filled cables with XLPE cables in challenging urban environments like New York).

Complete cable range and turnkey capability

Hans-Åke Jönsson, head of ABB High Voltage Cables, points out that it is precisely ABB’s long track record of innovations and installations that have made it the world’s leading provider of high-voltage cables and cable systems.
ABB offers a complete range of cable types and cable accessories - all made at ABB manufacturing facilities in Sweden and Russia – and a complete turnkey capability that encompasses the entire delivery chain, from system studies and system design to installation, final testing, commissioning and service.

Innovations are constantly in the pipeline at the Karlskrona factory in Sweden. New materials and improvements in conductor design that can reduce the use of costly raw materials like copper and aluminum are continually being developed and tested.

In HVDC cables, ABB has already tested and is ready to deliver cables that can transport 1,000 MW of power at 500 kV and at a depth of 1,100 meters.

And ABB has launched a new 320 kV HVDC Light cable that more than doubles the existing 150 kV limit of this revolutionary and environmentally friendly technology.

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