Tech View

ABB energises transformer at record 1.2 mn volts

  ABB has developed, manufactured and energized a 1,200 kV ultrahigh voltage power transformer to support India’s plans to build a 1,200 kV transmission system, supplementing the existing 400 kV and 800 kV transmission grid as demand for electricity increases. According to ABB, this 1.2 million volt transformer represents the highest alternating current voltage level in the world.
The transformer is installed at the national test station at Bina, Madhya Pradesh, as part of a collaborative initiative by the country’s central transmission utility, Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID). The transformer was manufactured and tested at ABB’s facility in Vadodara.
India’s geographic span means that resource-rich generation centers and urban and industrial load centers are often far apart calling for efficient power transmission. Along with the country’s commitment to enhance the contribution of renewables, these factors are driving the development of an ultrahigh voltage transmission infrastructure. The 1,200 kV transmission system will help strengthen the grid and enhance load capacity up to 6,000 megawatts (MW). Transmission at higher voltages enables larger amounts of electricity to be transported across longer distances, while minimizing losses. At the same time, less space is needed for fewer transmission lines which reduces the environmental impact and overall cost.
In addition, ABB has developed a 1,200 kV circuit breaker that was previously commissioned at the test station. This was the first hybrid Gas Insulated Switchgear in the world to be energised at this voltage level. The uniquely designed circuit breaker is safely housed with the disconnector in a tank filled with insulating gas – resulting in a space saving potential of up to 60 percent compared with conventional designs.

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