ABB to enable world’s first HVDC grid

19 November 2018

The Zhangbei high-voltage direct current (HVDC) grid in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area of China is intended to enable the integration of remote wind, solar and hydro energy in a transmission ring, a network-based architecture that ensures optimisation of the power flow. This unique ‘HVDC grid’ has been designed by State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC). Part of its purpose is to ensure more stable and reliable electricity to meet higher demand during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

ABB will supply several critical elements including an HVDC Light valve, wall bushings, transformer components, high-voltage capacitors and power semiconductor devices.

Conventionally HVDC forms point-to-point links, partly because of the cost of connecting to the surrounding AC networks, but the Zhangbei pilot project is unique because several stations are connected with each other in a network. ABB, as well as other local suppliers, is supplying key equipment for this milestone project, which will be the world’s largest and most advanced voltage sourced converter (VSC) HVDC system with four interconnected stations in a ring network, delivering up to 4500 MW of renewable energy.

Claudio Facchin, president of ABB’s Power Grids division: “ABB’s participation in this project reflects SGCC’s … confidence in ABB’s … HVDC expertise and our long-term efforts to help China strengthen its power infrastructure while minimising environmental impact.”

ABB first introduced VSC-HVDC in 1997, calling it HVDC Light. The technology can control the power flow between grid locations, move electricity at low losses and support voltage and frequency of weak grids such as isolated wind farms.

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