ABB Successfully Tests Ultrahigh Voltage Transformer, Key for Power Superhighways

ABB Successfully Tests Ultrahigh Voltage Transformer, Key for Power Superhighways

uhvdc_transformer_800kv_2009.jpg New transformer to be used on world's longest power transmission link in China

Zurich, Switzerland, January 12, 2009 – ABB, a power and automation technology group, has successfully tested a new type of transformer that is a key component of power superhighways, or power links that can deliver vast amounts of electricity over very long distances.

ABB developed the 800-kV transformer within one year of winning a major order to equip the ultrahigh-voltage direct current (UHVDC) transmission corridor from the Xiangjiaba hydropower plant in western China to Shanghai, 2,000 kilometers to the east. It is the world's highest-voltage power link and will have a record capacity of 6,400 megawatts, capable of supplying about 31 million people.

The transformer is the first of several ordered by the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), and is a critical element of the systems that ABB is supplying to convert AC current to DC and back, and to alter the voltage at each end. Among other challenges, raising the voltage to as much as 800 kV increases the technical requirements on a transformer's insulation and on the design of critical parts such as bushings.

“The cooperation between ABB and SGCC has played a key role in this success, which is further evidence of ABB's commitment to technology and innovation,” said Bernhard Jucker, head of ABB's Power Products division. “UHVDC technology enables more efficient use of renewable energy sources, reducing dependence on fossil fuels and cutting carbon dioxide emissions.”

Power transmission at ultrahigh voltage has considerable advantages for the environment, as it reduces the power losses and requires a smaller transmission corridor than conventional technologies. UHVDC technology is particularly suitable for large countries such as China, where the centers of power consumption are often far from the power sources.

UHVDC is a technological development of HVDC, pioneered by ABB more than 50 years ago, and is the biggest leap in capacity and efficiency of transmission in more than two decades.

About ABB

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 120,000 people. The company's North American operations, headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut, employ about 15,000 people in 20 manufacturing and other major facilities.


ABB Corporate Communications, Zurich

Thomas Schmidt, Wolfram Eberhardt

Tel: +41 43 317 6568

Fax: +41 43 317 7958


Affolternstrasse 44

CH-8050 Zurich, Switzerland

[email protected]

Bill Rose

Media Relations Manager

ABB North America

Power Products & Power Systems North America

919-807-5743 - office

919-244.4879 - mobile

[email protected]

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