ABB Unveils Innovation to Increase Green Energy Efficiency

Posted by Michelle Howard
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Photo courtesy of ABB

Swiss engineering group ABB has developed technology that can double the power flow of underground cables, making it cheaper to integrate electricity into the grid from distant offshore wind farms.

The innovation means a single high-voltage direct current (DC) cable can now transmit up to 2.6 gigawatts (GW) of power -- enough energy to power two million homes, or serve the electricity needs of Paris, ABB said on Thursday.

Being able to pump more power through underground cables should make it easier to transmit electricity through densely-populated or environmentally-protected areas and even reduce the need for unsightly overhead power lines, said Claes Rytoft, ABB's chief technology officer.

He also hopes the new cable system, which uses a new polyethylene insulation material, can be deployed underground or beneath the sea, will encourage utility customers to invest in more big-ticket renewable energy projects due to lower installation costs.

"Germany is installing a lot of offshore wind farms at the moment with a typical capacity of 1 GW. This means for every GW they have to install a separate cable system to the shore," Rytoft said in an interview.

"With this technology they have the option to connect two offshore wind farms and only have one cable to the mainland."

Rytoft sees a further application in long-distance power corridors, such as Germany's "SUED.LINK" project, announced in February, to carry surplus wind energy from northern regions to the industrial heartland of Baden-Wuerttemberg in the south.

ABB, which makes products used by oil, mining and utility companies, hopes Germany's shift to renewable energy as it weans off nuclear power will help drive demand for green energy.


Green Power Grids

Its latest technological achievement follows on from the development of a circuit breaker two years ago that makes it easier to send electricity through high-voltage DC lines into the grids that link power stations to consumers.

While Rytoft conceded this latest development was more "incremental" than the high-voltage DC circuit breaker, he believes it will help pave the way towards what ABB hopes will be a multi-billion dollar market for DC grids.

Conventional grids use alternating current (AC), but it is less efficient at transferring power over long distances and less compatible with some forms of renewable power generation.

AC and DC power have been at odds since their proponents, Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison, battled for supremacy in the new technology over a century ago.

Edison even electrocuted an elephant to highlight the dangers of Tesla's AC power, but his rival's system took off because it could transmit electricity further. At the time, DC power couldn't carry power beyond a few city blocks.

High voltage DC can transmit 30 to 40 percent more energy than conventional overhead lines carrying alternating current, making it a better for bringing power from distant sources.

ABB said its new 525 kilovolt high-voltage DC cable system could now reach distances of 1,500 kilometres (932 miles), up from less than 1,000 km.

"The two inventions put together make it more feasible to build a DC grid," Rytoft said.
 

(By Caroline Copley, Editing by David Evans)


Technology

Wärtsilä Re-gasification system for Norwegian Ship Conversion

Wärtsilä has been contracted to supply the re-gasification system for an FSRU (Floating, Storage, Re-gasification Unit) conversion project that Höegh LNG plans to carry out on a modern LNG vessel.

Foreship Establishes Tallinn Subsidiary

Naval architect and marine engineering company Foreship has created a wholly-owned subsidiary located in Tallinn to strengthen ties with shipowners, shipyards and

MN100: MarineCFO

The Company: Founded in 1992, UA Business Solutions was a pioneer in the field of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and an early Microsoft Partner. The ERP evolution

Offshore

US Offshore Lease Sale Yields $18 Mln in High Bids

Today’s U.S. oil and gas Lease Sale 248 garnered $18,067,020 in high bids for 24 tracts covering 138,240 acres in the Western Gulf of Mexico Planning Area, announced

Canada May Ask Far-offshore Drillers to Pay Extra

Canada may ask oil companies to contribute to the hundreds of millions of dollars or more the country has to pay to an international body if they drill far offshore,

MISC Enters Thai Offshore O&G Market

Energy related maritime solutions and services provider MISC Berhad (MISC) has made inroads into Thailand’s offshore oil and gas market for the first time.

Finance

China COSCO Falls to H1 Net Loss

China COSCO Holdings Co Ltd fell to a first-half loss hurt by a persistent slump in the global container market, the world's fourth largest container shipper said on Thursday.

Weak Freight Rates push Grindrod to H1 loss

Africa's biggest shipping group Grindrod reported a first-half loss on Thursday, pressured by low global growth and declining dry bulk shipping rates but it expects

Cosco Eyes Spanish port of Algeciras

Algeciras Bay Port Authority in southern Spain has put up a tender for its third container terminal, and China's Cosco Shipping Ports is already being mentioned as a fore runner candidate,

Environmental

South Asia Meet on Oil, Chemical Spill Contingency Plan

A meeting to update South Asia’s regional plan for oil and chemical pollution preparedness and response is underway in Male, Maldives (22-25 August), informs  International

Lucas Marine, Harbor Breeze Cruises Partner to Cut Fuel Costs

Lucas Marine is partnering with Harbor Breeze Corporation to help reduce the yacht charter and cruise company's fuel costs, maintenance and environmental impact in Los Angeles and Long Beach Harbors.

Fednav Welcomes Innovative Ballast System at Indiana Port

Fednav Limited, the largest international bulk shipowner in Canada, welcomed to the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor, the Federal Caribou, one of seven new oceangoing

Energy

J.F. Lehman Acquires Heavy Equipment Group of Oldenburg Group

J.F. Lehman & Company (“JFLCO”) has signed a definitive agreement with Oldenburg Group Incorporated to acquire its Heavy Equipment Group, including both its defense and mining business units.

Wärtsilä Re-gasification system for Norwegian Ship Conversion

Wärtsilä has been contracted to supply the re-gasification system for an FSRU (Floating, Storage, Re-gasification Unit) conversion project that Höegh LNG plans to carry out on a modern LNG vessel.

US Offshore Lease Sale Yields $18 Mln in High Bids

Today’s U.S. oil and gas Lease Sale 248 garnered $18,067,020 in high bids for 24 tracts covering 138,240 acres in the Western Gulf of Mexico Planning Area, announced

Offshore Energy

US Offshore Lease Sale Yields $18 Mln in High Bids

Today’s U.S. oil and gas Lease Sale 248 garnered $18,067,020 in high bids for 24 tracts covering 138,240 acres in the Western Gulf of Mexico Planning Area, announced

Canada May Ask Far-offshore Drillers to Pay Extra

Canada may ask oil companies to contribute to the hundreds of millions of dollars or more the country has to pay to an international body if they drill far offshore,

MISC Enters Thai Offshore O&G Market

Energy related maritime solutions and services provider MISC Berhad (MISC) has made inroads into Thailand’s offshore oil and gas market for the first time.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Port Authority Ship Repair Ship Simulators Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1034 sec (10 req/sec)