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)

Maritime Reporter October 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Technology

Sapurakencana Wins 3 Petronas Oil blocks

SapuraKencana Petroleum Berhad today announced that it has entered into Sale and Purchase Agreements to acquire the entire interest of PETRONAS in 3 blocks offshore

Time-out for Kwanza Drilling

Statoil has decided to cancel the Stena Carron rig contract after fulfilling the work commitments in the Statoil-operated blocks 38 and 39 in the Kwanza basin offshore Angola.

Maritime Reporter @ 75: The Daily Cartoon

Maritime Reporter & Engineering News was founded by John J. O'Malley (1905-1980) in 1939, and today ranks as the world's largest audited trade publication in the world serving the maritime industry,

Offshore

Sapurakencana Wins 3 Petronas Oil blocks

SapuraKencana Petroleum Berhad today announced that it has entered into Sale and Purchase Agreements to acquire the entire interest of PETRONAS in 3 blocks offshore

7 Rescued from Sinking Freighter Near Haiti

Seven crewmembers were rescued after their 100-foot coastal freighter began taking on water and sank approximately 45 miles north off of Cap Haitien, Haiti, Friday.

Time-out for Kwanza Drilling

Statoil has decided to cancel the Stena Carron rig contract after fulfilling the work commitments in the Statoil-operated blocks 38 and 39 in the Kwanza basin offshore Angola.

Finance

ST Engineering Rejigs Top Deck

Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd (ST Engineering) today announced the appointment of senior management personnel to new key management positions in the

MHI Receives "Best IR Award"

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has received one of this year's "Best IR Awards" presented annually by the Japan Investor Relations Association (JIRA).

Houston Port Commission Approves budget

The Fiscal Year 2015 Operating and Capital Budget was approved Thursday during a special meeting of the Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority.   Projections

Environmental

Steven Palazzo Visits HII, Newport

Huntington Ingalls Industries today hosted Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., for a tour of the company's Newport News Shipbuilding division. Palazzo represents the fourth district of Mississippi,

Environmental Groups: IMO Polar Code Too Weak

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) today adopted the Polar Code aimed at regulating shipping in Polar Regions. Several environmental groups have criticized

Bouchard Vessels Honored by SCA

Forty-three Bouchard Transportation Co., Inc. vessels have been honored by The Chamber of Shipping America (CSA) with Certificates of Environmental Achievement.

Energy

Sapurakencana Wins 3 Petronas Oil blocks

SapuraKencana Petroleum Berhad today announced that it has entered into Sale and Purchase Agreements to acquire the entire interest of PETRONAS in 3 blocks offshore

Kemp Succeeds Semple at Wood Group

Wood Group announced following changes to its senior management team. Alan Semple, chief financial officer (CFO) has advised the board that he intends to

Baker Hughes to Present at Wells Fargo's 2014 Energy Symposium

Baker Hughes Incorporated announced today that the Company's Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Derek Mathieson, will present at Wells Fargo's 2014 Energy Symposium on Wednesday,

Offshore Energy

Sapurakencana Wins 3 Petronas Oil blocks

SapuraKencana Petroleum Berhad today announced that it has entered into Sale and Purchase Agreements to acquire the entire interest of PETRONAS in 3 blocks offshore

Time-out for Kwanza Drilling

Statoil has decided to cancel the Stena Carron rig contract after fulfilling the work commitments in the Statoil-operated blocks 38 and 39 in the Kwanza basin offshore Angola.

Update: Explosion in the Gulf of Mexico

An explosion occurred aboard a production platform Thursday at West Delta 105, operated by Fieldwood Energy, resulting in one fatality and three injured. The Bureau

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Port Authority Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | 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: 0.2437 sec (4 req/sec)