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ABB installs highest 1.2mv circuit breaker

ABB has designed, manufactured, installed and commissioned a 1.2MV circuit breaker–the highest AC voltage level in the world–at the national test station constructed by the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL), India’s central transmission utility, at Bina, Madhya Pradesh.

Once the ultrahigh-voltage switchgear is fully operational, it will have a switching capacity of 10.4GW–a switch capable of turning “ON” or “OFF” the electricity generated by 10 large power plants or the combined average annual electrical load of Switzerland and Denmark, within milliseconds.

Alongside the circuit breaker, the state-of-the-art hybrid switchgear solution comprises a gas-insulated disconnector, current transformers and monitoring and diagnostic equipment. The solution requires only half of the space that would be needed for one with conventional air-insulated designs. The configuration also protects critical components from environmental exposure and makes it more resilient against earthquakes.

India is adding substantial power generation capacity to meet growing demand, which in turn requires an efficient and reliable transmission and distribution infrastructure to deliver the electricity to consumers. Transmitting power at higher voltages increases the amount of electricity that can be transported along a line with significantly lower transmission losses, and at the same time saves space and reduces environmental impact. These are some of the considerations which have prompted India to develop a 1.2MV transmission system.

“ABB has a long track record in India and we are pleased to continue to support the country in the development of an efficient and reliable power grid. Ultra high-voltage technologies are especially suitable for large countries such as India where power often has to be transmitted over large distances from generation to load centers in the most efficient way,” said Bernhard Jucker, head of ABB’s Power Products division.

“PGCIL is fully engaged in developing a robust and integrated national grid along with reliable partners in technology like ABB. This development takes us a step further in the development of our ultra high-voltage transmission network,” said RN Nayak, Chairman and Managing Director of PGCIL.

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