World record 1100kV DC power network rolls out in China

July 20, 2016 //By Nick Flaherty
1100 kV distribution network breaks record
Swiss power specialist ABB is rolling out a DC power network that operates at over a million volts to distribute electricity across China.

The Changji-Guquan ultra high voltage DC (UHVDC) link will transmit power from the Xinjiang region in the Northwest, to Anhui province in eastern China, setting a new world record in terms of voltage level, transmission capacity and distance.

It will be capable of transporting 12,000 megawatts of electricity - the equivalent of 12 large power plants - and is a 50 percent increase in transmission capacity compared to the 800 kV UHVDC links currently in operation.  Using the higher voltage will also help extend the transmission distance from around 2,000 km to over 3,000 km.

Each transformer weighs 800 tonnes and is 32 m long, and ABB is suppling these along with components such as bushings and tap changers, HVDC converter valves, DC circuit breakers, wall bushings and capacitors.

"China has major load centers in its eastern region, while a significant amount of its energy resources are in the west and northwest. The expansive geography and increased demand over the last decade have prompted the build-up of UHV capacity to transmit larger amounts of power over greater distances with minimum losses," said Claudio Facchin, President of ABB's Power Grids division. "Ultrahigh voltage technologies are a key focus area of our Next Level strategy, and our technology advancements in this area are making it possible to increase power transmission capacity and distance to an unprecedented level with minimal transmission losses."

ABB's transformer manufacturing and testing facility in Chongqing as well as the local HVDC engineering and technology center will be actively involved in the delivery and execution of the project. In 2010 ABB supported SGCC with the Xiangjiaba-Shanghai project, the world's first 800 kV UHVDC link to go into commercial operation. 

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