ABB creates record with 1.2 mln volt transformer for new India grid

abbPower generator ABB said it developed, manufactured and energized a 1.2 mln volts ultra high voltage power transformer to support India’s plans to build a 1,200 kV transmission system.

The new grid will supplement the existing 400 kV and 800 kV networks as demand for electricity increases.

“The 1.2 million volt transformer represents the highest alternating current voltage level in the world and is installed at the national test station at Bina, Madhya Pradesh in Central India,” the company said. The transformer was manufactured and tested at ABB’s facility in Vadodara.

The project is a part of collaborative initiative by the country’s central transmission utility, Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID).

India’s geographic span means that resource-rich generation centers and urban and industrial load centers are often far apart calling for efficient power transmission.

Along with the country’s commitment to enhance the contribution of renewables, these factors are driving the development of an ultrahigh voltage transmission infrastructure. The higher the voltage, the lower the transmission loss.

“The 1,200 kV transmission system will help strengthen the grid and enhance load capacity up to 6,000 megawatts (MW). Transmission at higher voltages enables larger amounts of electricity to be transported across longer distances, while minimizing losses. At the same time, less space is needed for fewer transmission lines which reduces the environmental impact and overall cost,” said the company.

In addition to the transformer, ABB has also developed a 1,200 kV circuit breaker that was previously commissioned at the test station.

This was the first hybrid Gas Insulated Switchgear in the world to be energized at this voltage level. The circuit breaker is safely housed with the disconnecter in a tank filled with insulating gas – resulting in a space saving potential of up to 60 percent compared with conventional designs.

ABB (ASEA Brown Boveri) is a Swedish-Swiss multinational corporation headquartered in Zürich, Switzerland, operating mainly in robotics and the power and automation technology areas.

The ABB Group of companies operates in roughly 100 countries and employs about 135,000 people.