ABB Launches Breakthrough Technologies At AWEA Windpower 2013

High Voltage DC breakers for transmission, ‘Small Wind' solutions, switchgear for turbines highlight ABB's presence in Chicago.

ABB, the wind industry's leading power technology and grid interconnection solutions provider, recently announced developments from the floor at the annual AWEA WINDPOWER 2013 conference and exhibition.

Technologies unveiled during AWEA WINDPOWER 2013, at the ABB booth (#3743), include:

*Small Wind market solutions – The US and Canada are leading the world in production of small wind turbines, defined by IEC 61400-2 as having a rotor swept area of less than 200 m2, giving a small wind turbine power of 100kW or less. ABB, with components in more than 40,000 wind turbines worldwide, is sharing its expertise in small wind designs and grid interconnections, including efficient and safe solutions for a complete electrical drivetrain.

*Ring Main Unit Switchgear - ABB will be demonstrating new ring main unit (RMU) medium-voltage switchgear designed specifically for wind turbines, enabling functions such as grounding, switching, disconnecting, cable connections and protection to be integrated with compact, cost-effective and maintenance-free functional units.

*ABB low voltage drives - ABB will be offering a full line of wind turbine converter solutions covering the complete wind market, including small, community and utility-scale wind farms. These drives' features include HW and SW functions for fault ride-through and grid code compliance. ABB also is providing new grid integration, with PC simulation models for utility compliance studies. ABB offers test facilities to validate compliance.

*Forecasting the Wind - Ventyx, an ABB company, will be demonstrating its Ventyx Energy Portfolio Management (EPM) solutions, which focus on the siting, curtailment, and uncertainty of forecasting and valuation of wind generators.

"We're pleased to again be a part of the AWEA WINDPOWER event as we establish ourselves as not only an experienced technology solutions supplier for the wind industry, but as a proven expert in connecting windpower to the transmission grid efficiently and reliably," said Dennis McKinley, director of wind power solutions in North America for ABB.

High Voltage DC Breakers for Wind

ABB recently developed a powerful high-voltage direct current (HVDC) breaker that will significantly impact the use of wind-generated electricity. The HVDC breaker removes a 100-year-old technological barrier in the development of DC transmission grids.

DC can carry three times more power over long distances with up to 50 percent less power loss than alternating current. In the past, it was not widely used due to an inability to safely stop the current or identify errors across a power grid. The new HVDC technology facilitates the long distance transfer of off-shore wind energy into electricity networks in a safe, cost-efficient and power-saving manner.

The hybrid HVDC breaker development has been a flagship research project for ABB, which invests over $1B annually in R&D activities. The first uses are expected to be with integration of electric transmission from large-scale renewable power projects planned in Europe.

"Over the years, natural gas has presented the wind industry with pricing competition, but it is not an infinite source and experiences significant cost fluctuations," said McKinley. "Wind energy will continue as a plentiful source, and ABB's HVDC breaker represents a huge stride in harnessing the potential of wind energy as a viable power supply and improving the future grid."

Further information, including video, can be found at

Prior to the trade show on Sunday, May 5, ABB hosted a well-attended "Red TIE (Technical Information Exchange) event on transformers, with discussions on the technical virtues of various transformers as they relate specifically to wind applications

With over 30 years of experience, in-depth know-how, global manufacturing footprint and thorough understanding of both wind turbine applications and power systems, ABB serves wind power customers at every stage of the process. ABB is the leading supplier to the wind power industry of electrical products and solutions. ABB is also the leading provider of offshore wind transmission solutions, including HVDC Light undersea and underground transmission power systems.

The AWEA WINDPOWER 2013 Conference and Exhibition is being held this year in Chicago at the McCormick Place Convention Center. ABB will be exhibiting in booth # 3743 in Exhibit Hall A of the South Building of the McCormick Place Conference Center.

About ABB

ABB is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 145,000 people. The company's North American operations, headquartered in Cary, North Carolina, employ over 27,000 people in multiple manufacturing, service and other major facilities. For more information, visit

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