CARY, N.C., Feb. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- MIT Technology Review, the official science and technology journal of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology ( MIT), named ABB (NYSE: ABB) to its 2013 list of top 50 global innovators.
ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, was cited for its recent technology breakthrough, the development of the world's first circuit breaker for high voltage direct current (HVDC). It combines very fast mechanics with power electronics, and will be capable of interrupting power flows equivalent to the output of a large power station within 5 milliseconds - that is 30 times faster than the blink of a human eye.
"ABB's historical breakthrough will make it possible to build the grid of the future and will be a big boost for renewable integration. We are proud that the MIT Technology Review acknowledges the significance of our innovation," said Prith Banerjee, Chief Technology Officer of ABB. "This new technology will make it possible to build the grid of the future. Overlay DC grids will be able to interconnect countries and continents, balance loads and reinforce the existing AC transmission networks."
The development of the Hybrid HVDC breaker has been a flagship research project for ABB, which last year invested more than $1.4 billion in R&D and employs about 8,000 researchers.HVDC technology is needed to facilitate the long distance transfer of power from hydropower plants, the integration of offshore wind power, the development of visionary solar projects and the interconnection of different power networks. ABB pioneered HVDC nearly 60 years ago and continues to be a technology driver and market leader. With over 70 HVDC projects, ABB accounts for around half the global installed base, representing an installed capacity of more than 60,000 megawatts (MW).