ABB has unveiled a new high voltage direct current (HVDC) Light technology that is claimed to double the power capacity to 3GW.

The new technology helps in transmitting huge amounts of electricity over long distances, underground, underwater and on overhead lines.

According to ABB, the new HVDC Light can handle electricity up to 3GW, which is twice the amount of electricity its previous technology could handle.

The Swiss electrical company says that enhanced system design has brought in compactness, with a potential to deliver up to 350% more power per square metre of space.

For the latest version, the company claims to have developed semiconductor-based power electronic devices that offer enhanced control and makes smaller HVDC systems economical.

Continuous improvements in HVDC technology for the last two decades resulted in the improving power capacity from 50MW to 1.4GW, which is enough to power several million households.

The new HVDC Light technology can transmit electricity to more than 2000km, enabling the integration of more renewable sources of power to the grid. 

ABB Power Grids president Claudio Facchin said: “We pioneered HVDC technology in the 1950’s as a game changer, and the birth of HVDC Light in 1997 was one of the most significant milestones in our innovation journey.

“As we mark 20 years of this breakthrough, we are ready to write the next chapter of this technology, with significant enhancements that will help transmit power further with minimum losses and bring major benefits to our customers.

“HVDC is a cornerstone of our Next Level strategy, reinforcing our position as a partner of choice in enabling a stronger, smarter and greener grid.”

Image: ABB unveils new HVDC Light technology to double transmission capacity. Photo: Courtesy of Juan Alberto Ramírez Díaz/