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ABB technologies named among the most important of the decade

World Cement,

A list compiled by Spectrum has identified “the most important innovations that emerged in the past 10 years based on influence, usefulness, and ‘sheer technical coolness.’”

The 11 technologies named in the list include smartphones, social networking, voice over IP, LED lighting, cloud computing, multicore CPUs, digital photography, drone aircraft, class-D audio and planetary rovers. ABB’s FACTS (flexible AC transmission systems) also finds a place in this illustrious list. FACTS is a family of technologies that ABB pioneered and has continuously developed over the past 60 years.

According to Spectrum, flexible AC transmission systems promise to save energy in a big way and make the smart grid possible. They enable utilities to reconfigure power flows in real time, maximise throughput and minimise losses. They also make it possible to smoothly integrate wind, solar, and other intermittent sources of renewable energy into the grid.

“With these technologies ABB can increase the capacity of existing lines by as much as 50%, reduce electrical losses in long-distance power transfer and relieve grid congestion and transmission bottlenecks that prevent the flow of electricity,” said Ingela Hålling, head of FACTS within the Grid Systems business of the Power Systems division. “FACTS technologies can also help to minimise the risk of blackouts, and facilitate the integration of intermittent types of energy by rapidly countering voltage fluctuations or by storing large amounts of surplus power until it is needed.”

ABB pioneered the first FACTS technology in the early 1950s. Since then the company has developed this into a comprehensive portfolio of technologies that meet the current and future challenges facing AC transmission and distribution systems – SVC (static var compensation), SVC Light (also known as STATCOM), fixed and controlled series compensation, and DynaPeaQ, dynamic energy storage.

ABB has delivered around 800 FACTS installations worldwide.

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