MIT Technology Review recognizes ABB innovation among top 10 technologies

Development of hybrid HVDC breaker will help shape the power grid of the future

Zurich, Switzerland, April 27, 2013 – ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has been recognized by MIT Technology Review for its hybrid high-voltage direct current (HVDC) breaker, placing it among the ten most important technology milestones of the past year. This is an annual list highlighting the top ten breakthrough technologies the editors believe will have the greatest impact on the shape of innovation in the years to come.

“Since 2001, our editors have carefully selected the technologies poised to make the greatest impact on the shape of innovation in the years to come and the organizations leading the charge in those fields,” said MIT Technology Review’s Editor in Chief and Publisher, Jason Pontin. “ABB is helping to define the way we think about creating practical, high-voltage direct current circuit breakers.”

The hybrid HVDC breaker overcomes a 100-year-old barrier to the development of interconnected HVDC transmission grids, which can help improve grid reliability and enhance the capability of existing AC (alternating current) networks. 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 five milliseconds - that is thirty times faster than the blink of a human eye.

HVDC technology facilitates 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. Deployment of HVDC has led to an increasing number of point-to-point connections in different parts of the world. The logical next step is to connect the lines and optimize the network.

ABB pioneered HVDC nearly 60 years ago and continues to be a technology driver and market leader with many innovations and developments, recently earning it a place among MIT Technology Review’s top 50 most disruptive companies in 2013.

MIT Technology Review leads the global conversation about technologies that matter. The independent media company owned by MIT produces publications read by millions of business leaders, innovators, and thought leaders around the globe, in six languages and on a variety of platforms. The company publishes MIT Technology Review magazine, the most respected technology magazine; daily news features, analysis, and opinion; and Business Reports, which explain how technologies are transforming industries. It produces live events such as the annual EmTech MIT, international EmTech conferences, Summits, and Salons. The company's entrepreneurial community organization, MIT Enterprise Forum, hosts 400+ events a year globally.

ABB (www.abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 145,000 people. ABB has a full range of business activities in China, including R&D, manufacturing, sales and services, with 19,000 employees, 36 local companies, and an extensive sales and service network across 90 cities.

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