Innovative technology key to a competitive wind power industry

In a harsh market environment investing in innovation is a key factor to make wind energy competitive

ABB has been in the power generation business for over 100 years and so when we entered the wind power business over 30 years ago we had the existing technology to directly make an impact in the market.

Eighty years ago we were supplying power converters, one of the main components in the wind turbine electrical drivetrain, together with the generator, a product of which we have an installed base worldwide of more than 30,000 units with a total capacity of more than 30 GWs.

By the 1980’s – in the early years of wind power – we had already fully developed the HVDC technology that allows remote energy transmission at the lowest leakage rate. This technology is nowadays used to connect remote offshore wind power farms to the onshore electric grid, enabling its integration in the energy mix.

Of course, we can’t just be judged for what we’ve done in the past, but for what we are doing today. What we do at ABB is keep a strong focus on innovation for technologies with direct application – or custom made – for wind power. And this is a matter of fact.

ABB and Baldor (a member of ABB Group) wind turbine technologies have recently been recognized at the SWIFT (Scaled Wind Farm Technology) test facility in Texas for its contribution to improve industry-wide wind farm performance.

ABB has also recently achieved a new milestone in HVDC Light, by reaching a record voltage level of ± 320 kV, which is 50% more than previously available. This was developed for the HVDC Light converter station at the Dörpen West substation in northern Germany. This station is at the receiving end of the DolWin1 transmission link, which will integrate 800 MW of offshore wind power generated in the North Sea into the European transmission system.

When it comes to wind power ABB has a clear target; to produce innovative technology to turn the unpredictable wind into a reliable, available, efficient, and competitive source of power.

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About the author

Antoni Carrera

I joined ABB 15 years ago where I've held many different positions in marketing & sales. I'm currently the Group Account Manager for Iberdrola. I'm also closely involved with our wind power industry sector. In fact, I've been involved in that sector since I started in ABB. It has been so exciting see how technology has changed over the years. I'm proud to be part of the team successfully serving our customers in the wind industry.
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