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ABB, a global power and automation technology group, has developed a circuit breaker for high-voltage direct current (HVDC). According to the company, the circuit breaker combines 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.

"ABB has written a new chapter in the history of electrical engineering," says Joe Hogan, CEO of ABB. "This historical breakthrough 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 Hybrid HVDC breaker development has been a flagship research project for ABB. 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 notes.



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