ABB wins major contract for generator circuit breakers

2002-06-14 - Technology increases availability of power plants

Zurich, Switzerland, June 20, 2002 - ABB, the global power and automation technology group, has been awarded a major contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to replace generator circuit breakers at 14 hydroelectric power plants in the U.S. states of Washington, Oregon and Idaho. It is the largest single generator circuit breaker contract ever awarded to ABB in the U.S.

The contract, which will run at least five years, is worth US$25 - $50 million.

Generator circuit breakers are a core component of a power plant, protecting both the generator and the power transformer. "This is an excellent example of how state-of-the-art technology creates customer value. And it proves that research and development pays off." says Peter Smits, executive vice president and head of ABB Power Technology Products division.

ABB's generator circuit breakers are the only ones in the world, which can switch fault currents up to 200,000 Ampères.

ABB will provide the design, development, fabrication, delivery, installation, testing and commissioning of the generator circuit breakers that will replace existing air blast circuit breakers.

Working closely with the customer, ABB developed a very compact design generator breaker with higher short-circuit ratings than any other design previously used as a retrofit breaker. They are 100 and 120 kA rated generator circuit breakers.

Before this contract, ABB had delivered about 100 generator circuit breaker retrofits to the U.S., nearly the entire U.S. retrofit market for the technology, which was first developed by ABB in 1992.

ABB ( is a global leader in the power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impacts. ABB has 152,000 employees in more than 100 countries.

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