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January 31, 2018 - ABB phase shifting transformers secure grid stability by flexibly rerouting power flow between electrical networks



ABB will supply a 800 megavolt ampere (MVA) phase shifting transformer to Swissgrid, the Swiss transmission system operator, for the Mühleberg substation located in the central part of the country.

Phase shifting transformers are an advanced ABB technology that redirect the power flow between different grids allowing transmission system operators to avoid potentially critical situations like system overload and grid instability, which could lead to a power outage.

Europe’s power intersection

Swissgrid operates one of the most reliable transmission systems in Europe. As a vital power flow intersection, Switzerland exchanges large amounts of electricity at 41 grid intersections with neighboring countries France, Germany, Italy and Austria.

To ensure secure and stable transmission system operation, both within the national grid and with its neighbors, Swissgrid is strengthening the coupling points between its 380 kV and 220 kV high voltage grids.

This will support the Swiss government’s long-term energy strategy, the goals of which include improving energy efficiency and using more renewables to replace the country’s five nuclear power plants, which will be gradually phased out over time.

Transformers are the answer

One of the main technologies to make the transmission grid more flexible and adaptive to evolving changes in the Swiss power system is the deployment of phase shifting transformers.

Installed at the Mühleberg substation, the phase shifting transformer will enable Swissgrid to control load flow in the surrounding area by rerouting power effortlessly between the 220 kV and 380 kV networks at times of intensive grid use. This will ensure a reliable supply of electricity to consumers, both regionally and nationally.

Speedy changeover

Phase shifting transformers are technically complex items of equipment, featuring more windings and tap changers than traditional power transformers.

The transformer consists of four separate units - one for each phase and one spare. It will operate as a single grid component, with the spare unit connected at all times to facilitate speedy changeover and secure availability in the event of failure.

The order includes the design, manufacture, test, transportation, installation and commissioning of the four units. In addition, ABB will also supply damping panels, busbars, cable connections and high voltage surge arresters.

ABB offers a complete range of power and distribution transformers designed for reliability, durability and efficiency. Our vast portfolio includes both liquid-filled and dry-type transformers, as well as services for complete life cycle support, including replacement parts and components.


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