ABB to upgrade transmission control for Scandinavian power interconnector

2009-09-14 - Fenno-Skan 1 control system upgrade to enhance grid reliability and extend the link's life span

ABB has won a contract from Svenska Kraftnät and Fingrid Oyj, the transmission system operators in Sweden and Finland. As part of the project, ABB will upgrade the control system of the 20-year-old Fenno-Skan 1 high voltage direct current (HVDC) link with a system called MACH 2.

"ABB's cutting-edge HVDC control technology, MACH 2, will enhance grid reliability," said Per Haugland, head of ABB's Grid Systems business, within the Power Systems division. "Upgrading the controls of the HVDC transmission link will extend the link’s life span considerably."

The upgrade will include the replacement of the control and protection systems in the Fenno-Skan 1 converter stations and extensive factory system testing. In 2008, ABB was awarded the order to design, supply and install two new HVDC converter stations for the Fenno-Skan 2 project. This will result in the two projects having the same software and hardware, which will provide benefits such as reduction in maintenance costs.

Dannebo converter station
on the Swedish side.
Rauma converter station on
the Finnish side

A key factor in an upgrade project is the short down time and ABB has an impressive track record in this respect. For example, ABB completed the upgrade of the Skagerrak in June 2007 with a down time of only two weeks. As the Fenno-Skan link is essential for the Nordic power grid, both from a security of supply as well as from a trading point of view, a short down time is very important. The upgrade will be completed in 2012.

The MACH 2 system is the world's most used control system for HVDC and FACTS with over 700 systems in operation. It is used in all types of HVDC installations from small, but very demanding HVDC Light installations to large 6,400 megawatts HVDC power links.

ABB has the widest experience of control system upgrades in the HVDC industry. Recent projects include the upgrades of the valve cooling and control systems of the Intermountain Power Project and the Blackwater project, both situated in the U.S.

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    The Fenno-Skan link goes between Sweden and Finland.
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