The second electrical revolution

2014-08-28 - Automation World Magazine article by Jeanne Schweder, August 6, 2014
DC power is again having its day. While no one expects a wholesale switch away from AC power, there are applications and industries where direct current, both high- and low-voltage, provides an advantage.

HVDC transmission is ideal for renewable energy systems, like wind, solar and water, whose sources are often located at great distances from population centers. California was the first state in the U.S. to take advantage of HVDC transmission for renewable energy, in the form of hydroelectric power. The Pacific HVDC Intertie relied on the mercury-arc valve, a technology breakthrough from automation and power-generation vendor ABB. In 1965, along with GE, ABB was awarded a federal contract to build two converter stations for a 1,440 MW, 400 kV transmission line from the Columbia River in Oregon to Sylmar in the northern Los Angeles basin. >> Read more