ABB Australia ’s FACTS (flexible AC transmission systems) has been named in the 11 most important technologies of the decade, in a feature article from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
The list was compiled by Spectrum, a monthly publication from the IEEE, which had identified smart phones, social networking and digital photography technologies among the top 11. These technologies included voice over IP (VoIP), LED lighting, cloud computing, multicore CPUs, digital photography, drone aircraft, class-D audio and planetary rovers.
According to Spectrum, FACTS’ promise to save energy, in a significant way, made the smart grid possible. FACTS enabled utilities to reconfigure power flows in real time, maximise throughput and minimise losses. This helped provide smoothly integrated wind, solar and other intermitted sources of renewable energy into the grid.
“With these technologies ABB can increase the capacity of existing lines by as much as 50 percent, reduce electrical losses in long distance power transfer and relieve grid congestion and transmission bottlenecks that prevent the flow of electricity,” says Ingela Hålling, head of FACTS within the Grid Systems business of the Power Systems division.
“FACTS technologies can also help to minimise the risk of blackouts, and facilitate the integration of intermittent types of energy by rapidly countering voltage fluctuations or by storing large amounts of surplus power until it is needed.”
ABB Australia’s FACTS are ideal for improving power supplies in rail systems and to stabilise the grid in and around large energy consumers, such as mines and steelworks. In the coming years, ABB Australia believes these versatile technologies will be vital for large-scale integration of electric vehicle infrastructures, including charging stations and plug-in points into the grid.
“Over the past decade, a confluence of innovations, regulatory change, and sheer watt-squeezing necessity has hatched a marvelous advance, one that has begun to realize the long-standing dream of pushing current where it wouldn't ordinarily go.” IEEE Spectrum writes on ABB Australia’s FACTS.