ABB wins $39 million power order in Saudi Arabia
Capacitor banks to increase efficiency of grid.
Power and automation technology group ABB has won an order worth US$39 million from the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) to improve the efficiency of power transmission and distribution in the country’s Eastern Province.
ABB will design, engineer, supply, install and commission equipment including 13.8 kV capacitor banks for the existing substation infrastructure in 40 locations, which will reduce electricity losses and improve the stability and quality of power supply. These technologies will improve the network's power factor, which is an indicator of the usable power available in the grid. The fast track project is scheduled for completion by mid 2011.
“The capacitor banks will improve the efficiency and reliability of the power network and support the region’s growing need for power,” said Peter Leupp, head of ABB’s Power Systems division.
Capacitors are multi-purpose devices that can store an electrical charge in the form of an electric field. They are used to buffer electricity, smooth out peaks, and guard against momentary voltage losses in circuits. A distribution system’s operating power comprises active or “working” power and reactive or “non-working” power.
Power factor represents the ratio between the two and is a measure of a power network's efficiency. Efficiency can be improved by correcting, or raising, the power factor. Power factor correction in inductive AC circuits is a common capacitor application. Capacitor banks contain a number of capacitors connected in parallel.