ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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UHV Technology to Help Meet Growing Global Energy Demands


New York, Aug 07, 2007

Worldwide demand for electricity is rising fast, particularly in nations with rapidly expanding economies. China’s electricity consumption, for example, is expected to nearly triple in the next two decades at an average annual growth rate of 4.3 percent. The ability to meet this increasing demand is presenting compelling challenges for industry and government. A new technology known as ultra high voltage, or UHV, offers an important potential solution.

In an effort to give the promising technology a boost, the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) and CIGRE (International Council on Large Electric Systems) will join in developing international standards for UHV. Their partnership was announced at a recent international symposium in Beijing, China, which sought to lay the plans and roadmaps necessary to support the technology and its potential applications [See related article: Global Experts to Convene in Beijing to Lay Roadmaps for Ultra High Voltage Technology].

Delivering voltages of 1,000 kV alternating current or higher and a minimum of 800kV direct current, UHV technology offers the ability to carry large quantities of electricity long distances over a single transmission line corridor with minimal loss of power. The technology is particularly useful in areas where electric demand is growing but room for transmission lines is strictly limited.

IEC and CIGRE’s standardization efforts will initially be focused on ensuring the safe and efficient use of UHV, as well as on issues of system reliability and maintenance. In addition to a set of technical and safety standards, IEC and CIGRE will seek to define tests for measuring the electromagnetic radiation from power lines.

Nations already active in this technology include Brazil, Canada, China, Japan, Russia, and the United States. For more information on the IEC-CIGRE effort, please click here.

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