Around the Industry - Nov 16, 2012

Nov. 16, 2012
ABB develops breaker for high voltage DC; Nexxus becomes Revolution Lighting; Google invests in building materials research

ABB says new HVDC circuit breaker solves 100-year-old puzzle

ABB says it has developed the world’s first circuit breaker for high-voltage direct current (HVDC). The breaker reportedly combines very fast mechanics with power electronics and will be capable of interrupting power flows equivalent to the output of a large power station within five milliseconds — 30 times faster than the blink of a human eye.

An ABB release said the breakthrough removes a 100-year-old barrier to the development of DC transmission grids, which will enable the efficient integration and exchange of renewable energy. DC grids will also improve grid reliability and enhance the capability of existing AC (alternating current) networks, said ABB, which is in discussions with power utilities to identify pilot projects for the new development.

Nexxus Lighting changes name to Revolution Lighting Technologies

Nexxus Lighting, Charlotte, N.C., announced that it’s changing its name. The company will now be known as Revolution Lighting Technologies and will trade on the Nasdaq under a new symbol: RVLT. “The name change...reflects our view of the dynamic changes impacting the lighting industry and our commitment to establish our company as a leader in high performance LED lighting solutions focusing on the industrial, commercial and government markets,” said Robert LaPenta, chairman.

Grant from Google to push change in building materials

At its Greenbuild conference in San Francisco this week, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced a $3 million grant from Google to “catalyze the transformation of the building materials industry and accelerate the creation of healthier indoor environments.” The grant will focus on three areas: supporting research on building materials and health, developing new transparency tools and engaging stakeholders from across the industry. The new initiatives will be developed over the next two years.

Anthony Ravitz, Google’s Green Team lead, said the partnership is based on Google’s own efforts at “creating the healthiest work environments possible that help employees perform at their best.”