ABB Ability™ Solutions
Added value for customers

ABB Ability™ wireless network monitors and controls Robben Island microgrid

Bringing a modern, sustainable technology solution to a historically significant site, ABB has provided a microgrid system to integrate solar energy and supply power to Robben Island, the place where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years in prison during the apartheid era. Now a living museum and World Heritage Site, Robben Island lies 9 kilometers off the coast of Cape Town and previously relied on fuel-thirsty, carbon-emitting diesel generators as the only source of electric power.

Solar panels South Africa (photo)

Essentially a small-scale electric grid, the new microgrid will substantially lower fuel costs and carbon emissions, enabling the island to run on solar power for at least nine months of the year. The system is equipped with ABB solar inverters that convert the variable direct current (DC) output from the solar panels into the alternating current (AC) required for electric utilities. As the main energy source, the microgrid will reduce carbon emissions and the fuel demands of the diesel generators, which previously required around 600,000 liters of fuel a year but now will serve primarily as back-ups.

An ABB Ability™ wireless network connects the solar plant to the microgrid and provides reliable and secure communications. An operations center in Cape Town monitors and controls the microgrid. The remote set-up eliminates the need to maintain a workforce on the island, whose volatile weather can sometimes impede travel to and from the mainland. The wireless solution has also eliminated the need for cable trenches, helping preserve the local habitat on the World Heritage Site.

ABB Ability™ Electrical Distribution Control System – Consorzio di Bonifica Veronese

Italy’s water utility Consorzio di Bonifica Veronese (CBV) was looking to retrofit two of its pumping stations and its hydroelectric turbines. The pumping stations and turbines were in several, remote locations and CBV wanted to monitor these installations remotely and analyze and compare their operations. At the same time, it wanted to optimize maintenance, reduce energy costs, prevent downtime and increase overall plant efficiency.

To achieve these goals, CBV turned to the ABB Ability™ Electrical Distribution Control System, which is a cloud-based solution. It is designed to monitor, optimize and control power distribution systems for a range of industries, including manufacturing, power generation and mining. The solution, which helps to simplify facilities management, enabled CBV to reduce its operating costs by almost 30 percent and earn back its investment within just three months.

ABB Ability™ enhances overall plant availability, reliability and efficiency at BASF

Robotics (photo)

Historically, low voltage motors and pumps operated by German chemical giant BASF have been inspected manually. Many were run continuously until the end of the product life cycle, resulting in high overall asset replacement cost. A visual inspection performed during routine maintenance is not viable to confirm degradation or predict upcoming failures. Industry reports state that 60 percent of maintenance for this type of equipment is due to equipment breakdown which is unscheduled and costlier than planned activity.

BASF plant managers wanted to have a clearer and more precise understanding of how their fleet of rotating equipment was performing and how to make maintenance more cost effective.

ABB has provided BASF an end-to-end solution that goes from wireless sensors up to advanced analytics and enterprise dashboard for a fleet of rotating assets. The innovative solution runs complex fleet diagnostic algorithms to improve the overall fleet operation. As a result of this comprehensive solution BASF is now able to benefit from an “Industry 4.0” production system. In particular, it can easily gauge the status of each component in the plant using fleet analytic algorithms running on ABB Ability™ systems. This gives BASF enough information to carry out an effective maintenance strategy, thereby achieving an increase in the efficiency and effectiveness of its assets.