As few businesses can afford the negative impact of power anomalies, they need to make sure they’ve chosen the best preventative tools.
Before digitalisation and the advent of artificial intelligence, when a company suffered a power cut, it was often more of an inconvenience than a major disaster: a few frustrating hours waiting for a fault to be repaired before business resumed as usual.
Data Centres, hospitals, airports, telecommunication hubs, industrial plants, and a range of essential services had emergency generators that would shudder into life as soon as the electricity failed.
But today, for critical power applications, an outage of even milliseconds can have wide-ranging and devastating economic effects, and compromise the safety of individuals.
As IoT applications, AI, automation and cloud computing gain momentum, the issue of critical power supply has become of vital importance to business operations.
“So many companies need to have absolute confidence they’ll have uninterrupted access to data centres and a reliable solution to power outages or system failures,” said Shun Mizuta, ABB’s Product Marketing Manager. “Preventing these from occurring requires technology that meets varying power load requirements, can withstand a sudden surge in demand and copes with the many power anomalies we experience today.”
Selecting the right equipment for continuous, conditioned power supply is crucial, but not straightforward given that every company has its own unique requirements.
ABB is a global leader in innovative electrification solutions and offers a range of low and medium voltage products to monitor and maintain clean, conditioned power for all critical applications.
“I often speak to businesses who tell me they have a system in place to cope with an electrical failure, but don’t realise it may not be the right product and could let them down when they need it,” Mizuta said.
“Our technology not only maintains continuous conditioned supply using ABB Ability’s predicative maintenance platform, it works out the optimum time for any repairs to be carried out in the most cost-effective way.”
Monitoring and diagnostics
Converting the vast volumes of data surrounding the flow of power into diagnostic intelligence is critical in detecting potential problems and instigating preventative solutions. ABB’s Medium Voltage Switchgear Monitoring is a unit that provides day-to-day updates on the health of circuits and records the temperature at critical points so asset owners can understand any problems, and how to correct them.
Meanwhile, the uninterruptible power supply (UPS) protects auxiliary power supply if the primary source is lost.
“Our DPA modular UPS design delivers the highest availability and efficiency in the market, and eliminates maintenance downtime,” Mizuta said.
In such circumstances, the speed of the switch to a second power source is vitally important. A recent industry breakthrough is ABB’s TruONE ATS, the world’s first all-in-one automatic transfer switch, engineered with the controller and switching part integrated into one unit. TruONE can be connected to ABB Ability Energy and Asset Manager, and helps predictive maintenance minimise downtime and prevent unpredicted system failures.
Continuous electricity supply goes beyond dealing with system malfunctions or building-wide outages. The energy and load management improves productivity by optimising usage and delivering real-time data through integrated web servers.
“Our smart monitoring system, InSite, measures what’s going on in the sub distribution board and helps identify abnormalities to protect against faults,” said Mizuta.
“Its control unit gathers data from field devices through Modbus RTU or TCP/IP, and visualises them at a single access point in a web server.”
The resulting efficiencies can also reduce energy bills by up to a fifth, and CO2 emissions by 15 per cent.
One of the biggest advantages of ABB’s suite of critical energy products is that they can be integrated seamlessly through the cloud-based EMS, ABB Ability, with all the data centralised to make predictive maintenance much easier.
“The effects of a disruption to the electrical supply can be severe for corporations, public infrastructure, communities and the environment,” Mizuta said. “It can bring a business to a standstill, interrupt public services and put people in danger. Luckily, ABB’s high-quality solutions bring reassurance that any inconvenience is kept to an absolute minimum.”
Find out more: Download ABB’s whitepaper to learn about the products and solutions that ensure reliable and efficient operation of mission critical power applications.