The entire electricity system is undergoing changes on a scale and pace not seen since its inception. While there is a rapid growth in renewables, which are by nature subject to supply fluctuations, generation is now distributed over a lot of locations far away from the centers of consumption and the traditional model of one-way electricity flows is giving way to multi-directional flows. This is not only bringing about changes in the transmission infrastructure itself but also the way it is operated, necessitating more intelligent management of supply and demand. This requires sophisticated monitoring, communication and control systems across the power value chain of generation, transmission, distribution, storage and consumption and calls for a smarter power system that makes greater use of digital technologies.
Digital substations will play a key role in the power system of the future. They will incorporate digital communications via fiber optic cables, replacing traditional copper connections using analog signals. They will also enable greater flexibility, availability and safety, while reducing cost, risk and environmental impact. Digital substations will also feature Intelligent Electronic Devices (IEDs) with integrated information and communication technology. An IED is a microprocessor-based protection and control device for power equipment, such as circuit breakers, transformers and capacitor banks. The increasing amounts of data available in a digital substation will also enable more sophisticated monitoring, diagnostics, protection and optimization of assets.
Through Internet of Things, condition data is collected in real-time and around the clock. This data can be filtered and analyzed using cloud-based software which was developed by the company based on its experience in the power transmission industry. ABB's offer of digital solutions is summarized under the term ABB Ability. Algorithms provide information about the condition of the components and improve the maintenance. With these findings, performance can be optimized and risks can be reduced, which improves the efficiency and profitability of substations. At Hanover Fair, ABB will present the concept of a digital substation. Numerous existing products and solutions are integrated and allow the customer to discuss the vision of the future's power grid.
In 2015, ABB in Germany generated sales revenues of EUR 3.40 billion and employed 10,480 persons. ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technology leader in electrification products, robotics and motion, industrial automation and power grids, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing more than a 125-year history of innovation, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization and driving the Energy and Fourth Industrial Revolutions. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 135,000 employees.