Enabling the energy revolution through automation

ABB is bringing the Industrial Internet of Things to electrical substations and cutting downtime by up to 50 percent.

Digital Substation

Tied up with copper wire

Electrical substations have typically used miles of copper cabling for point-to-point connections. Copper is expensive, has limited signaling capacity, and crucially in the environment of a substation, introduces potential safety risks to workers and equipment. This outdated method of signaling results in expensive testing and maintenance, leaving critical information stranded until periodic checks are made on location. If supervisors were able to leverage the data in real time, it would be a huge opportunity to improve grid integrity and reduce power interruptions.

Electrical and digital expertise, applied together

By replacing copper wires with fiber-optic connectivity, ABB is able to lay the foundation for automated, high-performance digital substations. Then we collect and analyze data through cloud-based software, arriving at solutions that optimize power-grid asset health.

  • Condition data is collected via the Industrial Internet of Things in real time around the clock
  • ABB Ability™ solutions filter and analyze the data, using cloud-based software that we have developed based on our deep experience in the power transmission industry
  • The predictive algorithms provide information regarding maintenance and risk reduction
  • The insights are also used to optimize performance and improve the substation’s efficiency and cost effectiveness
Digital Substation

The benefits of digital automation

  • Utilities can drive their assets harder
  • Predictive maintenance identifies issues before they occur
  • Longer asset lifespans
  • Reduced environmental footprint
  • Improved worker safety and asset protection
  • Smaller physical footprint of future substations

Digital Substation

Business benefits for utilities and industry

  • Reduction of copper cable-associated costs by up to 80 percent
  • Transformer downtime reduced by up to 50 percent
  • Breaker downtime reduced by up to 50 percent
  • Reduced spending on maintenance