Ekip UP – an ABB AbilityTM smart power solution - has rapidly become the preferred solution for upgrading electrical distribution systems in old facilities to make them digital. Now, for the first time, Ekip UP has been chosen for a marine application, modernizing the circuit breakers in a major service vessel in the United Kingdom.
The challenge: Upgrading outdated circuit breakers
The 86-meter-long ship is more than 35 years old, and it operates a grueling 24/7 schedule. It was originally equipped with ABB Megamax circuit breakers, which today have become outdated. Spare parts will be guaranteed by ABB until end 2019. With only 12 to 18 months of anticipated service life remaining for the breakers, the ship’s owners understood that a prompt upgrade was needed.
The solution: The Ekip UP digital platform
The vessel’s owners called on ABB for a solution to modernize the electrical system. ABB Electrification, Marine & Ports, and Service teams responded with a recommendation to use Ekip UP as an electronic retrofitting kit for the old Megamax devices, together with related maintenance.
In just one hour, Ekip UP makes every installed low-voltage circuit breaker ready for the digital word. Through plug-in sensors up to 6,300A, the innovative unit avoids critical downtime, resulting in a unique answer to retrofit protection for every kind of electrical distribution and generation system.
Thanks to embedded power quality metering, environmental probes, and communication capabilities, the Ekip UP product range is the solution to enable existing switchgear to connect to the ABB AbilityTM Electrical Distribution Control system (EDCS) cloud-based energy management platform with on-premises supervision systems. The complete architecture enables remote energy and asset power monitoring, resources cost allocation and improvement efficiency actions, reducing operational costs by up to 30 percent.
The results: Significant cost savings and a more flexible system
For the ship’s owners, Ekip UP resolved all potential concerns about investing money in maintenance of old assets with a short residual life expectancy. The new smart power product range costs 70 percent less than the standard renovation of circuit breakers while increasing plant reliability through more than 35 built-in ANSI protection devices.
“This was an aging asset, but it didn’t have to be an obsolete one,” said Tim Munn, Head of Sales of UK ABB Marine & Ports. “A key benefit of Ekip UP is that it extends the asset capital expenditure over a longer timeframe.”
The three collaborating ABB teams installed eight Ekip UP Protect units and provided spare parts to maintain the basic Megamax breakers in just three days, less than half the time that would have been required to revamp the electrical system with traditional retrofitting devices.
“This is a vessel that functions 24 hours a day,” said Atif Saleri, UK Market Development Manager for ABB’s Smart Power. “It was important, therefore, that service continuity would not be affected. ABB is committed to writing the future for safe, smart and sustainable electrification and Ekip UP allowed for a fast upgrade to a much more flexible system, with digital connections to the cloud that enabled around-the-clock energy monitoring and power control on smartphones, tablets or laptops.”
The DNV-GL type approval for Ekip UP has been officially released now, ensuring another ABB global certified solution for ship systems. ABB anticipates this installation becoming the future reference model for marine electrical system applications, for which Ekip UP digital units are fully ready.