As a leader in industrial digital technologies, ABB is a protagonist of the fourth industrial revolution, with innovative solutions so good that the company installs them at its own production plants.
The Dalmine facility produces medium-voltage switchgear, disconnectors and switchboards and is one of ABB’s Lighthouse Plants. Along with its sister factories in Frosinone and Santa Palomba (Rome), Dalmine was selected by the Intelligent Factory Cluster on behalf of the Ministry of Economic Development as a model for companies aiming for Digital Transformation in accordance with Industry 4.0.
To complete the automation and digitization program at the production site, ABB has invested in a rooftop photovoltaic system that will reach a total installed capacity of about 900 kW to optimize energy costs and environmental welfare. Cost savings are estimated at over €60,000 per year with CO2 emissions savings estimated to be 130 tons per year, had a conventional system been installed.
"The new system provides air conditioning in summer and light air conditioning in spring and autumn, producing, in the three seasons, a quantity of photovoltaic electricity equal to or greater than the need," said Sabatino Senatore, Facility Manager at ABB Dalmine.
The photovoltaic system uses the most advanced technologies: System pro E power main distribution boards with Tmax XT circuit breakers, solar inverters TRIO-TM-50.0-400 series and advanced digital systems such as the cloud-based energy management platform ABB Ability™ Electrical Distribution Control System (EDCS).
The plant’s core is Ekip UP, the plug-and-play digital unit that converts low-voltage plants into digital micro-grids by connecting the existing electrical system to the ABB Ability™ platform.
"Ekip UP monitors the generation of photovoltaic energy, ensuring active protection and rapid fault diagnostics," explains Daniele Colombo, Product Marketing Specialist, Business Line Smart Power. "Ekip UP complies with CEI 0-16 for the connection of photovoltaic systems to the grid, thus allowing the use of renewable sources for eco-sustainable buildings and industries. In addition, it offers continuous plant management and control functions, ensuring gains in productivity and energy savings thanks to the cloud connectivity that enables remote monitoring, energy consumption measurement and alarm status collection.”
In just one single device ABB has embedded electrical protection, energy quality measurements and connectivity to supervise and monitor systems and has reduced the number of components by one third compared to traditional systems.
"Ekip UP is used to upgrade existing systems, enabling remote energy monitoring and optimization of installed assets. By also integrating the interface protection system (SPI) CEI 0-16, Ekip UP becomes ABB newest solution for the management of renewable energy in our country," said Fabio Monachesi, Global Product Manager, Business Line Smart Power.
Facility managers in ABB Dalmine can now put the photovoltaic system into operation in line with national regulations, monitoring the efficiency of the system in real time, receiving notifications via e-mail or SMS to immediately react to anomalies or faults.