System pro M compact® InSite for scalable energy and asset management

System pro M compact® InSite for scalable energy and asset management

Enabling customers to align resource utilization with sustainability targets, ABB’s fully integrated system for electric power sub distribution makes seamless digital interaction, information collection and secure control possible anywhere at any time.

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Paweł Ludowski, Grzegorz Moliński, Jerzy Wąsacz ABB Electrification/Smart Buildings Cracow, Poland, pawel.ludowski@ pl.abb.com, grzegorz.molinski@pl.abb.com, jerzy.wasacz@pl.abb.com; Luciano Di Maio, Sebastiano Paganini, Gabriele Bressan ABB Electrification/Smart Buildings Vittuone, Italy, luciano.di_maio@ it.abb.com, sebastiano.paganini@it.abb.com, gabriele.bressan@ it.abb.com

Digitization is changing the world of energy distribution; making it safer, smarter and more sustainable. Because collecting and analyzing data is now a snap, connectivity-based solutions can increase resource awareness and process behaviors. By optimizing asset management by controlling and monitoring operations and costs, a more conscious utilization of resources and energy efficiency can emerge. ABB’s System pro M compact® InSite range of energy and asset management solutions for sub distribution accomplishes this by being smart and scalable, energy efficient and by enabling continuity of operation.

Scalable, flexible, transparent and compliant with energy standards, this cyber secure system collects data from devices, eg, energy- and power meters; analyzes it, and makes data available in a myriad of ways; and, at long last, allows optimization analysis and automated control in the field. Any size of public-, commercial- or industrial building can easily be connected to the cloud →01; the InSite Web server and existing installations can be revamped, quickly, without replacing existing components. Installation and configuration time is reduced dramatically; thereby minimizing downtime and costs.

Thanks to diagnostics and real-time notifications, total transparency over system performance is ensured. Moreover, compliance with energy efficiency standards and control over facility consumption result in energy savings of up to 20 percent – a boon to customers who aim for the highest sustainability targets.

01 System pro M compact® InSite solution is scalable, flexible and transparent; providing advantages for public and commercial buildings from small shops to skyscrapers as described here.
01 System pro M compact® InSite solution is scalable, flexible and transparent; providing advantages for public and commercial buildings from small shops to skyscrapers as described here.
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System pro M compact® InSite
System pro M compact® InSite provides energy management capabilities for any size building. Existing installations of small commercial buildings like shops, hotels, offices and restaurants with few panels can be easily upgraded with plug and play assembly. By providing total transparency over the complete energy distribution system and utility consumption eg, gas and water, energy management is improved and operational costs can be significantly reduced.

Further, large commercial buildings eg, office towers, mixed-use commercial buildings, airports, shopping malls, hospitals or large hotels, can be managed more efficiently. Sub-metering and energy costs allocation of different occupiers (eg, single stores in a shopping mall) can be monitored for optimization of energy usage or maintenance processes using the local web server or cloud platform that manages the overall site.

Industrial buildings and critical power applications eg, hospitals, data centers, are assured of service continuity and predictive maintenance, particularly where it is important to reduce or prevent unplanned outages and related costs. System pro M compact® InSite solution can be seamlessly integrated in supervision systems in place for the whole facility such as Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) or Building Management Systems (BMS).

System pro M compact® InSite
With a range of connected devices to support energy and asset management in electric distribution →02, System pro M compact® InSite can be installed as a standalone solution or integrated into any IT infrastructure, eg, cloud-based ABB Ability™ platform; making energy efficiency standards compliance easy.

02 A schematic of the System pro M compact® InSite architecture is shown.
02 A schematic of the System pro M compact® InSite architecture is shown.
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The system SCU100 control unit is key →03; it improves the electric power distribution consumption awareness by allowing better energy and asset management in sub distribution boards: data can be gathered from up to 16 energy and power meters, the system can be connected up to 96 current sensors for branch measurement, SCU100 can control the complete energy distribution system with digital input and output (I/O) modules: the interface between DIN-rail primary equipment, protections and SCU100 control unit →02, and easily connect to classic accessories (MCBs and RCDs) and other DIN-rail products. The input module can be configured to read pulse meters →02.

03 Sample system installation is detailed that includes: the control unit, the digital I/O modules, current sensors and flat cables.
03 Sample system installation is detailed that includes: the control unit, the digital I/O modules, current sensors and flat cables.
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Data collected by SCU100 can be displayed on any personal computer or mobile device thanks to an intuitive graphical user interface (GUI) that supports commissioning, monitoring and controlling; making it easy to reduce energy consumption and identify potential risks. Users can customize alerts and configure automatic actions to optimize the management of energy and assets.

Monitoring and controlling is easy with SCU100 control unit
The brains of the System pro M compact® InSite range, the SCU100 control unit →04, is based on the proven CMS-700 control unit hardware with four ports for InSite bus/meters and higher CPU frequency. New system features with enhanced functions make complete in-depth monitoring of the electric distribution system intuitive. Moreover, SCU100 introduces support for InSite PRO-M Digital I/O modules and full preconfigured data interface for the full family of ABB energy meters (series A, B and C) and power meters (series M4M, M2M, M1M, IM300, DTDME) via a simple Modbus RTU communication protocol.

04 SCU100 Control unit (shown) is pivotal for the ability to monitor and control; this enables customers to implement energy strategies and reach goals.
04 SCU100 Control unit (shown) is pivotal for the ability to monitor and control; this enables customers to implement energy strategies and reach goals.
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Thanks to the modular software architecture, effective inter-process communication and increased performance and reliability are possible. For instance, adding software packages does not affect the modules pre-existing on a device, thereby improving update-process efficiency which translates to less downtime because only new and updated components are distributed with an update image; the rest remains unchanged.

The operating system, based on Linux kernel, was built using Yocto Project: an open-source collaboration project that allows the creation of custom Linux-based systems regardless of hardware architecture. Here, the building of operating system, InSite software and additional open-source components is unified using recipes that describe the configuration, compilation and deployment of each component. An inhouse Python code prepares the recipes and generates output images. The built software tracks versions of software components; adding to the customer image only new or updated ones as compared to the reference supported version.

ABB relied on the user experience approach and analysis of usability heuristics to design the software WUI interface [1] →05. By applying rules, defined by Jakob Nielsen, to determine interface usability, identify issues and possible solutions, ABB ensured a superb user experience.

05 An example of the SCU-100 Control Unit’s WUI display is shown. Customers benefit greatly from usability.
05 An example of the SCU-100 Control Unit’s WUI display is shown. Customers benefit greatly from usability.
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Defects can be recognized early and the software development process quality and product stability can be continuously improved because the software building and testing phases are fully automated on a dedicated platform according to Continuous Integration. The platform is constructed using Docker containers, for software building, deployment and tests. Software artifacts are validated by automated tests written in Python and py.test framework. Further, system features (measurements, communication protocols and behavior of WUI) are tested iteratively, thereby guaranteeing full regression at each intermediate SW release stage until the final product is deployed. This facilitates a fast time to market and the ability to meet evolving demands.

Smarter with Input/Output modules
In addition to CMS current sensors, ABB has introduced new peripherals to handle digital Input/Output (I/O) signals and pulsed outputs for flow, heat or energy meters. This broadens the capabilities of the system to acquire more information for complete control of the sub- and final distribution cabinets and the energy consumption of connected utilities.

SCU100 provides four ports to connect up to 24 digital IOs, with four channels each. Digital IO modules are available in three variants: four Is, four Os and combined two Is/two Os.

06 Connectivity and compatibility ensure fast and reliable operation with I/O modules.
06 Connectivity and compatibility ensure fast and reliable operation with I/O modules.
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The I/O modules architecture, based on the cost-effective and low power consuming ARM cortex M microcontroller, allows fast and reliable operation →06. Input channels can be configured in two modes – digital input or pulse input. Active inputs each provide 5mA of current at 24V to operate with relay-type outputs without requiring additional external power supply. Each input is galvanically isolated from the communication bus. Output channels can be programmed to control devices, eg, motor-operated devices (ABB product ranges S2C-CM, F2C-CM and DS2C-CM) or shunt trip device for which the 2 I/ 2 O module fits perfectly. Based on dry contact, outputs require an external power supply to feed the attached accessory (24 V DC up to 230 V AC). To ensure smooth operation with other power supplies, each channel is galvanically isolated from communication bus and other channels.

Safer with cyber security
The System pro M compact ® InSite system underwent a comprehensive and rigorous cyber security assessment process: an external review of the attack surface and possible vectors that could be breached by unauthorized user access. Full system cyber security tests were performed by ABB Cyber Defense Evaluation Center (CDEC) and by ABB Device Security Assurance Center (DSAC).

Tests confirmed the robustness and resilience of SCU-100 cyber security features: packets storming on different layers, Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model – Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks, and known-vulnerabilities for supported communication protocols.

Additionally, Ethernet, ARP, ICMP, IP, TCP and UDP protocols have been subjected to stress tests to assess possible hidden vulnerabilities in software stacks.

And, because the SCU-100 control unit supports encrypted HTTPS and SNMPv3 protocols,, secure communication is assured. Equipped with an internal firewall based on a nftables network packet filter, the system allows only incoming and outgoing traffic on configured ports that is activated for enabled communication protocols or traffic belonging to connections initiated by the control unit eg, when connecting to the Network Time Protocol (NTP) server to update the system time. Moreover, as rules comprise rate limiter definitions, the device is protected from DoS attacks. Importantly, all invalid packages are dropped before they reach the target service and cause malfunction.

SCU-100 WUI supports authentication and authorization for three types of access roles. Hardening techniques, eg, limit-failed login attempts or increasing delays between attempts, discourage possible hackers from unauthorized access using brute force attacks on web application. Further protection is insured; software updates are only possible via a password protected administrator account. The customer image is delivered with included signature, which is verified on the device during update process. It ensures that no malformed, altered or virus-infected image can be installed.

Flexibility with integration into third-party cloud systems
Since the software version 1.1.0, SCU100 introduces support for REST API interface and VPN, secure connections are enhanced. It is now possible to connect multiple control units via VPN to a single access point with a customer-side VPN server. A secure virtual private tunnel can carry information between control units and a server placed in different locations.

InSite Pro M REST API gateway application is built to ease the integration of the system with a customer’s cloud; including secure access to control units in the field by deploying this application into the customer’s cloud platform (available on request as Docker container image). The gateway handles data retrieval from control units with RESTful pre-programmed queries and presents results in JSON format.

This integration technique has been successfully tested with ABB partners and deployed in submetering applications to gather data from photovoltaic plants and consumer communities, aggregating and storing data into third party blockchains.

More integration with ABB Ability™ Energy and Asset Manager
The InSite pro M system is now integrated into new SaaS ABB Ability™ Energy and Asset Manager →07. The connection is possible with the new E-Hub 2.0 IoT gateway or ABB Ability™ Edge Industrial gateway and the commissioning tool Ekip Connect or Ability™ Energy and Asset Manager cloud provisioning tool. The visualization of InSite data on the Energy and Asset manager cloud computing platform is possible through dedicated widgets showing collected measurement data from the InSite Pro M system. The cloud solution is suitable for small and midsize plants, shopping- or data centers, thereby saving customers up to 30 percent on their energy bills and up to 40 percent on maintenance costs [2].

07 Sub distribution board with System pro M compact® InSite.
07 Sub distribution board with System pro M compact® InSite.
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Product launch and market opportunities
Launched globally in 2020, the System pro M compact® InSite range is driving ABB’s energy and asset management offerings toward a more digital portfolio for sub- and final electric distribution. By introducing a fully integrated system capable of seamless digital interaction, information collection and secure control of all major electric components typically present in electric distribution, ABB is leading the way to align utilization with sustainability targets.

With market recognition and success expanding, the system has been deployed in several innovative applications and configurations, eg, Blockchain solutions for residential house communities to manage measurement and billing of self-produced electricity from solar plants; data centers, in several configurations, to monitor electric performance and provide heightened security; and in Telecom for monitoring and analyzing electric consumption.

ABB’s System pro M compact® InSite range offers customers scalability, flexibility and transparency and a cyber-secure standards-compliant means of energy and asset management for their entire electric sub distribution, today and in the future, thereby helping them toward a more conscious utilization of resources and energy efficiency. 

References
[1] J. Nielson, “10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design”, in NN/G Nielson Norman Group, April 24, 1994, [Online] Available: https://www.nngroup.com/articles/ten-usability-heuristics/
[2] ABB, “ABB offers innovative integrated energy and asset management as Software-as-a-Service”, ABB Press release, Oct. 19, 2020, [Online] Available: https://new.abb.com/news/detail/68793/abb-offers-innovative-integrated-energy-and-asset-management-as-software-as-a-service/

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