Distributed Control Systems

Making a world of difference with batteries

Charging the energy transition

Once a source of energy for toy cars, today, batteries are indispensable, powering our phones, charging transportation, storing renewables, ensuring critical services and advancing energy ambitions. Battery demand is increasing, with the entire battery chain, from mining to manufacturing to recycling, projected to grow by more than 30 percent by 20301. More than 100 giga-size factories must be built by then to meet the demand, which is fueled by the growth of renewable energy and electrification. While renewable energy sources are abundant, they’re not always available: the sun sets, the winds calm down. For times between, we need batteries that can store the energy and make it available for use as needed.

Distributed Control Systems

Getting the right materials, responsibly

Mining provides the minerals and metals used in batteries, such as lithium, cobalt and nickel. In fact, billions of tons of minerals and metals will be needed to reach net zero2. These materials must be found, extracted and refined responsibly. Mining operations everywhere are becoming increasingly automated, electrified and digitalized, and ABB supports the mining industry with hoists, conveyors, motors, drives and more. Today, with the ABB Ability™ eMine approach, mining equipment can be electrified – from the mine to transportation to port – so cleaner energy is used to source battery materials.
Making a world of difference

Focusing on efficient manufacturing

The demand for batteries is so high that it is measured in gigawatt hours: 700 GWh by 2030, to be exact, according to McKinsey1. That’s about as much energy as it would take to charge about 10 million electric cars! That big demand requires big production, where even small improvements can make a big difference. The manufacturing of aluminum and copper foils inside batteries – from which they get their charge – must be tightly controlled. If they aren’t correctly tensioned and flattened, battery performance and safety can be compromised. ABB has long been helping various industries measure and control flatness and tension of materials, and is now applying this expertise to battery manufacturing, too.

Focusing on efficient manufacturing

Measured approach

Vibration, shocks, and electrical interference can all disturb battery manufacturing. This often means having to adjust and calibrate instruments more frequently to keep production running smoothly. ABB’s Pressductor® load cells withstand vibrations, shocks and overloads, greatly reducing the need to recalibrate while maintaining measurement accuracy and production reliability.

Supplementing these measurements are digital tools like ABB Ability™ Manufacturing Operations Management, which provides visibility, coordination and control of battery manufacturing. ABB’s portfolio of digital solutions help improve efficiency, reliability and safety in battery manufacturing through powerful algorithms, modeling, data analytics and remote support.

Measure approach

On land, on board

ABB energy storage solutions raise the efficiency of grid power by providing smooth integration of renewables and storing excess power to use during demand peaks. They also support higher grid loads that come from electric vehicle (EV) charging. But batteries for mobility aren’t limited to cars: EV may also mean “Electric Vessels.” According to the Maritime Battery forum, currently 821 ships with batteries installed onboard are operating in the world today, with 328 more on order. ABB supports shipping companies globally with electric power and energy storage technologies, integrating batteries on board new and existing vessels with both AC and DC power systems.

Keeping batteries circular

Recycling is vital for many industries, and increasingly so for batteries. The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology notes that up to 90 percent of critical battery elements like cobalt, nickel and manganese can be reclaimed4.

ABB is electrifying the world’s largest battery recycling facility, Northvolt’s Revolt Ett, which will process 125,000 tons of batteries and battery production waste each year. ABB switchgears and variable speed drives will adjust power to stabilize performance, reduce energy use and cut maintenance costs. Instead of heat, Revolt uses a more energy-efficient water process to recover battery materials. For these water flows, ABB’s CoriolisMaster flowmeters will measure mass flow, volume flow, density, temperature and concentration, performing all measurements in a single device.

Ensuring long battery life for the energy transition

Batteries are key for the clean energy transition. They will be increasingly crucial to deal with the ups and downs of renewable energy sources and will help ensure the grid stays stable and dependable as electricity demand grows. ABB’s offerings, expertise and engagement make a world of difference with batteries.

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