ABB’s commitment to combating climate change includes limiting the environmental impact of its own operations.
At its site in Lüdenscheid, Germany, ABB is showing how a sustainable energy transition can succeed with digital energy management.
After a two-year design and construction phase, as part of its “Mission to Zero” project, ABB has opened its first CO2-neutral and energy self-sufficient production site in the world, with the commissioning of a solar power plant at a factory of its subsidiary Busch-Jaeger.
ABB technology will generate enough power from the solar plant to cover, on sunny days, 100 percent of the factory’s power requirements. The flagship site will save about 630 tonnes of CO2 a year.
The full energy cycle of the factory has been created with ABB’s energy-efficient components so that the entire system can run with significantly less power.
A large part of the energy that is needed is created with a sustainable solar power plant and an extremely energy-efficient cogeneration plant.
Measuring 3,500 square meters and installed over the car parks on the company premises, the photovoltaic system will deliver around 1,100 MWh of climate-neutral solar power a year – approximately the annual requirement of 3,360 private households.
In combination with a cogeneration plant, which operates with double the energy efficiency of a coal-fired power plant, around 14 percent more energy can be generated than is needed at the site.
The surplus power is fed into the public grid, contributing to the region’s power supply with sustainably produced energy.
To cover peaks in demand, additional green energy is sourced from MVV Energie AG, which guarantees 100 percent CO2-neutral production.
“The photovoltaic system is part of an integrated solution that covers all aspects of energy production and distribution, making it possible to generate enough power to cover on sunny days 100 percent of its power requirements,” says Tarak Mehta, President of the Electrification business at ABB.
“With this state-of-the-art site, we demonstrate the advantages of creating a system in which all components are digitally networked and controllable.
“This intelligent ecosystem enhances energy efficiency, sustainability and resource conservation, enabling a genuine zero emission future for industry and beyond.”
The technical centrepiece of the entire system in Lüdenscheid is the scalable energy management system OPTIMAX from the ABB Ability Energy Management Suite.
The OPTIMAX digital solution provides a continuous and transparent view of energy consumption. It allows real-time monitoring and optimization of energy use, as well as the integration of distributed generation and flexible consumption and storage, and operates largely autonomously.
This learning system calculates the optimum energy flow on the basis of predictive data and compensates for deviations in real time, helping companies to reduce energy costs and emissions.
Aside from the energy management system and the photovoltaic system with inverters, the entire system at the factory brings together other ABB technologies that are digitally interconnected.
For example, a battery energy storage system (BESS) with an output of 200 kW and a capacity of 275 kWh is responsible for energy storage.
In addition, ABB charging points, where staff and visitors can charge their electric vehicles free of charge, provide for an additional improvement in the regional eco-balance.
This single-source energy management solution is rounded off by smart switchgear for energy distribution.
ABB has an extensive portfolio of eco-efficient solutions and services that can help decouple economic growth from environmental impacts.
In fact, over half of ABB’s worldwide revenues are generated by technologies that combat the causes of climate change. The company’s goal is to increase this contribution from 57 percent in 2018 to 60 percent by 2020.
ABB’s current target for climate action is to reduce its own GHG emissions by 40 percent by 2020 from a 2013 baseline.