I have accumulated several pieces of news from ABB. The company has spent the Covid months quite busy.

  • Peter Terwiesch, President of ABB Industrial Automation becomes executive member of the EU Alliance established to kick-start the European hydrogen industry.
  • ABB supports India’s Koppal district to ease water shortages with digital water management solutions.
  • ABB launches ABB Ability Safety Plus for hoists ensuring the highest level of personnel and equipment safety.

Clean Hydrogen Industry

ABB has been granted membership into the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance (ECH2A), the official EU body focused on an ambitious deployment of hydrogen (H2) technologies by 2030, as a means to reduce carbon emissions and help achieve European carbon neutrality by 2050.

Peter Terwiesch

Peter Terwiesch will be ABB’s executive sponsor in the Alliance and will be actively working with governments and other Alliance members to scale up the hydrogen value chain across Europe. 

The use of hydrogen has been identified as crucial to achieve the objectives of the European Green Deal and Europe’s clean energy transition. It has several uses, from storing renewable energy to fuelling heavy transport, and as energy and feedstock in energy-intensive industry, such as in the steel or chemical sectors.

Most importantly, hydrogen only emits water and heat when used, no carbon. In fact, if H2 is produced from renewable sources, the whole hydrogen value chain is carbon-free. Hydrogen thereby is an excellent complement to electricity and offers a solution to decarbonize industrial processes and economic sectors where reducing carbon emissions is both urgent and hard to achieve. 

“Europe’s opportunity to reduce carbon emissions by scaling up the production, transport and use of hydrogen is significant. Automation, electrification and digitalization will play an important role in unlocking this potential. At ABB we are proud to be joining the ECH2A, to continue our collaborations with governments, industries, regulators and academia to further accelerate the implementation of hydrogen,” said Peter Terwiesch, President of ABB Industrial Automation. “We have a unique mix of relevant domain expertise and solutions to support industry and make a real difference in deploying new clean hydrogen technologies.” 

ABB enables the transition from carbon-based fuels to hydrogen through its expertise and portfolio of systems, products, services and digital solutions. The company is collaborating with customers, partners and legislators to build the hydrogen ecosystem – from key technology collaborations to explore large-scale green production systems, to a new hydrogen production facility in France, and the development of megawatt-scale fuel cells to power large ocean-going ships.

“This membership further strengthens our commitment to the UN’s sustainable development goals for 2050, as well as our own commitment to reduce our customers’ carbon footprint by more than 100 Megatonnes per annum through ABB technologies. ECH2A is one of many associations we are part of to actively drive this agenda forward,” Peter Terwiesch continued. 

Digital Water Management in India

In a unique project led by L&T Construction Water & Effluent Treatment IC for the Government of Kartanaka, ABB’s end-to-end solutions will help the local water authority to track, measure, and optimize water use in this drought-stricken region of southwest India, as well as pump and distribute clean treated river water to village homes. The solution includes 635 digital flowmeters and technologies to improve control at pumping stations and reservoirs.

With a population of around one million people, the Koppal district is regularly challenged by water shortages. Until now, responses have ranged from preserving ancient wells to following age-old water conservation practices, but thanks to digital technologies, the Kushtagi and Yelburga villages will soon benefit from ABB’s digital water management solutions as part of a multi-village clean drinking water scheme.

Koppal needed solutions that could effectively monitor water flow and manage leaks to reduce non-revenue water and achieve overall productivity improvement in a widely dispersed water distribution network set-up. L&T Construction Water & Effluent Treatment IC, the lead contractor for the project, chose ABB Ability Symphony Plus SCADA and ABB’s AquaMaster 4 flowmeters for the project, sanctioned by the Rural Water Supply & Sanitation Department, Koppal, Karnataka.

ABB’s engagement spans the end-to-end automation and instrumentation of the project, from the pumping station at the river to the treatment of clean drinking water. The route comprises 620 overhead tanks and 16 reservoirs. The project involves putting in place a network of RTUs (remote terminal units) for remote locations and pumping stations and ABB Ability Symphony Plus SCADA to supervise and control the operation. ABB Ability Symphony Plus SCADA is designed to maximize reliability and availability of water plants and networks through integrated information management, integration of equipment, and process optimization based on the entire water network data for safer and enhanced operations.

The SCADA solutions help monitor and analyze daily flow consumption patterns thereby identifying possible leaks and sending the information in real-time to the central control room. This helps to avert water loss because it means that leaks are identified and can be repaired swiftly. 

ABB’s AquaMaster 4 elctromagnetic flowmeters, running on battery power, will offer reliability even in low flow conditions, in areas where most mechanical flowmeters would fail. They offer measurement accuracy down to flow velocities lower than 0.1m/s where most meters struggle to even detect flow.  As the vast majority of leaks are small but continuous, the ability of AquaMaster to detect small variations in flow is crucial in combating the water shortage challenge in the Koppal district.

G Srinivas Rao, Head of ABB Measurement & Analytics in India, said: “As India moves swiftly towards smart and sustainable villages, towns and cities, one of the key challenges is water management. This project shows how ABB’s digital water management solutions can be deployed not only in cities but also to provide clean, drinking water in the villages that are crucial to our agrarian economy. We are proud partners in this project in the state where ABB India is headquartered, and in the district which contributes so significantly to our agricultural output.”

ABB Ability Safety Plus for hoists

Global technology company ABB is launching ABB Ability Safety Plus for hoists, a suite of mine hoist safety products that brings the highest level of personnel and equipment safety available to the mining industry. The products include Safety Plus Hoist Monitor (SPHM), Safety Plus Hoist Protector (SPHP) and Safety Plus Brake System (SPBS) including Safety Brake Hydraulics (SBH).

Designed in accordance with the international ‘safety of machinery’ standard (IEC62061), the products have been independently certified by research institute RISE (Research Institute of Sweden) which works with companies, academia and the public sector in industrialization, quality assurance and certification.

ABB Ability Safety Plus for hoists includes the new ABB SIL 3 Safety Plus Brake System (SPBS), which is the mining industry’s first fully independently certified Safety Integrity Level 3 (SIL 3) mine hoist brake system. SPBS will increase the safety of personnel riding mine hoists as well as the safety of the equipment, hoist and shaft infrastructure. The new SPHP provides enhanced protection for the mine hoist and mine shaft infrastructure equipment.

ABB SIL 3 SPBS handles the application of the safety brakes during emergency stops and the prevention of brake lift. ABB SIL 3 SPHP monitors the speed and position of the hoists. It also monitors the instrumentation used by personnel accessing or using the hoist from different levels, for example, at gates and maintenance platforms, emergency stop buttons and remote lockout points. The ABB SIL 3 SPHP interfaces with the safety brake system to bring or keep the hoist to a safe state. It also interfaces with the drive and hoist control system.

“This is a significant milestone in mine hoist safety representing a world first for fully certified Safety Integrity Level 3 hoisting,” said Oswald Deuchar, Global Product Line Manager for Hoisting, ABB. “Labor safety is a key priority for mine operators and increasing legislation underlines this imperative. The ABB Ability Safety Plus for hoists suite of products, SIL 3-rated components and self-diagnostics will ensure high availability of the mine hoist while providing the highest level of safety. These products are ready-made safety solutions, which are exhaustively tested in house, and designed for tough mine environments.”

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