ABB And Its Smart Grid Center Of Excellence

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Make no mistake about how the future of distributing clean electricity will be managed: smart grid platforms are an integral building block in this clean electricity infrastructure.

The US Department of Energy states this about smart grids:

“’Smart grid’ generally refers to a class of technology people are using to bring utility electricity delivery systems into the 21st century, using computer-based remote control and automation. These systems are made possible by two-way communication technology and computer processing that has been used for decades in other industries. They are beginning to be used on electricity networks, from the power plants and wind farms all the way to the consumers of electricity in homes and businesses. They offer many benefits to utilities and consumers — mostly seen in big improvements in energy efficiency on the electricity grid and in the energy users’ homes and offices.

“For a century, utility companies have had to send workers out to gather much of the data needed to provide electricity. The workers read meters, look for broken equipment and measure voltage, for example. Most of the devices utilities use to deliver electricity have yet to be automated and computerized. Now, many options and products are being made available to the electricity industry to modernize it.”

Modernization of the grid is key as we move forward in this century.

ABB, a pioneer in the development and deployment of smart grid technology, opened its Smart Grid Center of Excellence (COE) in 2011.

Located on Centennial Campus of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, ABB’s team works to fulfill the company’s mission to provide customers with the most proven integrated smart grid solutions for distribution automation.

As stated by ABB, this state-of-the-art Smart Grid COE has been created to demonstrate smart grid technology and provide a testing facility for the smart grid industry. The COE has functional systems which display the end-to-end solution where information technologies and operational technologies “converge to close the loop of automation, control and data acquisition.” Utilities can also utilize the COE’s laboratory capabilities to ensure interoperability between components before they commit to a particular technology or vendor.

As ABB special project manager Conor Lennon points out in this Solar Impulse video below, “If we are to continue growing the economy without harming the environment, we’re going to need to find new ways to produce, transmit, and consume energy. And this calls for smart grids.”

Importantly, much of the focus here is on renewable energy. In an interview earlier this year with CleanTechnica, ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer said, “We have shifted from a manual world to a world driven by electricity. We have shifted from stable fossil fuels to world powered by renewables.”

More information on the Smart Grid Center of Excellence is available at ABB’s web site.

This report has been sponsored by ABB, images via ABB

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