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ABB Stayed Busy In August

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As August comes to an end, it’s time for us to look back at the month and give the stories we didn’t cover yet a second look. One industry player we didn’t look at much yet is ABB. If you’ve taken a long road trip in an EV, there’s a good chance that you’ve used one of its chargers. None of the stories from them this month were blockbusters, but taken together, they do show that the company continues to innovate and work to improve the industry.

Let’s take a quick look at what ABB has been up to this month!

Electrifying The World’s Biggest Battery Recycling Facility

ABB and Northvolt announced on the 17th their strengthened collaboration in the field of green batteries, a crucial part of the ongoing energy transition.

ABB has already supplied key electrification and automation equipment to Northvolt Ett gigafactory in Sweden since 2017. The partnership has expanded to include battery recycling, with ABB providing process electrification to power the world’s largest battery recycling facility, Revolt Ett, in Skellefteå, northern Sweden. The financial details were not disclosed, however.

Revolt Ett, the recycling site, is set to process 125,000 tons of end-of-life batteries and battery production waste annually. This makes it the world’s largest plant of its kind. It will support Northvolt’s gigafactory on-site, which has already launched one production block in 2022 and plans to establish more, reaching an annual production capacity of 60 GWh.

“Batteries are a critical technology within the energy transition,” said Emma Nehrenheim, Chief Environmental Officer at Northvolt. “But with massive growth in battery demand it is critical that we secure solutions to recycle batteries and ensure reliable, sustainable supply of critical minerals. This new facility Revolt Ett will help us achieve both of these goals as we work towards our mission of building the world’s greenest battery.”

Northvolt supplies lithium-ion batteries to the automotive, industrial, and energy storage sectors, supporting the global energy transition. According to the World Economic Forum, the demand for batteries is projected to increase 14-fold by 2030 due to the rise of electric vehicles.

ABB will supply switchgears and variable speed drives to the facility. These will synchronize with the factory’s processes, adjusting power levels as needed. This not only saves energy but also enhances performance and reduces maintenance requirements.

First To Earn Key Certifications For Its DCFC Units

ABB E-mobility is the first manufacturer to earn NTEP1 and CTEP2 certifications for DC fast chargers. These certifications indicate compliance with NIST Handbook 44 in approved laboratory conditions. The CTEP certification program, overseen by the California Division of Measurement Standards, ensures compliance for chargers operating within the state.

The company’s best-selling Terra 124 and Terra 184 chargers have received these important certifications. These chargers are specifically designed to support public charging operations for light duty vehicles and fleets in the United States. Under the CTEP and NTEP programs, chargers engaged in the sale of electricity to EVs must display the amount of electricity dispensed, the unit price, and the total price.

ABB E-Mobility’s DC fast chargers, including its Build America, Buy America compliant chargers manufactured in Columbia, South Carolina, meet the metering requirements of these programs. The Terra 184 also enables NEVI charging programs to meet hardware standards, connectivity demands, and services, ensuring 97% uptime. Production began earlier this year, and Terra 184 DC fast chargers manufactured in South Carolina have already been installed on highways across the United States.

On top of these DC fast charging certifications, the Terra AC Wallbox in its 40 A and 80 A configurations has also received CTEP certification, making it ideal for commercial and fleet applications. ABB E-mobility collaborated with software partner Chargelab to ensure software compliance for this CTEP certified AC charging solution.

“Meeting market needs and providing a transparent and positive customer experience are integral to a growing e-mobility industry,” said Asaf Nagler, Vice President of External Affairs for ABB E-mobility in North America. “Earning these important certifications underscores our commitment to highly reliable and trustworthy charging infrastructure which serves all EV drivers.”

Investment In Cloud Provider Pratexo

A few days later, the company announced an expanded partnership with Pratexo, an edge-to-cloud acceleration platform company.

Pratexo’s technology platform empowers IoT and artificial intelligence initiatives, requiring edge compute power. It enables quick system setup for processing large data volumes from IoT sensors and running real-time advanced analytics at the device location, rather than in the cloud.

ABB’s Electrification Service will use Pratexo’s no-code development platform, Pratexo Studio, to enhance the design of edge-to-cloud digital solutions. This collaboration empowers customers to make informed decisions for future operations. The collaboration with Pratexo enables ABB’s customers to deploy edge-based networks and solutions. This empowers real-time insights, while reducing cloud data transfer volumes, enhancing data privacy and security, and enabling offline functionality.

Customized, decentralized software solutions enable distribution grid operators to efficiently manage, monitor, and assess electrical systems in real time. These solutions help identify potential machine faults and optimize operations at the local level. They also facilitate adjustments to rapidly changing circumstances, such as changes in power availability and consumption.

“We are in a unique position to support customers in their digital transformation regardless of what stage they are at. Investing in and partnering with innovative startups like Pratexo advances our technological services capabilities to provide enhanced industry 4.0 business outcomes to our customers,” said Stuart Thompson, President of ABB’s Electrification Service Division. “With the open technology stack from Pratexo, we can deploy and scale the transition seamlessly, securely and in a bespoke manner.”

Pratexo, part of ABB SynerLeap innovation growth hub, emerged as one of the three winners in ABB Electrification’s 2022 Startup Challenge, a global competition for innovators driving the world’s safe, smart, and sustainable shift towards electrification.

This investment makes for ABB’s sixth venture capital investment of 2023, further expanding its ecosystem of innovation partners. This investment aims to support the development of decarbonization solutions. Since its establishment in 2009, ABB’s venture capital unit, ATV, has invested approximately $300 million into startups aligned with its electrification, robotics, automation, and motion portfolio.

“With the increased focus on IT security and privacy, companies are moving away from centralized cloud to edge and micro cloud based IoT solutions to retain resilience, flexibility and scalability,” said Mads Moeller, Head of ABB Technology Ventures for Electrification. “This partnership will fast-track the development of software technology for ABB’s customers to perform real-time, causal analysis for electrical faults, allowing for improved operations.”

Featured image provided by ABB.

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Written By

Jennifer Sensiba is a long time efficient vehicle enthusiast, writer, and photographer. She grew up around a transmission shop, and has been experimenting with vehicle efficiency since she was 16 and drove a Pontiac Fiero. She likes to get off the beaten path in her "Bolt EAV" and any other EVs she can get behind the wheel or handlebars of with her wife and kids. You can find her on Twitter here, Facebook here, and YouTube here.


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