Perry Field, General Manager for ABB Power Conditioning, talks to AZoM about their range of medium-voltage (MV) uninterruptible power supplies (UPS’s).
Could you please provide a brief introduction to the industry that ABB works within and outline the key drivers?
ABB is a global leader in power and automation technologies. Our solutions improve the efficiency, productivity and quality of our customers’ operations while minimizing environmental impact. Innovation is at the forefront of what we do and many of the technologies that drive modern society were pioneered by ABB. Based in Zurich, Switzerland, the company employs about 140,000 people and operates in approximately 100 countries. Today ABB is the largest supplier of industrial motors and drives, the largest provider of generators to the wind industry and the largest supplier of power grids in the world.
Why has ABB Power Conditioning developed a range of medium-voltage (MV) uninterruptible power supplies (UPS’s)?
ABB has developed a range of medium voltage UPS’s as a result of the changing landscape in industry and data centers. To gain economies of scale facilities are becoming larger and demanding increasing levels of power. As power requirements increase moving to medium voltage is a natural step.
How do these MV UPS’s help industries who have sensitive or critical loads?
Increased automation demands more and more high quality power to protect complete manufacturing processes, not only control systems. Performing power protection at medium voltage allows complete facility protection, ensuring all sensitive loads are protected.
How do these MV UPS’s tackle the ever-increasing number of renewable energy generators entering the power grid?
The effect of distributed renewable generators in the grid is not increasing the reliability of the grid, but in fact the opposite. Voltage fluctuations are more common with increasing renewable energy and events such as clouds covering a PV generation park causes large power fluctuations in the grid network.
What advantages do the MV UPS’s from ABB Power Conditioning offer users in terms of installation and housing?
The ABB MV UPS is extremely compact for the level of power protection offered. As well as this, with MV the currents in the conductors are lower, meaning locating the power protection in an electrical room or away from the main production site is possible without expensive cable runs. The efficiency level of the ABB MV UPS is also class leading at not only 99% but 99.5% typical efficiency.
Are there any recent case studies that you are particularly proud of?
Yes of course, but unfortunately we cannot mention names yet. We can say that the user is an electronics component supplier to one of the largest consumer electronics companies globally. Their most recent purchase was for 2MVA and 4MVA PCS100 MV UPS systems.
Where do you currently supply to? Are there plans to expand operations in the near future?
We supply globally throughout the ABB network. The present product offering is at up to 6.6kV and 6MVA. Plans are already in progress to increase the voltage offering to cover more of the common voltages worldwide.
How do you see your sector progressing over the next decade?
I think there will be the two key trends over the next decade: 1) Economies of scale further driving the development of large manufacturing facilities, with increased automation, and colocation datacentres. 2) Responsible use of resources. This means using energy efficiently and being able to adapt to the changing energy generation landscape.
How will ABB Power Conditioning be a part of this change?
If you look to our product portfolio and where we are going with our products I think you can see we are thinking this way. Power and productivity for a better world is the motto of ABB, and ABB Power conditioning fulfils this exactly, increasing our customer’s productivity while being responsible with how we use the world’s resources.
About Perry Field
Perry studied electrical engineering at the University of Canterbury New Zealand gaining a Bachelors and Masters degree specializing in Power Electronics. He has worked as a R&D design engineer for variable speed motor drives before joining Vectek Electronics, designing power quality and marine converters. For the last 4 years Perry has lead the Product Management team before becoming the General Manager for ABB Power Conditioning.
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