ABB extends range of smart distribution switchgear

Zurich, Switzerland, June 17, 2015 – Full range of UniGear digital switchgear enables flexibility, energy efficiency and operating cost savings

ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, is showcasing a full range of UniGear Digital medium-voltage (MV) air-insulated switchgear for primary substations at the CIRED conference in Lyon, France. Running from June 15-18, 2015, the biennial global event is a key platform to showcase technologies, discuss market trends and future developments in the power distribution sector.

The UniGear concept combines proven switchgear design with an innovative approach to protection, control, measurement and digital communication. It is based on the optimized integration of current and voltage sensors into MV switchgear, combined with the latest intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) and IEC 61850 open communication capability.

“This is yet another example of how ABB differentiates itself through technology and innovation,” said Bruno Melles, head of ABB’s Medium Voltage Products business, a part of the company’s Power Products division. “As part of our Next Level strategy, we continue to support our customers and facilitate a safe, flexible, eco-efficient and smart power distribution network.”

UniGear Digital is based on a “one size fits all” concept, which means there is no need to change primary MV components if the load changes, saving time and money during project planning and execution. As well as taking up less space in the substation, UniGear Digital has fewer live parts, so outages are less frequent and troubleshooting effort is reduced.

Furthermore, energy losses during operation are lower than with equivalent switchgear: Instrument transformer losses are eliminated and this can save around 250 megawatt-hours over the 30-year life of a typical substation with 14 UniGear ZS1 panels as an example. This represents a reduction of about 150 tons in CO2 emissions, equal to the emissions produced by a mid-sized European car driven for 1,250,000 kilometers.

More than 500,000 UniGear panels are installed in over 100 countries, used in demanding locations such as offshore platforms, liquefied natural gas (LNG) or cruise ships and mines, as well as in the more common applications, like in the manufacturing industry, utility substations, power plants, chemical plants, data centers, wind farms and major sporting venues.

The UniGear Digital concept is now implemented across the whole single busbar portfolio of UniGear up to 24 kilovolts, and is available in UniGear ZS1 12, 17.5 and 24kV, UniGear 550, UniGear 500R and also UniGear MCC. The concept was first embodied in the UniGear ZS1, introduced last year.

ABB's Medium Voltage Products business unit provides utility, industrial and commercial customers with safe, reliable and smart technologies for the distribution of electricity. The extensive global offering includes distribution automation products, switching, limiting, measuring and sensing devices, switchgear, modular substation packages and related services.

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility, industry, and transport and infrastructure customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in roughly 100 countries and employs about 140,000 people.

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    • Harmeet Bawa
      Head of Communications
      ABB Power Products and Power Systems
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