The digital power plant, or the future that is already here

The digital power plant – where data meets the physical world and where new opportunities are unlocked for the customer – is not science fiction. It’s already here and able to bring benefits to operators around the world.

Watch the video on the Digital Power Plant

Increased complexity and flexibility, and new business models, are the new hallmarks of the power sector, which – as with other industries – is seeing changes on an unprecedented scale and pace. Complexity is increasing due to a number of factors, including in the areas of generation, infrastructure, regulations and security.

The new energy landscape requires technologies able to collaborate with operators, especially in the effort to turn the unordered mass of data generated by all equipment installed on site into meaningful and usable information.

Within the third industrial revolution, the latest technologies of the time allowed a single operator to keep several areas of a plant under control from a central point, marking the birth of the distributed control system. Now the fourth Industrial revolution is taking automation to an ever more connected level. In fact, around a third of the 70 million ABB-connected devices are linked with power generation control systems from ABB. The result: the digital power plant.

Sensing data and then analyzing it to create insights are two necessary steps of today’s plant operations; however realizing these insights in the physical world of a company’s operations – making them actionable, delivering solutions and ‘closing the loop’ – is the crucial third step where customer value creation occurs.

This is what ABB is striving for with its digital approach to power generation. Equipped with its state-of-the-art core control technology ABB Ability™ Symphony® Plus, the ABB digital power plant goes beyond the mere generation of data to apply this to real company operations, allowing power plant operators to visualize the effect on their plant and gain even more value from their assets.

That’s what we define as ‘closing the loop’: unlocking new opportunities for our customers – reduce downtime, lower energy or fuel consumption, lower maintenance effort, increase resource efficiency, raise performance, and improve productivity via enhanced uptime, speed, and yield – starting from their assets and continuously bringing the benefits back to these assets.

The digital power plant is a technology philosophy, but it’s not science fiction. The full potential of it is already innate in most power facilities around the world. It is just a matter of choosing the right technology, allied with our deep sector knowledge, to make it real and so plant the roots to our digital future.

ABB is a leading provider of integrated power and automation solutions with unparalleled experience in partnering with the energy and water industries, bringing them improved operations and sustainable progress. We deliver integrated and secure digital systems, services and solutions to automate and optimize the performance of conventional and renewable power plants and water facilities.

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technology leader in electrification products, robotics and motion, industrial automation and power grids, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing more than a 125-year history of innovation, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization and driving the Energy and Fourth Industrial Revolutions. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 132,000 employees. (www.abb.com)

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