Saturday, April 28, 2018

Low-Mass VC Response Accelerometers.

Silicon Designs has announced the recently enhanced performance of its compact, low-mass, single axis Model 2220 series.

Design of the enhanced Model 2220 series incorporates Silicon Designs’ new proprietary high-performance MEMS chip, along with high-drive, low-impedance buffering, for industry-exclusive improved bias and scale factor over temperature performance. These specifications are unmatched among other industry MEMS VC accelerometer manufacturers yet are still offered by Silicon Designs at a highly competitive price point.

The Model 2220 series is available in seven unique models, with standard measurement ranges from ±2 g to ±200 g, each with a wide frequency response measuring down to zero hertz. Each accelerometer module is housed within an epoxy-sealed rugged anodized aluminum housing, with mounting via two M3 screws. Its lower mass (10 g) and compact size (1" x 1" x 0.3") can help to minimize mass loading effects, making it ideal for zero-to-medium frequency acceleration and vibration measurements within a variety of industrial and commercial applications. The Silicon Designs Model 2220 series can respond to both DC and AC acceleration, either with two analog ±4V (differential); or 0.5 to 4.5V (single-ended) outputs that vary with acceleration. At zero acceleration, differential voltage output is nominally 0 VDC (DC response), with typical 1% cross-axis sensitivity. Onboard voltage regulation minimizes supply variation effects. Units are designed to withstand shock inputs of up to 2000 g over a standard temperature range of –55°C to +125°C. Each module is serialized for traceability and calibrated prior to factory shipment.

The combined low mass, small dimensional size, and low-impedance outputs of the Model 2220 make the series particularly ideal for flight test, aircraft flutter testing, vibration monitoring and analysis, robotics, biomechanics, automotive RLDA, machinery and equipment control, modal analysis, crash testing, and general in-laboratory applications. Non-standard g ranges, packages and connector configurations are available upon request.

#Silicon_Designs #Pauto @EmbassyGlobal 

Friday, April 27, 2018

Delivering advanced analysis!

Radix and Seeq, both sponsors of PI World, will partner to deliver advanced analytics solutions to their customers. The goal of the partnership is to accelerate digital transformation and harness the capabilities of advanced analytics to deliver greater operational efficiency and deeper insight across the organization.

Radix has extensive experience and understanding of the enterprise operational data platform. Combined with Seeq’s advanced analytics solution, it is a natural extension that will enhance the digital transformation of customer’s operations.

Radix CEO, Joao Chachamovitz, views Seeq as a best-in-class software technology enabler to the PI Platform that will augment Radix’s solutions suite to their customers. “Seeq is well known in the industry as a PI process analytics catalyst/accelerator. Our companies will use our ability to innovate and execute in terms of expanding and extending margins for our customers.”

“Solution providers like Radix Engineering are critical to the delivery of Seeq as an advanced analytics solution. Our customers rely upon the experience and expertise from partners like Radix to enable solutions that deliver insight and drive results,” highlighted Steve Sliwa, CEO of Seeq.

Radix and Seeq chose the timing of the announcement to coincide with OSIsoft’s premier User Conference, PI World. With many joint customers attending PI World and both of their company’s commitments to the PI platform from OSIsoft, it was a natural opportunity to highlight the capabilities that they bring together.

@SeeqCorporation @RadixEng #PAuto 

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Irish co-operation on Brexit.

Irish project managers are establishing a cross-border working group to address Brexit. This was announced at the Ireland Chapter of Project Management Institute’s (PMI) annual conference. The new all-island working group will make recommendations on how Brexit’s impact on cross-border projects can be minimised.

The group, consisting of members from the Ireland Chapter of PMI, the largest professional organisation for project managers in Ireland with over 1,300 members, and the PMI Northern Ireland Committee, will put in place recommendations on how to navigate Brexit. The British formal exit from the European Union takes place in 2019.

Gerald Fleming, former head of forecasting at Met Éireann, and chair of the Public Weather Services Programme at the World Meteorological Organization; Dr Norah Patten, who is on course to become Ireland’s first ever astronaut; Pat Lucey, President, Ireland Chapter of PMI; Marcus Gageby, EY Ireland advisory partner; and Ariadna Groberio, Chair, PMI Northern Ireland Committee.
The announcement opened the Ireland Chapter of PMI’s annual conference at the Aviva Stadium (Dublin, IRL) with headline sponsor EY Ireland. This Stadium is the HQ of the Irish Rugby Football Union which is itself an all island body which predates the Border. The event, titled The Change Makers, was attended by almost 400 business leaders, with guest speakers including Irish astronaut hopeful, Dr Norah Patten; former head of forecasting at Met Éireann, Gerald Fleming; and EY Ireland advisory partner, Marcus Gageby.

Speaking on the announcement, President of the Ireland Chapter of PMI, Pat Lucey said: “This cross-border, all-island strategy on Brexit is incredibly important, especially given the current talks on the customs union. So many all-island projects are in jeopardy if a strong and definite strategy is not put in place now before a border, of any kind, becomes a reality.”

This is the first working group of the Ireland Chapter of PMI and the PMI Northern Ireland Committee since their Memorandum of Understanding was signed in 2016.

PMI Northern Ireland Committee Chair, Ariadna Groberio added the development of the cross-border strategy will benefit project managers that work in Northern Ireland and the Republic. “By engaging in this cohesive and strategic all-island approach, the two PMI branches will assist and help project managers in futureproofing against Brexit uncertainty.”

Speaking on the new all-island working group, Marcus Gageby stated: "A collaborative approach outlined by project managers either side of the border is very much welcomed, as joined-up thinking is needed to minimise the impact of Brexit on north-south projects.”

@PMI_Ireland #PAuto @PMI_UK_Chapter #Breatimeacht #Brexit

Access all major protocols!

Softing is the first company to offer access to the major process automation protocols HART, Foundation Fieldbus and PROFIBUS PA with one single interface. mobiLink communicates via USB or Bluetooth and is perfectly suited for commissioning and maintenance with handheld host devices.

“In the past, customers had to care around an interface for each protocol. Now with mobiLink, Softing is the first company to offer access to three protocols with one single device. Thanks to mobiLink, our customers can access field devices with maximum flexibility and mobility and carry out a large number of configuration tasks,” says Thomas Hilz, Program Marketing Manager at Softing Industrial.

Softing’s mobiLink simplifies mobile access to field devices for plant operators, system integrators, device developers and other users in the process industries. In combination with the relevant software, e.g. Softing’s Communication Configurator, it is suitable for configuration, commissioning, diagnostics and monitoring. mobiLink supports FDT Frame Applications and major engineering tools. It allows access to HART and Foundation Fieldbus devices such as transmitters or valves. Access to PROFIBUS PA devices will be possible on July 1st, 2018.

mobiLink is battery-operated, extremely robust and suitable for use in explosive areas. It communicates with handheld host devices like smart phones and tablets via Bluetooth and has a USB interface for bench host operation.

 @SoftingIA #PAuto

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Industrial computer range extended.

Harting has added a number of new models to its MICA industrial computer product to further its development into a universal modular platform to capture data, process it at the machine level, and exchange it in wireless and wired fashion.

The new MICA versions include the MICA 2, which offers three to five times the computing power of the MICA Basic for demanding data acquisition and processing; the MICA Wireless with 2G/3G/4G, 802.11a/b/g/n and Glonass for data acquisition and communication without cabling; and the MICA Energy, which allows data from current meters and current transformers to be read, compressed and transferred to MES, ERP and Cloud systems.

By integrating the InfluxDB OpenSource time-series database and the Grafana dashboard software, analysis and visualisation can also be performed directly on the MICA. For OEMs, customers, and third-party developers, Harting also offers MICA kits which can be equipped with customer-specific function boards.

Implementing sensor and data fusion with the MICA can quickly add value, particularly in the production of circuit boards and other manufacturing and quality-assurance processes. For example, with a combination of RFID tags on circuit boards fitted with energy, compressed air and optical sensors, a production line can be monitored, production steps can be correlated with energy consumption at any time, and data for predictive maintenance can be collected and pre-processed.

Initial trial runs at Harting’s own manufacturing facilities have clearly shown that integrating these applications makes it extremely easy to add other KPIs such as machine running times or asset management of tools using the modular MICA architecture.

#Harting #PAuto

Network function added to digital indicator.

A network function has been added by Yokogawa, to the UM33A digital indicator with alarms, a product in the UTAdvanced controller series, and will be released to the market early next month.
1. Easy to introduce/improved monitoring of data.
The enhanced UM33A supports the master function and the data monitoring function of the Modbus/RTU communication protocol, and is able to connect up to eight sensors and sequentially display data from those devices. The UM33A is thus able to monitor data from multiple field sensors without requiring the installation and engineering of a separate device with user interface and controller functionality. It can also function alongside already installed systems that employ such specially configured hardware. With its ability to remotely connect with multiple sensors throughout a site, the enhanced UM33A makes it easier for plant personnel to check measurement data from these devices.

2. An enhanced field digital solution.
In plants, progress is being made in the introduction of field digital solutions that rely on digital communications between intelligent field devices and control systems. Field digital solutions allow the transmission of significantly greater amounts of data, including not only data on process parameters but also instrument status information. The ability to monitor this information online improves maintenance efficiency. Thanks to its functional enhancements, the enhanced UM33A can handle both digital and analog communications with sensors, and is well positioned to facilitate the introduction of field digital solutions at plants.

With this network function, a single UM33A digital indicator can receive, process, and sequentially display data from up to eight sensors. The enhanced UM33A is an easy to install and cost effective solution that enables the monitoring of data from multiple field sensors. By improving the functions of its UTAdvanced product line, Yokogawa aims to satisfy the latest customer needs and expand its controller business.

In recent years, there has been a growing need to strengthen the monitoring of data from field sensors. For safety and other reasons, operators need the ability to remotely monitor data from sensors that are installed high up, in confined spaces, and other locations where it is difficult to visually check the readings on the sensor displays. The UM33A digital indicator that Yokogawa offered until now accepts analog data from sensors that measure parameters such as temperature, pressure, and flow rate, converts this data into digital signals, and displays the readings. It can also issue an alarm if an input signal falls outside a preset range. However, it is only able to accept data from a single sensor. To check data from multiple sensors, it is necessary to install and configure other equipment such as a touch panel with an embedded controller or some other type of user interface used in combination with a programmable controller (PLC). This equipment is both expensive and requires large amounts of engineering.

Yokogawa has strengthened the functions of the UM33A to satisfy the needs of customers who want to check measurement data from multiple sensors in the field. The enhanced UM33A can be installed easily and at a lower cost.

Companies that design and manufacture machinery, air conditioning systems, power equipment, tanks, and other items for use in industries such as electrical equipment, machinery, chemicals, foods, semiconductors, and automobiles will find this useful.

It will be used for the display of temperature, pressure, and flow rate; alarming; and display of operating conditions in heating, cleaning, sterilization, cryogenics, refrigeration, wastewater treatment, and other manufacturing and R&D processes.

Agreement makes connections.

Rosenberger and Molex have signed a dual-sourcing agreement allowing Molex to produce High-Speed FAKRA-Mini automotive coaxial connectors based on the Rosenberger HFM® design. Enabling fast transmission of high data rates up to 20 Gbps, the Rosenberger HFM FAKRA-Mini system is designed for a range of existing and future automotive applications, such as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), navigation, infotainment and intelligent connected vehicles.

With the dual sourcing agreement, Rosenberger and Molex provide a high-quality, high-speed, cost-optimized intermateable interface with identical mechanical and electrical performance and features. The solution delivers seamless backward compatibility for the automotive market.

“Molex is excited to collaborate with Rosenberger to launch the dual-sourced HFM solution that enables high-speed data transmission fundamental to connected vehicle technology,” said Ryan Price, networking segment director, Molex. “Our shared vision is to deliver a high value, cost effective solution that provides design flexibility and backward compatibility.”

With the increasing bandwidth and safety critical needs of connected and autonomous vehicle architectures, it is necessary to have a robust infrastructure that can operate a multitude of devices, screens and cameras. HFM FAKRA-Mini connectors allow for the highest bit rate data transmission while saving up to 80 percent of installation space and significant weight compared to the conventional FAKRA generation.

“Ensuring safety is the ultimate priority of ADAS and autonomous driving systems, and HFM connectors play a key role in processing the high data volumes from cameras, sensors, navigation sources and other external objects in real time,” said Dr. Tosja Zywietz, CEO, Rosenberger. “We are pleased to collaborate with Molex on making this next-generation coax connector widely available to the automotive industry as a quasi standard.”

There is no investment relationship between Rosenberger and Molex under the terms of the product dual-sourcing agreement.

@MolexConnectors #PAuto

Measuring stress under pressure!

When Terex Pegson® MPS needed a reliable and flexible system to measure stress on its LJ5139 stone crushing machine, it turned to HBM to provide a comprehensive and effective solution.

Following a thorough study of the issues faced by Terex Pegson® MPS, HBM specified its rugged DAQ, SomatXR series, which is particularly suitable for use in harsh environments. To compliment this package, HBM also suggested the Somat MX1615B-R module and related accessories, which included RF-9 strain gauge rosettes.

Given the demanding environment, it was important that Terex Pegson® MPS specified the correct equipment. “Often faced with wet and arduous conditions, the ability to operate reliably under harsh conditions and sudden impacts was a key consideration for the customer when it came to suggesting the SomatXR system” explains Gregg Todd, HBM Mobile Data Acquisition Specialist.

The powerful SomatXR data acquisition system is specifically developed for use in harsh environments. The modules provide a wide temperature range and are protected from humidity, dust, shock and vibration.

The data acquisition system provides a web interface for simple operation without any software installation. This allows for convenient channel parameterisation, monitoring of measurement jobs and visualisation of measured data far away from the measuring point. This was a particularly significant feature for Terex® MPS, given the nature of the measurement task.

Another factor which was taken into consideration when specifying the Somat XR series was the operating conditions. For instance, when operating under such extreme conditions, it’s often hard to anticipate all of the problems that may occur, such as losing measurement data due to unforeseen events, such as a power failure. The SomatXR system enables data to be continuously recorded. This means that should a failure interrupt a test, recorded data up until that point will be saved. This was a particularly relevant feature in terms of the long term tests, typically performed by Terex® MPS.

HBM data acquisition systems are suitable for a wide range of mobile testing applications. Despite the immense load requirements and extreme environmental conditions, HBM was able to provide Terex® MPS with a reliable and flexible solution.

In addition to specifying and supplying Terex® MPS with a system to meet its needs, HBM also provided engineers with valuable training and continued support, where needed.

@HBMmeasurement #PAuto #Mining

Investment in gas detection!

Following a move to new premises with custom built service facilities, Ashtead Technology has extended its RAE/Honeywell servicing capabilities to help customers ensure the accuracy and reliability of their gas detection activities.
RAE Systems products are used in more than 120 countries by many of the world's leading corporations and government agencies. As such, enormous numbers of people rely on these instruments in a wide range of personal and plant safety applications. However, Will Russell a Technician from Ashtead Technology, warns: “There is a danger that investment in monitoring equipment can create a false sense of security. All instruments require regular health and calibration checks to ensure that readings remain accurate, because incorrect data can mislead users into believing that conditions are safe, with potentially disastrous consequences. Instrument maintenance might not seem like a life and death issue – but if you think about it; it actually is.”

The service and calibration of gas detection equipment requires specialist skills, equipment and gases, so it is vital for the operators of these instruments to implement appropriate procedures to ensure that they remain in optimal condition.

“Many Ashtead customers undertake routine calibration themselves and only return their instruments to us for service. However, the proportion of clients that prefer to rely on us for all of this work is constantly growing. This is because we have the equipment and skills required to undertake the work, and loan instruments available to rent with a rapid turnaround, so we are able to ensure that monitoring is not interrupted and safety is protected.”

Ashtead Technology has invested heavily in its new dedicated service facility, which is fully equipped with all the necessary service and calibration tools, including specialist gases and Honeywell approved parts. The service team benefits from regular Honeywell training courses and the company is certified to ISO9001.

A wide range of gas detection instruments are available for hire or purchase from Ashtead. Customers can also purchase instrument calibration and health check with the additional option of a full service. Employing courier collection/delivery, typical turnaround time is just 5 days.

The products covered by this service include the BW GasAlert, MiniRAE 3000, MiniRAE 3000 Lite, RAE Systems UltraRAE 3000, RAE Systems ppbRAE and the AreaRAE Steel.

In summary, gas is only potentially fatal when it is either not monitored, or monitored by equipment that has not been correctly calibrated and maintained.

@ashteadtech  #PAuto 

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Clamp-on flow.

Versatile instrument provides cost-effective solution for measuring water flow in industrial applications

Badger Meter has introduced the Dynasonics® TFX-500w Ultrasonic Clamp-on Flow Meter for use in building automation, heating/ventilation/air conditioning (HVAC), water & wastewater treatment and water distribution.  This meter is designed for non-invasive, ultrasonic transit time flow measurement.

The TFX-500w Ultrasonic Clamp-on Flow Meter is a cost-effective solution for measuring water flow bi-directionally in a variety of applications. Typical examples include water systems, wastewater effluent, agricultural irrigation and industrial discharge.

As a clamp-on flow measurement instrument, the TFX-500w is ideal for users requiring a high level of applicability, functionality, economy and performance, said Cheryl Ades Anspach, marketing manager, Badger Meter. "The meter resides outside the pipe and is compatible with a wide range of pipe sizes. It has no pressure head loss, no contact with internal liquid and no moving parts to maintain. The TFX-500w is quickly and easily installed without cutting or tapping process piping, and can be retrofit in existing installations without shutting down system operations – reducing both installation time and material costs."

With the TFX-500w Ultrasonic Clamp-on Flow Meter, ultrasonic waves transmit upstream and downstream through the pipe wall and liquid flowing in the pipe. By measuring the difference in the travel time and knowing the pipe size, the meter accurately determines the rate, total and velocity of water flow.

The TFX-500w flow meter features a large, easy-to-read display. It provides Modbus RTU and BACnet MS/TP connectivity, and integrates with the Badger Meter BEACON® and AquaCUE® Advanced Metering Analytics (AMA) cloud-based software suites. Programming of the meter is through the front panel or USB cable using SoloCUE® configuration software.

Available in sizes of 1/2...10 in. (15...250 mm), and handling flow ranges of 0.1...9,800 gal/min (44,700 l/min) and temperature ranges of -40...250° F (-40...121° C), the TFX-500w is a versatile flow metering device that can be used in almost any industrial environment.

@Badger_Meter #PAuto #HM18

PXI Fault Insertion Switching.

Pickering Interfaces has expanded their range of PXI Fault Insertion Switching.

These new PXI Fault Insertion Switches (model 40-202), available with 22 or 11 fault insertion channels, were primarily designed to simulate fault conditions in automotive and avionics test applications involving the reliability testing of safety-critical controllers. They are specifically designed for differential signaling requirements, with capabilities to insert three different types of fault condition between the test fixture and the equipment under test; open-circuit, short-circuit between signal pairs and short-circuit to user applied fault conditions such as power or ground.

These new models complement Pickering’s large range of PXI Fault Insertion Switches, which are typically used in Hardware-in-the-Loop Simulation applications for Electronic Control Unit validation.

Relays in-line with the signal paths allow open circuit conditions to be simulated on either side or both sides of a signal pair. Relays between each channel pair enable adjacent signals to be shorted, and relays between signal paths and the “Fault” connection allow the application of external fault conditions.

The switching topology of the 40-202 fault insertion switches allows switching channels to be interconnected so that complex fault insertion channels can be constructed.

These products are supported by Pickering’s eBIRST Switching System Test Tools, which provide a quick and easy way of finding relay failures within the modules. In addition, Pickering’s signal routing software, Switch Path Manager, may be used to simplify signal routing through complex switching systems.

@Pickeringtest  #PAuto #PXI

Hermes for sell-calibrating temperature probe!

Endress+Hauser has been recognized by Hannover Messe with the prestigious Hermes technology award for iTHERM TrustSens, the world’s first self-calibrating temperature probe for industrial applications.

Hermes Award for iTHERM
“The award-winning product makes a major contribution to the deployment of the Industrial Internet of Things throughout the process industry,” said Jochen Köckler, CEO of Deutsche Messe.

The award was presented at the opening of Hannover Messe 2018 in front of many guests, among them Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel. The Hermes Award is one of the most respected technology contests worldwide and recognizes products and processes characterized by innovation, efficiency and application benefits.

The compact thermometer iTHERM TrustSens has been designed especially for hygienic and aseptic applications in the food & beverage and life sciences industries. With automated and fully traceable self-calibration during production, the sensor eliminates the risk of undetected non-conformities, resulting in maximum product safety and process efficiency. The integrated Heartbeat Technology additionally allows for continuous device diagnostics and verification without interruption of the process.

iTHERM TrustSens relies on an integrated reference sensor. The developers used the so-called Curie point physics principle, in which the magnetic properties of a material abruptly change at a specific temperature point. This point is determined for the reference sensor. As soon as the temperature falls below this value, such as following a steam sterilization, both sensors are adjusted. Since the Curie point remains constant, the reference sensor as a master provides a stable comparison value.

The probe thus calibrates itself each time the system is cleaned or sterilized as is usual in processes in the food & beverage and life science industries. The added value for customers is huge. Large systems often include hundreds of temperature sensors that have to be calibrated several times a year. To date, this has required stopping the process and removing the instruments. iTHERM TrustSens omits that.

@Endress_Hauser #PAuto #HM18

IT & Automation expertese for Ireland & Britain.

Novotek has launched its Britain and Ireland brand following the acquisition of Glasgow-based Kerrco Automation. The rebranded Novotek UK and Ireland will help businesses across the manufacturing, utilities, process and energy sectors to improve all aspects of operational effectiveness. The company aims to deliver this through smart use of both existing and new technologies to connect, analyse and visualise operation data.

Tobias Antius - CEO Novotek
Novotek UK and Ireland will fulfil the growing demand for digitalisation and interconnectivity in the UK market. The company channel partner in these territories for GE Digital and GE Automation and Controls, allowing Novotek to supply businesses there with fourth generation HMI and SCADA systems, such as the iFix HMI software, as well as the Predix industrial internet of things (IIoT) platform.

In addition to its GE offerings, Kerrco Automation’s rebranding gives it access to a selection of new digital products and systems through the Novotek Group.

The full portfolio of Novotek includes the Kepware suite of connectivity and Auvesy’s market leading versioning product for automation equipment as well as Novotek’s specially designed components for iFix and Historian by GE Digital. These components packages provide additional functionality to the standard products, allowing plant and facilities managers to improve the effectiveness of their systems.

“There has been a transformation in the UK IoT market in the past twelve months,” explains George Walker, managing director of Novotek UK and Ireland. “More sectors are now identifying the value to be found in the convergence of IT and operational technology (OT). It’s no longer a predominately industrial movement; we’re seeing a growing interest in the digitalisation of critical infrastructure and utilities, such as energy and water, with automation technologies.

“As part of the Novotek Group, we can apply the company’s insight into similar projects across Europe to better meet the needs of the UK market. Novotek has a history of providing creative solutions to customer requests in other regions, with the company often guiding customers out of their typical comfort zone to think differently and achieve more. By bringing this approach to the region, we can help businesses across the UK and Ireland to realise their full potential with modern, digital technologies.”

According to a recent global IoT survey, roughly one third of businesses will be looking to invest between $100,000 and $1 million over the next five years. However, Novotek argues that the amount that businesses are willing to invest in IoT is not necessarily as important as how the technology is implemented and how adoption is handled.

“The key to successfully adopting digitalisation is expertise and experience,” says Tobias Antius, CEO of Novotek. “Kerrco Automation and Novotek both had the technical capabilities, product portfolio and industry experience to provide this expertise. This brought the two companies together and, by pooling our resources, we are able to help more UK businesses lead from the front of the IoT market, as well as better serve our existing customers in the region.”

@Novotek #PAuto #Britain #Ireland @StoneJunctionPR

Monday, April 23, 2018

Module Systems with Higher Performance.

Baumüller is introducing new axis units for its module system b maXX 5000. The new units are suitable for a performance range with a peak performance of up to 240 kW.

The entire range of b maXX 5000 devices covers a nominal power range of 1 to 100 kW and thus displays a suitable solution for various applications in machine and plant construction.

The converter series b maXX 5000 includes feed-in and regenerative units as well as drive units, which can be quickly and easily combined by an integrated drive connect system. For the machine builder and operator this means less installation effort and short start-up and service times. The controllers are available in the air, water and cold plate cooling types and score with minimal assembly space thanks to high performance density. With plug-in modules the devices can be equipped with safety functions according to IEC 61800-5-2. The machine builder can choose from four different modules to adapt the safety functions to his specific application. The plug-in modules enable a fast and flexible reaction to new requirements.

 @be_in_motion #PAuto

50 years underground substations.

Gas-insulated switchgear transformed power grid possibilities and continues to enable grids and smart cities

Fifty years ago, ABB (then BBC) installed the first GIS in an underground substation in the heart of Zurich (CH),  enhancing the city’s power supply, conserving space and starting a revolution that continues to shape the way power is transmitted and distributed.

GIS is a compact, metal encapsulated switchgear that uses pressurized insulating gas, enabling safe operations in confined spaces while significantly reducing equipment size. This revolutionary technology was a key enabler for urbanization. Occupying only 10 percent of the space of an AIS substation, it allows substations to be built within cities to supply safe and reliable power. Substations are no longer taking up acres of open spaces but can hide within buildings, underground or on rooftops.

Prior to the advent of GIS, air-insulated switchgear (AIS) was the norm, using air as the insulation medium. This meant more exposure to the elements of nature and required more space and safety considerations. With GIS, a substation the size of a football field can be shrunk to a tennis court, allowing cities to preserve valuable space and maintain urban aesthetics.

“Pioneering GIS technology in the 1960s was a ground breaking milestone in our constant quest for innovation”, said Giandomenico Rivetti, head of ABB’s High Voltage Products business unit, within the company’s Power Grids division. “50 years of continued innovation has enabled a stronger, smarter and greener grid, bringing reliable supply of electricity to hundreds of cities and millions of people around the world.“

Over the last five decades, having installed more than 30,000 bays worldwide, ABB has continued to innovate and make significant advances in this technology, including higher transmission capacity with ever reducing footprint, digitalization and eco-efficiency. Voltage levels have gone up from 72.5 to 1,200 kilovolts (kV) to secure greater power transmission with minimal losses. 1.2 million volts is the highest alternating current (AC) level in the world – like a giant switch capable of switching on and of the average annual consumption of a country like Switzerland and facilitating transmission of power across 2,000 kilometers

@abb, #POwer