POWER

Rolls-Royce, ABB collaborate on microgrids, digital tech

Rolls-Royce and ABB have announced a global partnership on microgrid technology and advanced automation, offering an energy-efficient solution for various applications, including mining

Staff reporter
 ABB said it already has a vast number of microgrid installations globally, and the partnership with Rolls-Royce Power Systems will support growing interest in the solutions

ABB said it already has a vast number of microgrid installations globally, and the partnership with Rolls-Royce Power Systems will support growing interest in the solutions

A microgrid is a small-scale electric grid that combines power from distributed energy generation sources, such as combined heat and power plants, diesel- and gas-powered gensets and renewable sources with batteries.

The microgrid provides the overall control to coordinate these resources to meet the requirements of industrial, residential or consumer loads. Microgrids can either function off-grid or connected to the main power grid. The ability of microgrids to seamlessly separate themselves from the main grid, in the event of a potential grid fault or emergency, is an increasingly important feature, the companies said.

Reliable power supply - even during harsh weather conditions and times of peak consumption - is critical for mine sites. Some are looking into integrating renewable energy as a sustainable solution to support uninterrupted power, as well as encourage clean energy use.

Microgrids can offer resilient power supply even with high penetration of intermittent renewable energy sources like wind and solar. Digital automation and control systems coordinate distributed energy resources and loads for the microgrid to function efficiently, the companies explained.

Rolls-Royce offers the MTU Onsite Energy brand power system solutions, from mission critical, standby and continuous power to combined generation of heat and power, and microgrids.

"Due to the transformation towards decarbonisation, customers need to pursue sustainable power options that also deliver utmost profitability. For this, we rely primarily on microgrids, which are autonomous energy supply systems that are efficient, reliable and environmentally friendly," said Andreas Schell, CEO of Rolls-Royce Power Systems.

"Combining our integrated MTU diesel and gas genset system technology and our control solutions, with ABB's modular microgrid solution, control capability and remote service will offer customers the combined strengths of the two world leaders in technology."

Massimo Danieli, head of ABB's grid automation business line within the company's Power Grids business, added: "ABB Ability e-mesh can ensure a stable power grid, even with a high share of renewable energy from various sources, working smoothly together with already installed gas or diesel engines.

"Through our partnership with Rolls-Royce Power Systems, we will further support the growing interest for microgrid solutions globally."

The ABB Ability e-mesh solution can provide power generation asset owners a vertically integrated, unified view of their distributed energy resources and renewable power generation.

In addition, cloud operations, site and fleet optimisation, weather and load forecast and machine-learning algorithms offer insights for decision-making.

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