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Selecting the protection system for electrical installations is fundamental to correct economical and functional service and to reduce problems caused by abnormal service conditions or actual faults… (more)

The testing of low-voltage, ride-through capability of wind turbine converters has recently been standardised in the 2nd edition of IEC 61400-21. Thus, testing the converters in the factory is important to shorten the on-site testing time required to meet IEC 61400-21 requirements… (more)

Experts have discussed theoretical smart grid models for over a decade, but until now there has been no way to benchmark results globally. Ventyx and ABB selected VaasaETT to develop a smart grid global impact report, a global report into smart grids and their outcomes. This article summarises the report… (more)

The direct field current supplied by the excitation system excites the field winding to establish the rotor flux and the internal voltage in a synchronous generator. When a generator loses its excitation, the rotor current decreases gradually and the field voltage slowly decays as dictated by the field time constant. As a final outcome, the generator starts to consume reactive power from the power system instead of supplying it… (more)

Modern society has become dependent on a continuous supply of clean electrical power. But the power supplied by the grid is not always clean, or continuous, and measures have to be taken to mitigate this. The first step in designing the power protection solution to do this is to understand the types of power quality problems on the incoming supply and the nature of the loads to be connected… (more)

Variable-speed drives (VSDs) have enabled unprecedented performance in electric motors and delivered dramatic energy savings by matching motor speed and torque to the driven load requirements… (more)

What direct torque control (DTC) is, why and how it has evolved, the basic theory behind its success and the features and benefits of this new technology… (more)

Circuit-breaker manufacturers have been driven to implement dialogue interfaces for bus communication with control devices such as PLC, PC or SCADA due to the ever growing use of automation and supervision systems for industrial processes… (more)

Industrial automation has reached very high levels of sophistication. Plants, including automobile manufacturing units, chemical factories and semiconductor fabs, now house some very advanced technology which require a robust and continuous public power grid. Unfortunately, the grid is susceptible to unpredictable and erratic variation and interruption… (more)

Traditionally, robots have not played a prominent role in the implementation of lean strategies. However, due to their repeatability, speed, accuracy and flexibility, the role of robots in lean implementations is constantly increasing… (more)

Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, famously observed back in 1965 that “The number of transistors incorporated in a chip approximately doubles every 24 months.” The time-frame has since been shortened to 18 months, and transistor count has faded as the metric for computational power. Today, the law is taken to mean that a device of size X will have twice the computing power in 18 months as a comparable device today… (more)

The IEC 61439, the new standard for low-voltage (LV) switchgear and controlgear assemblies, was published in 2009 to harmonise and define all general requirements for LV electrical assemblies. Only two parts of the standard are necessary to determine all requirements for each type of electrical assembly: the basic standard IEC 61439-1 General rules and the specific assembly standard… (more)

It is often said that small is beautiful. But when it comes to technology, there are numerous other reasons that smaller is better. In many applications weight and space requirements directly influence productivity, and much research effort goes into footprint reduction… (more)

Transformers using a triangular instead of a planar core configuration offer a number of advantages. Such dry-type transformers are now commercially available. This new technology allows weight and space savings, reduces sound level, harmonic content and magnetic stray fields, and inherently improves energy efficiency… (more)

The principles of the technology of today’s power grids have not changed significantly in the past 100 years. Electricity is a product that has to be generated at the time of need. The level of power generation is set to match the instantaneous demand. With the constraints in power resources, this has to change, hence the development of the smart grid… (more)

This article outlines the technical features and importance of switch disconnectors, and shows why they are an optimal choice for use in different applications in PV installations… (more)

We use surge protective devices without a clear understanding of their operation. This is exascerbated by the many urban legends on the subject. We take a closer look at a few of these and dispell some myths… (more)

The past 20 years have seen some remarkable advances in AC drives technology. Miniaturisation is one of the most striking developments with a tenfold decrease in volume over the last decade alone… (more)

The energy saving potential in motor-driven applications is enormous: electric motors across all sectors account for some 67% of the world’s industrial energy use… (more)

The energy saving potential in motor-driven applications is enormous: electric motors across all sectors account for some 67% of the world’s industrial energy use… (more)

The latest developments in power electronics and machine technologies open a new trend for large hydro pumped storage applications. Pumped storage power plants (PSPP) with variable speed units offer several advantages compared to the conventional fixed speed solutions. Variable speed can be achieved with doubly fed induction machines controlled by AC excitation systems… (more)

The current trend in industry towards larger electrical drives stems from the advantages of larger drives over smaller units, including increased production capacity and system efficiency. Energy prices often vary according to the time of day and larger drives, with consumption optimised according to the prevailing energy price, can achieve the same daily output as smaller drives, but at a lower cost… (more)

The importance of computer simulation as a tool is growing in all areas of engineering. In industrial control, simulation is an Information from ABB effective way to minimise effort for test preparation, provide imitations of comprehensive systems under test, and to enable systems to be tested dynamically on the shop floor. This allows a reduction in both changes to device applications during commissioning and, ultimately, plant downtime… (more)

For many decades, permanent magnet technology has been used in smaller scale applications where its favorable weight-to-performance ratio is an advantage. Its use in bigger electrical machines, however, has not been that common. This, however, is changing. The increasing demand for new solutions for wind power generators and special motors for industries such as pulp and paper, marine, and traction has created new markets for electrical machines… (more)

DC motors have, in the past, been regarded as “extinct”, but thyristor converters have come to the rescue. Many of the motor’s key attributes were previously considered mutually exclusive; it was not possible to combine them in the same machine. Thanks to the motor range known as DMI, customers have been taking advantage of high power, a wide speed range, high torque, small dimensions, and high overload capacity or low moment of inertia simultaneously for some years… (more)

Operator effectiveness is a fundamental element for sustaining the economic value of process control and management. It can be improved by empowering operators through improved situational awareness and better handling of abnormal conditions. Operators can then make better decisions and so improve process safety and process uptime… (more)

Earthquakes have the potential to cause extensive damage to infrastructure. Making power products earthquake-proof is no easy task… (more)

 Safety is paramount to manufacturing and should be every company’s highest priority. This objective may sometimes appear to be in conflict with the goal to be as productive as possible… (more)

From the environmentally-sensitive landscape to the main office block on the ABB campus in Longmeadow, Modderfontein in Gauteng, it is apparent that ABB and its people walk the green talk – they are 101% environment-friendly… (more)

In large industrial plants that often contain several thousand motors to provide the necessary motion, any unplanned or sudden motor stops can lead to faults in the process sequence, which can be very cost-intensive. For this reason, reliable  management and protection of these motors is of vital importance for ensuring a controlled production sequence… (more)

A circuit breaker is one of the most important and essential safety mechanisms in electrical systems. Many different classifications of breakers can be made, based on voltage class, construction and interrupting type, and structural features… (more)

Global process industry losses are estimated at around $20-billion annually, corresponding to 5% of total production. Four-fifths of these losses are preventable and 40% thereof are primarily due to operator errors… (more)

Strategic thinking when facing a tough challenge requires recognising how to make optimal use of all available assets. A chess player, for example, who chooses to exclude some of his chessmen from his strategy, is inherently disadvantaging himself. This is no different in manufacturing processes… (more)

Innovative and intuitive technology for building and room control solutions can be adapted to the user’s needs and also help to increase energy efficiency… (more)

ABB’s global consulting business was able to help a global steel producer to find circa R150-million in annual energy savings at one of its integrated steel mills, through the application of a structured industrial energy efficiency program… (more)

Innovative and intuitive technology for building- and room-control solutions can be adapted to the user’s needs and also help to increase energy efficiency… (more)

The PdMSA 2010 Conference and exhibition, hosted by ABB South Africa and Martec, to be held on 1 and 2 September at ABB’s premises in Johannesburg, will offer interactive sessions delivered by local and international industry experts sharing the vision for asset health. The sessions will offer insight on how to use predictive maintenance and condition monitoring to increase uptime and plant availability, without increasing cost… ( more)

A constant supply of  natural gas to power stations and marketing networks is maintained through integrated production, transportation and distribution. The authors discuss how SCADA systems improve liquefied natural gas operations and management of a plant in China… (more)

“The results of ABB South Africa for 2009 were similar to those of the ABB group worldwide”. said Carlos Poñe, CEO of ABB South Africa, speaking at a media briefing on thursday. “We performed well considering the tough economic conditions; our customers continued to invest in world class technology to urgently upgrade ageing electricity infrastructure. Industrial customers invested in solutions to increase energy efficiency ahead of the new electricity price regime.”… (more)

The fact that South Africa has a large pool of unemployed labour is often  used in discussions on whether robotics has a place in South African industry. It is argued that better use should be made of the available labour resources by providing sustained training programmes… (more)

Small, fast and cheap PLC solutions usually offer few engineering options and often do not provide convenient visualisation. In contrast, distributed control systems integrate a host of components such as controls, engineering tools, human machine interfaces and numerous peripheral devices and tools (more)

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