Running the world on clean energy requires innovation

Did you know that ABB technology enables 300 TWh of electricity to be saved in China each year - enough for 500 million people?

This Sunday, June 5th, we’ll all have a chance to celebrate World Environment Day 2016. For ABB it’s also an opportunity to share some insights into what we do on a daily basis to help reduce CO2 emissions.

Around 50% of ABB’s revenue is related to energy efficiency and renewable energy. That kind of milestone is achieved only through extensive research and development, on which in 2015 we’ve spent $1,4 billion. But for now…

… Let’s start with the ships

We’ve all learned to switch off the lights and not use more water than necessary. But did you know that there’s a noticeable problem somewhere else, in a more industrialized setting?

Ships consume a lot of fuel when at a port. Not only does it create pollution, but noise and vibration in the local area as well. And there’re more than 100,000 vessels docking at 4,500 ports worldwide.

More than 900 million metric tons of CO2 are emitted annually at ports worldwide. That’s equal to 220 coal-fired plants.

Eliminating port emissions for clean energy infographic

Now, let’s step back for a minute. What if we were to apply this ABB technology to eliminate these emissions? What if we could provide the power via a shore-to-ship solution, allowing a direct connection of ships to a harbor’s electric grid?

Well, we can. Any ship could be connected. With only one linked cruise ship the port could save around $750,000 annually. And that’s just money. Said port would also free the local area of CO2 emissions equivalent to that of 2,500 cars.

The smart sensor

This is the ground-breaking technology that impressed President Obama and Chancellor Merkel at Hannover Messe 2016.

But what does it do? Simply put, it allows low voltage motors to connect to the cloud, just as you would do with your smartphone or your home monitoring system. Using a built-in wireless communication interface, it transmits the data to a cloud-based server. Whoever’s at the receiving end can check up on their motors at any given time by using their phone, tablet, or a web interface. If a problem were to be detected, the smart sensor will send an appropriate alert. Sounds pretty straightforward, doesn’t it?

Let’s take a look at numbers. After conducting initial tests, we came up with these results:

  • Reduces power consumption by up to 10%.
  • Smart sensor reduces motor downtime by up to 70%.
  • Extends motor lifetime by as much as 30%.

Want to know more? Here you go.

There are more than 200,000 ABB turbochargers installed worldwide. What does it mean for CO2 emissions?

ABB turbocharger saving CO2 emissions infographic

ABB provides turbochargers for the marine, rail, mining vehicles, and power plant industries. The turbochargers managed to reduce around 166,000,000 tons of CO2 per year. If we were to compare it to the emissions produced by cars, we’d have to take around 67,000,000 vehicles into consideration.

And if we were to put that into perspective, well – there are around 4,500,000 passenger cars in Switzerland. As you can see, the scale is pretty astounding.

ABB and Solar Impulse are building a better world with the help of clean technologies

The Solar Impulse and ABB share a common vision: to run the world without consuming the earth. Together, we hope to show how innovation and a pioneering spirit can lead to that point.

One way to reach it is with the Solar Impulse plane: a plane with zero fuel consumption. The first plane that can fly both day and night powered only by the sun.

Solar Impulse Inflight to San Francisco

Sure, it took more than 12 years of research and development to make it happen. The results, however, are worth every single day spent in the labs and factories. The Si2 is a flying laboratory full of clean technologies, with a maximum flight time of 118 hours and more than 35 000 km of traveling without fuel.

As you can see, the change is not only possible; it’s happening today.

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About the author

Antoni Żółciak

I'm a Web Specialist for ABB's Corporate Communications department, where I spend most of the time taking care of ABB's digital presence. My main responsibilities include content creation, management for SEO and conversion purposes, promoting the brand on social media, and providing consulting services for the company's internal stakeholders.
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