Flexibility: being able to bend without breaking

The secret is to listen and to be flexible

Whether in your corporate life or at home, I have found two of the most important attributes are the ability to listen and be flexible. These two elements underpin effective teamwork, the successful handling of day to day events in family life and understanding what customers really need.

In ABB, we strive to spend time listening to our customers, understanding their concerns and finding out what they really need. One of the things we are hearing is their need for robust, fully-integrated packaged solutions that provide flexibility and reduce downtime. Packaging a bundle of products and systems that work together, under a single commercial agreement, provide value for our customers and allow us to work closely to meet demands. It also allows ABB to provide flexible solutions, which is what I’ll talk about more next time.

Recently, South African customer SASOL identified the need for a robust substation solution that would ensure safety for their personnel and avoid damage to equipment during substation renewals and while performing routine substation maintenance activities.

To meet the requirements set, ABB offered a mobile substation, built on the UniGear Digital solution and the flexibility and power of Relion protection relays and the IEC 61850 standard.

The backbone of this solution is the UniGear ZS1 switchgear fitted with Relion 615 series protection relays and ABB’s advanced sensor technology. This equipment was placed in an E-house (a pre-fabricated metal outdoor enclosure to house switchgear, as well as auxiliary electrical equipment) and installed on a mobile truck trailer.

The mobile substation provided the flexible power supply solution Sasol was looking for, with the ability to be easily relocated and energized in a short turnaround time.

A cost-effective solution was obtained by cutting down on the number of relays and the associated engineering time. The flexibility of the Relion protection relays proved to be paramount as a single relay type is used as needed for both feeder and motor protection applications. The protection relays’ arc fault detection capability was utilized to add selectivity to the complete arc fault protection scheme.

The SASOL project is one example of many where we addressed unique challenges by bundling our products for a simple packaged solution. Whether it’s helping solar farm suppliers in the Philippines by addressing challenging renewable energy demands or supplying an effective E-House solution for the  Satah al-Razboot (SARB) offshore oil field in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to ensure reliable power to the remote location, ABB remains dedicated to meeting customer demands. And by standing by our values of flexibility and innovation, we’re committed to providing similar solutions globally.

So why is all of this important? Well, with the energy landscape becoming more complex, it is important for customers to have effective solutions to address them. With factory assembled skids and eHouses, ABB can provide pretested solutions that are optimized to meet local standards and installation conditions, while reducing construction & energization time on site. With project delivery driven by a single ABB point of contact and a simplified commercial agreement, projects are easier for customers to coordinate.

And with mounting pressure to cut costs and project times, our unique packaged solutions have fulfilled diverse customer requirements with a large installed base of proven technology in many countries. They provide shorter installation times, lower project costs and lower risk. And not only that, the innovative solutions from ABB are sustainable, reliable and economically sound.

To learn more about the SASOL project watch this short 3 minute 13 second video

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About the author

Tony Blayney

Being in the industry for 20 years, with half spent in the role of global product marketing for ABB, I continue to be involved in some fantastic projects and work closely with many of our customers in different countries. Experience has taught me, that every customer/project has its own unique factors, which makes my role sometimes demanding, but always interesting and rewarding. Being based in Sydney, Australia provides a great work/home life balance, with the chance to enjoy the outdoor sports available away from work with my family.
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