New wave of innovation in electrical energy systems is improving business continuity

ABB’s NeoGear is unlike any previous switchgear on the market.

Demand for electricity is growing

Globally, the need for electrical energy is increasing in line with world population growth, industrialization and urbanization. At the same time energy sources are becoming more decentralized, with ever growing demand for cleaner energy and a consequential rise in market complexity. As a result, technologies and processes related to the distribution and application of electrical energy are transforming, as the industry moves to make operations and equipment safer, smarter and more sustainable.

Switchgear is one of the technologies that has recently undergone a step change, the first major change to its design in almost fifty years. Switchgear describes a collection of electrical disconnect switches, fuses or circuit breakers used to control, protect and isolate electrical equipment. They are key to ensuring the safe flow of electricity and are therefore crucial elements of our electrified economy.

ABB’s NeoGear is unlike any previous switchgear on the market. Our Corporate Research and Development team took a new look at the problems that switchgear solves, taking their knowledge, expertise and advances made in material science to develop an innovative solution that meets the growing demands of businesses focused on making their operations more effective. We have made it simpler by design, reducing the number of parts, so that it uses up to 25 percent less space than conventional switchgear. It is also safer, thanks to its revolutionary busbar system, and it dissipates 20 percent less heat, saving energy. What’s more, access to advanced analytics enables better energy management, condition monitoring and predictive maintenance, reducing operational costs by up to 30 percent.

Intelligent systems simplify monitoring

There is an increasing need for technological innovation in the electrical distribution system, driven by the addition of disruptive renewable energy to our grids. To guarantee the quality and availability of supply to industries, hospitals and other infrastructure, the entire system must be carefully monitored using solutions such as the ABB AbilityTM platform, which features digital solutions for fault diagnosis, so that companies can proactively manage their electrical network, locally or remotely, and provide operators with useful information regarding performance and maintenance.

Proactive maintenance minimizes stoppages

In order for industries to remain competitive and to control their expenditure, unplanned production stoppages must be prevented. By creating energy systems that provide alerts when there are failures, or better still when a part is not performing or when service or maintenance is due, then action can be taken. By proactively monitoring and taking preemptive remedial measures there are fewer interruptions and the production cycle is maintained. With so many industrial processes being sensitive to changes in electrical supply, businesses are looking for reliable solutions to ensure equipment is maintained in good working order. NeoGear provides this high level of monitoring so that maintenance requirements can be flagged in advance and problems fixed before they have a negative impact on productivity.

Innovation breeds efficiency

Through better measurement and analysis comes greater management and control, which pays dividends, in turn, through greater safety, reliability, and productivity. The digitization of electrical distribution heralds a new age in efficiency and reliability, which will enable us to develop electrical networks with higher power ratings, better performance, more embedded intelligence and unprecedented levels of interconnectivity to enhance flexibility, improve safety and lower their environment impact.



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About the author

Alessandro Palin

Alessandro Palin has been the Managing Director of ABB’s Distribution Solution business line since 2017. Alessandro oversees the business line that delivers pioneering low and medium voltage innovations, products and services that make ABB the partner of choice for utility, industry and commercial customers. Previously, Alessandro was Head of Marketing and Sales for ABB’s Electrification business. Alessandro has also held numerous sales and management positions within the Electrification business, including several international assignments in Germany, South Africa and Switzerland. Alessandro has a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Trieste and he began his career with ABB in sales in Italy in 1995.
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