Enhanced energy and load management for any energy distribution application

Resource scarcity and rising energy costs make energy management more important than ever. With the evolution of ABB's InSite system, we enable optimization of energy consumption of up to 20%.

Resource scarcity and rising energy costs, along with the general geopolitical situation are making energy management more important than ever – whether in industrial, commercial or residential buildings. With the evolution of ABB’s InSite energy management system, we enable our customers to optimize energy consumption in sub and final distribution.

So, how can the enhanced energy management and load management solution – InSite – help in a real-life scenario?

Well, with the enhanced InSite solution, you can easily and gradually upgrade any new or existing installation in a quick and easy way.

Let’s assume we are an installer and are contacted by the energy manager of a company. The company does not yet have an energy management system and therefore wants to start from scratch: simply record energy consumption. No problem: This can be done very easily via existing, simple ABB energy meters. A while later, the company gets in touch again: They are tired of always having to run from the third floor to the basement to read the meters, and it’s an inefficient use of time and resources.

There is a simpler way to do that: we enable the installer to integrate the energy meters via the communication protocol into the InSite control unit, a gateway that collects energy data and can display it directly in the Internet browser through the integrated web server.

System architecture and InSite web server

Moving beyond consumption

A year later, the company realizes that monitoring energy consumption alone is not enough. They also need information about power quality, such as harmonics, to avoid outages, failures, or power supply problems. So, as next step, we integrate ABB’s MID-certified M4M network analyzers, particularly suitable for billing applications and conveniently manageable with the S4M app, as well as the ABB current sensors, to be able to record individual energy sources and loads in a space-saving way. And since we have already integrated all the electricity, let’s directly record gas and water as well via the input modules belonging to the system.

So, the energy consumption is all recorded. Now, to further optimize energy management and efficiency, the next step could be to also integrate all the protection devices to automatically record their status and better plan maintenance. This will also be easier in the future as ABB is digitizing its entire portfolio of protection devices. From circuit breakers in the main distribution board to overvoltage protection and DIN-rail protection devices. The Tmax XT High Touch main circuit breaker, the eOVR smart surge protective device (SPD), and the DIN-rail smart accessories are enabled to provide more detailed information based on which the status of the system can be analyzed, allowing predictive maintenance actions.

 And there’s more. Thanks to its scalability, the InSite system can be easily integrated with ABB Ability™ Energy Manager, which also allows smart switches from the main distribution to be integrated into the system, as well as making multiple sites monitorable via the Cloud. This is a real customer benefit – especially for branch offices and companies with multiple sites, as they can be managed from a central location and analyzed by comparing building performances.

Automated actions

Now that the entire monitoring system is in place and data can be easily visualized on the InSite web server or via the cloud on the ABB Ability™ Energy Manager, above all, actions should also be taken in response to the data collected – preferably in such a way that an action is taken automatically as soon as a threshold value is exceeded. Again, this is also no problem with the InSite solution: relays, switches, and accessories can be easily controlled via the ABB output modules and trigger appropriate actions.

Residential energy management

Energy management at home

Now what about integrating InSite in the residential space – your smart home, you may ask yourself? The new InSite is also perfectly adapted for use in your home. For this, the InSite control unit is smaller, more modular, and more flexible – now being able to integrate any ABB or third-party device. And with enhanced load management and prioritization of loads such as photovoltaic systems, heat pumps, energy storage units, electric vehicle (EV) chargers and home appliances, energy can be balanced more efficiently. Further, it allows energy peaks and their costs to be avoided and self-generated energy to be better utilized. Through the integration of energy management, EV charging into the ABB-free@home® smart home system, homeowners can centrally monitor and control their homes from one single app in comfort.

No matter whether you want to retrofit existing systems or install new ones, whether it’s commercial, industrial, or residential – InSite and the ABB Ability™ Energy and Asset Manager is an integrated solution for all applications as a scalable system.

As the well-known author Peter Drucker explains, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” So, I was proud to show our visitors on the ABB stand at Light+Building fair just how ABB’s digital solutions can make a difference to you in effectively and efficiently lowering your energy consumption and costs.

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About the author

Sebastiano Paganini

Sebastiano is the Global Product Line Manager for Energy Management Solutions, Smart Buildings. He is based in Milan, Italy, and joined ABB in 2012. Since then, he has held various roles in the fields of energy efficiency, connectivity and digital solutions. With scalable energy management solutions, he aims at supporting customers and businesses to become more sustainable and achieve energy savings through increased data transparency, load management and optimization. Sebastiano holds two degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Università degli Studi di Ferrara and a Masters in Advanced Mechanical Engineering from Cranfield University.
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