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Going Digital: ABB’s Launch of One-stop Service with 120KW Solar Inverters

published: 2019-10-03 14:21

Johnny Ma, the President of ABB Taiwan (Image from EnergyTrend)

As global warming and climate change intensifies, renewable energy is the sure way to go. Taiwan, consequently, can no longer stand on the sidelines. Bureau of Energy from Ministry of Economic Affairs aims to install 6.5 GW of PV capacity by 2020. In the long run, they intend to install 3 GW of rooftop PV capacity and 17 GW of ground-mounted PV capacity, totaling 20 GW of solar energy by 2025. Taiwan has officially entered the gigawatt club, having exceeded 1 GW of cumulative installed solar capacity by 2018. ABB, a Swiss multinational company specializing in automation and electromechanical equipment, has grown deep roots in the Taiwan market over the past 30 years. Having high hopes for the solar energy market, the tech giant is also launching solar inverters into the market, both ground-mounted and rooftop types. ABB hopes to further enhance the development of the renewable energy industry in Taiwan.

The Three-Phase Inverter With the Highest Power Density in the Industry

As the "heart" of the photovoltaic system, the solar inverter is responsible for converting the direct current generated by PV installations into the alternating current used by the average households. The solar inverters, hence, are crucial to the stability and reliability of the overall power generation system. The development of large-scale ground-mounted solar plants has become more and more important in Taiwan In recent years. Therefore large-capacity inverters for utility-scale power plants, commercial and residential buildings are increasingly prominent.

In order to address this issue, ABB has obtained VPC (Voluntary Product Certification) from the Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection, and launched the extreme high power string inverter PVS-100/120-TL in Taiwan, which is equipped with the highest power density within the industry. This powerful three-phase inverter, featuring 1000 Vdc, has the capacity to serve a 120 kW solar system. For large power plants, PVS-100/120-TL can effectively reduce the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) and improve the power generation efficiency.

The PVS-100/120-TL inverter (Image from ABB)

Taking a closer look at the internal design of the new solar inverter, PVS-100/120-TL is equipped with six independent maximum power point tracking (MPPT) devices. So the solar power generation can be optimized and the ROI is consequently increased, no matter if the sun is shining, or if there is a shading situation or not. Unlike the usual inverters in the market, PVS-100/120-TL has a built-in DC box, which the customers usually have to pay extra for the fuses and surge protections. Therefore such a design further reduces the risk of inverter accidents as well as the costs for the customers

Moreover, ABB is also very meticulous in inspection and maintenance. The Swiss machinery conglomerate has been actively promoting a digitization service called ABB Ability since 2018. The data is transmitted and integrated through multiple sensors on the device. Combining technology such as big data, IoT, AI, energy management and control can be achieved. An enormous customer database is therefore brought to fruition. In addition to the annual on-site maintenance, it is also within its capabilities to predict, maintain and examine events through data analysis. Plus, ABB also provides solar inverter remote monitoring and data acquisition system services, completely free of charge. By installing the app that comes with the ABB solar inverters, you can monitor the power generation status of the solar system anywhere, anytime, which makes the electricity usage more transparent, real-time and secure. It is no longer necessary to purchase a third-party monitoring software.

 ABB's Smart monitoring technology (Image from ABB)

One-Stop Shop for Energy: From Planning, Installation to Power Data All in One Place

ABB, as a global leader of electrical products and industrial automation, also pioneered in solutions that involved solar inverters, photovoltaic systems, power systems and utility-scale solar plant solutions. In terms of a solar power system, the Swiss solar powerhouse can take care of everything from a to z, from solar power generation to the entire chain of the electrical products covered by all the applications in the building, including various low-voltage electronic control elements, DC switchboxes, solar inverters, AC switchboxes, low-voltage and high-voltage switchgear and switch cabinet, UHV switch cabinets, etc. ABB can provide a comprehensive one-stop service, ranging from equipment planning, installation, maintenance to the subsequent collection, analysis and prediction of the solar power data. Given the dynamic development of the solar industry at the moment, the President of ABB Taiwan, Johnny Ma, also emphasized, “We can assist customers in planning complete solutions for different scales of the plants and provide the subsequent inspections and maintenance services. It doesn’t matter if it's a small residential building or a large-scale solar power plant that is so popular right now. As far as the clients are concerned, you can enjoy the one-stop services of an integrated design, saving time and overall costs. There is no need to worry about the incompatibility of parts and equipment of various manufacturers. Therefore the subsequent repairs and maintenance are relatively easy. This is our core service. We hope to provide customers with more integrated, convenient, efficient and innovative solutions and services."

ABB has been active in Taiwan for more than 30 years. It provides a number of automation equipment, robotic arms, propulsion systems and other solutions, working with petrochemical plants, power plants, steel mills and semiconductor manufacturers and the like. Looking ahead, ABB will move forward alongside the government policy in Taiwan. ABB not only invested in the propulsion system of the Danhai trams, but also the trackside power supply for the railway planning in the Forward-Looking Infrastructure Development Program. When it comes to the offshore wind power project, ABB is also actively assisting the construction of domestic facilities, providing offshore substations and other equipment.

In the face of energy transformation, it may not be enough to merely set up solar energy and wind power equipment in numerous places, especially if the renewable energy is intermittent energy. It also needs a great number of energy storage systems to improve the dispatching capacity of the grid and stability, which ensures the quality and safety of electricity. As the keeper of electrical safety and grid quality, ABB is also actively investing in the energy storage market, equipped to provide energy storage power conversion equipment with a maximum capacity of 2MW. ABB also works with ITRI (Industrial Technology Research Institute) and various battery companies, in the hopes of contributing to the stability and security of Taiwan's power supply while promoting renewable energy.

 (Source: EnergyTrend, Johnny Ma, the President of ABB Taiwan)

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