ABB’s Power Grids business has launched its APM Edge solution for transformers. This technology accommodates the growing complexity of grid operations to safeguard energy reliability and resilience while reducing capital investment and operational expense.
The new software solution for asset owners helps to enhance the operational performance of power transformers and lowers the total cost of ownership. The solution is part of ABB’s Digital Enterprise and transformer service portfolio and has been created by merging its historic domain expertise in power transformer design and service with its Asset Performance Management (APM).
Providing a Snapshot of Transformer Health
Based on ABB’s APM technology, which currently monitors 1.3 million assets in production around the globe on a continual basis, APM Edge delivers unique, real-time data to power producers and users on the current and future operational health of their transformer assets. This offers actionable intelligence to inform capital investment and maintenance strategies while reducing production downtime. These prognostic capabilities, for example, enable customers to more accurately forecast when a critical asset like a transformer is likely to fail and model alternative planning pathways.
"With its combination of advanced analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence capabilities, coupled with ABB’s deep asset expertise and global perspective, we believe APM Edge is a powerful tool for asset owners. It will help them to optimize operational performance and deliver a compelling quality of service and value proposition to their customers,“ said Helmut Bockshammer, head of the Transformers Components and Service business, within the company’s Power Grids division. “Scaled to fit any operator’s requirements and operating on top of existing technology and hardware, APM Edge is a scalable solution for transformers, available on premise or in cloud. We can provide this through service agreements to our customers, making their lives as easy as possible.”
Accommodating Shifting Energy Patterns
As the grid evolves to integrate both greater amounts of variable renewable energy and increasingly popular customer-facing technologies, such as battery energy storage and electric vehicles, critical grid infrastructure components such as power transformers must accommodate shifting energy load patterns and dispatch in a more flexible and responsive manner. These shifts will only grow more acute as global energy demand rises and grid supply and demand dynamics increase in complexity, and as more existing transformer fleets are reaching their designed life expectancy and have inadequate historical operational performance records to efficiently extend their remaining operational life.
Through a deeper knowledge and understanding of their assets, APM Edge allows asset owners to expand transformer availability with lower maintenance costs, transition to condition-based maintenance strategies and better prioritize their capital investments. APM Edge includes condition-based prognostic horizons and risk profiles alongside simulation tools that extend an operator’s monitoring and diagnostic capabilities into the future – from the fleet level all the way to individual transformer assets.
Saving Money and Increasing Productivity
ABB Power Grids’ customers have benefitted from APM solutions for many years now. By gaining valuable health and performance insights, they’ve optimized asset lifecycle costs averaging nearly $9 million in savings and increasing total asset availability by 15% and labor productivity by 20% in their first year in production alone. And this new APM Edge solution takes operational performance for transformers to the next level, according to ABB.