Axpo, Switzerland’s largest producer of green energy has now made one of its hydro power plants located in Sarganserland digitalized, with the help of ABB’s Ability Smart Sensors and ABB’s Ability Condition Monitoring the motors. Digitalization of power plant greatly increases its efficiency and reduces the downtime expected during maintenance. In this pilot project which is termed as Hydro 4.0, ABB’s smart sensors and motor monitoring devices have been installed at various critical rotating equipments which generate 28,000 critical data points which are continually monitored for actionable information. Before digitalizing the plant, maintenance was carried out at scheduled times, usually long before necessary just to make sure there is no fault in the motors. This continued and unnecessary maintenance caused increased maintenance cost and also reduced the equipment’s lifetime, and in some cases faults went unnoticed due to some unpredicted failure within the equipment causing it to damage. Now with ABB’s digital metering devices faults can be detected at real time and damage to the equipment can be avoided without increasing the maintenance cost or effecting the equipment’s lifetime.
Most of critical data points generated at the plant are outsourced to ABB who continuously monitors it, and informs the plant team in-case of any abnormality in any of the motor equipment. The data can also be accessed by the plant team through ABB’s web portal or by integrating the data into their system through API (Application Programming Interface). This use of digitalization is expected to reduce motor failures by about 80% in the plant.
A recent benefit of the digitalizing of power plant trough ABB’s smart metering system was seen in Singapore’s major chemical plant in Denka, where abnormalities in three critical motors were detected immediately and fixed in time which prevented plant’s critical operations from shutting down for longer period of time and also reduced maintenance cost of the operation.

Link to the news: