CERN and ABB Partner To Innovate In Electric Motor

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CERN and ABB recently partnered to study electric motor energy use at CERN and will publish the results for use in the public domain. Just recently CERN celebrated its 10-year anniversary of the Higgs-Boson discovery.

ABB explained that the project is “non-commercial” and said that it will illustrate how data insight and service expertise can be applied to make more promising decisions about conserving energy and increasing reliability at large-scale research facilities. “Currently, motors used to power pumps, fans, compressors and cooling towers account for 20% of CERN’s total energy consumption, or approximately 260-gigawatt hours,” it added.

“We have partnered with ABB to generate insights to help reduce our own electricity footprint,” said CERN business development head Han Dols. “We hope to inspire other big science facilities and industry to do the same and, as such, have agreed with ABB to share the learnings of this project publicly.”

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Digital performance data will be collected and interpreted from hundreds of industrial electric motors, and ABB will identify where and how much energy can be saved by adjusting schedules and loads or upgrading to high-efficiency motors and variable-speed drives. “Typically, this approach can yield 15% or more in energy savings,” according to ABB. The acquired data will also be used for condition monitoring to maintain cooling and ventilation system reliability.

A digital twin of the systems will be developed for CERN to carry out diagnostics and off-line testing of scenarios as it plans new cooling systems. The project’s final output is energy-saving for CERN.

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