ABB technology helps Dubai develop smart solar strategy
3 November 2017
ABB technology is supporting the development of new smart solar power systems for the city of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Dubai Electric & Water Authority (DEWA) is using the ABB AbilityTM Electrical Distribution Control System to help develop data-driven strategies that maximize year-round solar energy production as part of the Smart Dubai initiative.
Smart Dubai is the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The city is hard-wiring Smart Design into its fast-evolving infrastructure in a series of greenfield initiatives that offer emerging economies a blueprint for sustainable development.
The ABB Ability Electrical Distribution Control System is being employed by DEWA to monitor production at ABB’s Al Quoz photovoltaic solar system. The 312kW installation is the largest privately owned solar rooftop in the region, powering the ABB facility and feeding surplus energy into the grid. ABB’s cloud-based platform makes it easy for DEWA analysts to integrate the power production data with other information, such as weather forecasts and actual rooftop temperatures.
“Dubai has come a long way in its transformation into a smart city under the guidance of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai,” said his Excellency Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA. “DEWA works in line with the UAE Vision to achieve smart transformation, and to support the leadership to meet the objectives of the UAE Vision 2021 National Agenda, and Dubai Plan 2021. We seek to promote Dubai as a smart, sustainable, and integrated city with high-tech infrastructure to support social and economic development as well as promote sustainable use of resources by ensuring best practices in consumption, efficiency and governance.”
Dubai aims to generate 25 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030 and the development of a viable solar power market is key to this. DEWA is fast-tracking the introduction of digital innovations that will help better manage the city’s energy consumption and production with smart grids and smart meters.
“ABB’s cloud-based platform is enabling a new generation of data-driven strategies for power distribution systems. Data from ABB Ability Electrical Distribution Control System enables DEWA to understand the effect of temperature and other seasonal changes on the yield from solar power systems,” said Loay Dajani, ABB Lead Division Manager - MEA, Electrification Products Division. “The ABB Ability Electrical Distribution Control System is the perfect platform for this kind of collaborative project, producing the data needed for power distribution systems to integrate effectively into smart city concepts.”
Although the UAE enjoys long periods of sunshine each year, the high ambient temperatures can also limit the efficiency of photovoltaic cells. In June, July and August, ambient temperatures in Dubai can reach 50-52°C. In these conditions, roof-mounted solar power systems can reach temperatures of 68°C.
The ABB Ability Electrical Distribution Control System is a cloud-based platform for electrical systems that monitors plant performance, uses data analysis to identify optimization opportunities, and enables the remote implementation of more effective power management strategies. It connects the electrical equipment, using the Emax 2 smart circuit breaker, with cloud-based intelligence and algorithms, removing the need for expensive additional devices and complex programming.