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ABB uses AI to revolutionize energy management

ABB and Verdigris Technologies have developed machine-learning algorithms to predict unplanned peaks in power consumption – and identify strategies to prevent them


ABB is deploying artificial intelligence (AI) to help commercial and industrial buildings revolutionize their energy management and tackle rising electricity peak tariffs. The company has added two new AI-powered applications to the ABB AbilityTM Electrical Distribution Control System (EDCS): Energy Forecasting and Intelligent Alerts.

ABB has developed the AI functions in partnership with Silicon Valley AI specialist Verdigris Technologies as part of the company’s Open Innovation program. The Energy Forecasting app will enable users to reduce their electricity bills by reducing peak demand charges. The Intelligent Alerts app uses machine learning algorithms to help customers better manage their assets, identifying underlying issues before they become problems.

Andrea Temporiti, Digital Leader for ABB’s Electrification business, said: “Our use of AI to help customers make better energy management decisions demonstrates ABB’s commitment to innovation in our products and quality in our services. With the new Energy Forecasting and Smart Alerts apps, AI drills down into the facility’s power data to pinpoint actionable opportunities for productivity improvements and energy cost savings.”

ABB’s Open Innovation program engages incubators, accelerators, innovation centers and start-ups in the co-development and design of innovative new digital solutions and business models. The company is building an ecosystem of innovation partners to work on digital energy management services for applications that range from smart buildings to e-mobility. The collaborations help start-ups to develop services that can be marketed directly to ABB customers via its Digital Marketplace; the innovation strategy also enables ABB customers to benefit from cutting-edge digital technologies much sooner.

ABB AbilityTM Energy Forecasting uses AI to give facility managers accurate power consumption predictions. Energy Forecasting enables them to take timely action to reduce unplanned consumption spikes by re-scheduling or switching off non-critical loads – and taking full advantage of Time of Use (TOU) tariffs.

The Energy Forecasting AI uses neural network methods to identify and learn patterns in a circuit or a building’s energy consumption, while also factoring in weather data. Using weather forecasts and historical data, Energy Forecasting is then able to predict power consumption (kW) for the next 24 hours, updating its forecast every 15 minutes with best-in-class accuracy.

“This innovative digital service makes it easy to take the necessary corrective actions to minimize any peak demand charges,” said Temporiti. “The precision of the forecasting reduces hedging positions, narrows variability and produces meaningful energy cost savings for commercial and industrial buildings.”

ABB AbilityTM Intelligent Alerts uses machine learning to help customers better manage critical assets. Intelligent Alerts learns how various factors affect the building and key assets so that it can minimize the distraction of false alerts and information overload, allowing facility teams to focus their time more productively. Intelligent Alerts also identifies the relevant circuits and makes potential recommendations to ensure any response can be swift and decisive.

Thomas Chung, Head of Product Strategy at Verdigris said: “Verdigris AI is 10 times more effective than traditional energy management methods. Our partnership with ABB enables our AI capabilities to reach a significantly larger ecosystem of ABB users. These energy and asset management tools will cut through the noise to deliver actionable insights, identify real energy savings and make resource allocation more effective.”

Energy Forecasting and Intelligent Alerts are available now to subscribe on the ABB Digital Marketplace. Further developments by ABB and Verdigris are planned.

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a technology leader that is driving the digital transformation of industries. With a history of innovation spanning more than 130 years, ABB has four customer-​​focused, globally leading businesses: Electrification, Industrial Automation, Motion, and Robotics & Discrete Automation, supported by the ABB Ability™ digital platform. ABB’s Power Grids business will be divested to Hitachi in 2020. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 147,000 employees.

Verdigris Technologies is a leading AI company based in historic NASA research park in Silicon Valley, California with offices in the US and Taiwan. They are a privately held company backed by prominent venture capitalists and have developed several award-winning products for commercial and industrial energy management.

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