World Energy Usage to Double by 2050, Power Distribution to Become More Complex

World Energy Usage to Double by 2050, Power Distribution to Become More Complex

Usage of energy is seen to double by the year 2050, with Asia leading the increase in use. According to leading technology company ABB, this means power distribution networks will grow in size and complexity.

Alessandro Palin, President of ABB’s Distribution Solutions division, said: “Energy demand is rising together with the need for higher reliability and availability of energy supply. This requires innovative and future-proof technology, together with adaptability and readiness to respond to changing market and grid requirements.”

To address this increase in use and complexity in distribution, ABB is launching a new addition to its Relion® product family designed to support safe, smart and sustainable electrification. Packed with innovative simplicity, REX610 makes protecting grids, industrial processes and people easier.

Palin said the REX610 is designed to adapt to the needs of evolving power grids and the society of tomorrow and that it meets all these requirements to make it a flexible and sustainable choice.

The Innovative Simplicity of the REX610

REX610 draws on ABB’s strong heritage of freely configurable multifunctional relays and proven protection algorithms to create a simple and innovative solution that provides optimal protection for all basic power distribution applications.

Innovative simplicity is at the heart of REX610. It is a pure plug-and-play solution with installed hardware modules unlocking all available functionality. REX610 is the first all-in-one protection relay to support all basic power distribution applications with only six variants, making it easy to order, set up, use and service. To save further time and money, the low number of variants also allows modules and spare units to be kept in store for quick replacements and changing project requirements.

Its modular and scalable design makes creating a unique protection solution easy and the extensive range of default functionality, including communication options, allows easy alterations with no additional costs or hardware changes. 

REX610 is future-proofed for an evolving grid. As the market shifts and requirements change, modules can be easily added, removed or replaced without the need to change the entire relay. The modular hardware makes modifications possible at any time, throughout the life cycle, even years after installation. To minimize costly downtime, the innovative, withdrawable plug-in unit ensures quick and easy installation, maintenance and testing, as well as swift replacement and quick repairs. 

To further support changing grid requirements, new developments can be accessed via firmware updates. Access to the latest versions of ABB’s protection algorithms will ensure optimal protection and control solutions, whereas new protection functionality opens up the possibility for new applications. The extensive range of default functionality allows users to adapt to changing protection, communication and network requirements, accessible via ABB’s relay setting and configuration tool, PCM600. 

Fully IEC 61850-compliant, REX610 enables communication and interoperability between substation automation devices and to various smart services, such as those on the ABB Ability™ platform, now and in years to come.

REX610 offers extensive life cycle services for optimal future usability and extended switchgear lifetime. This ensures safe, reliable and cost-effective protection solutions with predictable maintenance costs. The services include a web-based data-sharing and backup service, ABB Ability™ Backup Management for electrical systems – Data Care. This provides secure online storage and easy sharing of technical information from the protection relays. Data Care is also where all firmware updates will be accessible.

For the retrofit market, ABB has also developed a tailor-made adapter to allow quick and easy replacement of ABB’s SPACOM relays with REX610 relays. With more than ABB 700,000 SPACOM relays installed worldwide, dating back to the 1980’s, the retrofit adapter offers a simple way to easily modernize the protection and control system to the shifting requirements of future power demand. 

ABB will launch REX610 with a virtual event on 18 May 2021, at which ABB Electrification’s Chief Technology Officer, Amina Hamidi, will give a keynote speech on ‘Innovation for greener, smarter electrification of the future.’ 

REX610 will be released for sale later in 2021.

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