• Partnership will use data insights and expertise to reduce the energy consumption of CERN’s cooling and ventilation system by up to 15 percent;
• ABB and CERN will create digital twins to support online diagnostics and maximize the system’s efficient and reliable operation;
• Learnings and best practices will be shared publicly so that other large-scale cooling and ventilation projects can find new ways to increase energy efficiency.
CERN, one of the world’s leading particle physics research institutes, and ABB have entered into a partnership to identify how to improve the energy efficiency of cooling and ventilation systems used for lab experiments at its site close to Geneva, Switzerland. The partnership will also act as a blueprint for other energy intensive research institutions that would like to reduce their environmental footprint and improve reliability.
The non-commercial project will demonstrate how data insight delivered by the ABB Ability Digital Powertrain and service expertise can be applied to make better decisions about saving energy and increasing reliability at large-scale research facilities. Currently, motors used to power pumps, fans, compressors, and cooling towers account for 20 percent of CERN’s total energy consumption, or approximately 260 gigawatt hours.
“Our innovation partnerships help us to enable positive societal impact from our work pushing the limits of science and engineering at CERN,” said Han Dols, Head of Business Development & Entrepreneurship from CERN. “We have partnered with ABB to generate insights to help reduce our own electricity footprint, as we continue to test the extremes at such a large facility. We also 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.”
Mari E. Haapala, ABB’s Motion Digital Lead said: “Our partnership with CERN will illustrate what can be achieved with insights from digital energy appraisals and condition monitoring services that enable smarter decision-making for the electrical rotating equipment in a large-scale science facility. As CERN’s partner, we look forward to helping them on their digital journey to an energy efficient future.”
The partnership will enable collecting digital performance data from hundreds of industrial electric motors and applications. Analysis by ABB’s experts will identify precisely where and how much energy can be saved by adjusting schedules and loads or upgrading to high-efficiency motors and variable speed drives (VSDs). Typically, this approach can yield 15 percent or more in energy savings.
Data will also be used for condition monitoring to maintain the cooling and ventilation system reliability. For example, it will detect vibration that occurs when components are approaching the end of their life. This will enable CERN’s engineers to plan maintenance proactively and protect availability of cooling systems, where a 30-minute unplanned outage could stop an experiment for 48 hours. The switch from reactive to predictive maintenance will also cut maintenance costs.
ABB (abb.com) is a leading global technology company that energizes the transformation of society and industry to achieve a more productive, sustainable future. By connecting software to its electrification, robotics, automation and motion portfolio, ABB pushes the boundaries of technology to drive performance to new levels. With a history of excellence stretching back more than 130 years, ABB’s success is driven by about 105,000 talented employees in over 100 countries.
CERN (home.cern), the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is one of the world's leading laboratories for particle physics. The Organization is located on the French-Swiss border, with its headquarters in Geneva. Its Member States are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Cyprus, Estonia and Slovenia are Associate Member States in the pre-stage to Membership. Croatia, India, Latvia, Lithuania, Pakistan, Turkey and Ukraine are Associate Member States. The European Union, Japan, JINR, the Russian Federation, UNESCO and the United States of America currently have Observer status. The Observer status of the Russian Federation and of JINR is suspended in accordance with the CERN Council Resolutions of 8 March 2022 and 25 March 2022, respectively.