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60 ABB REVI EW PROTE C TION AND SAFE T Y


P R OTE C TI O N AN D S AFE T Y

ABB’s Emax 2 protects,


monitors and manages
microgrids
ABB’s Emax 2, the all-in-one innovation for microgrids, makes
small-scale power networks even more flexible and cost-effi-
cient. With all essential microgrid functionality integrated and
with advanced features, the solution makes a wide range of
on-grid and off-grid requirements simple to manage.

Power grids are undergoing change on a scale not


seen since power distribution first emerged. The
main agents driving this dramatic development
are the rapid growth of renewable energy and the
rise of the microgrid.

The fundamental shifts in power grids brought


Fabio Monachesi about by distributed renewable energy resources
Low Voltage Air – as well as by more exacting requirements for
Circuit Breaker
ABB Electrification power grid resilience and complete system inte-
Products gration – have raised new questions for power grid
Perugia, Italy
architectures. Microgrids provide the answers.
fabio.monachesi@
it.abb.com

Fundamental changes brought
about by distributed renewable
energy resources have created
new challenges for power grid
architectures.

Microgrids are low-voltage (LV) grids that are


­either connected to the utility grid or that operate
in standalone mode in a coordinated and con-
trolled way. Microgrids are often diesel generators
and energy storage systems (flywheels, lithium-ion
batteries, etc.) supplemented by renewable power
sources, such as solar generators.
E MA X 2 MIC ROGRID BRE AKE R SOLU TION 61

In 2016, more than 1.5 GW in LV microgrid power


was installed worldwide; estimates for 2020 range
up to 4 GW. This context is ideal for ABB’s
Emax 2 →1.


Emax 2 is the first circuit breaker
with embedded programmable
logic able to manage automatic
transfer switch function.

ABB Emax 2
Emax 2 is the first intelligent circuit breaker
intended for LV microgrids. In just one product,
Emax 2 provides advanced protection, full connec-
tivity and logic capabilities as well as load, gen-
eration and storage management. Emax 2 is the
all-in-one innovation designed to protect, connect
and optimize LV microgrid applications.

Although Emax 2 is the most compact air circuit


breaker on the market (about 30 percent more
compact than equivalent devices), it packs in a
lot of advanced functionality:

Protection
The circuit breaker can fully protect loads and
generators. For example, the connection of a
generator to an LV microgrid or a medium-voltage
(MV) network through a transformer adds specific
protection requirements such as machine protec-
tion and synchronism between generators and
grid. For these, and other requirements, Emax 2
generator protection trip units offer a wide range
of new protection functions and paralleling checks.

The transition from on-grid to off-grid modi-


fies the network configuration and short-circuit
requirements. A representative example of this
would be a microgrid with utility supply (on-grid)
and an emergency supply generator (off-grid).
Emax 2 ensures adaptive protection settings
for each scenario, guaranteeing coordination
­under all conditions.

01
62 ABB REVI EW PROTE C TION AND SAFE T Y

Zone selectivity is the most advanced method Logic


for making fast, coordinated network protection Service continuity in a microgrid is essential. If a
decisions. Zone selectivity is based on having a fault occurs in the utility network, an automatic
network in which all devices can send and receive transfer switch (ATS) manages the switchover of
supply from the main power line to a local gener-
— ator line. Emax 2 is the first circuit breaker with
embedded programmable logic able to manage
Although Emax 2 is about this ATS function. These new functions maximize
30 percent more compact than service continuity and enable a reduction of up to
30 percent in the switchgear needed.
equivalent devices, it packs in
a lot of advanced functionality. Interlock functions increase electrical system relia-
bility and the safety of personnel in an LV micro-
grid connected to an MV grid. Emax 2 can distin-
signals to and from one another. Under fault
guish earth fault types (restricted or unrestricted)
conditions, the Emax 2 breaker closest to the fault
and, via programmable contacts, command the
takes appropriate action and informs the others
MV grid to disconnect, without additional external
to continue working. The intelligent circuit breaker
relays. Furthermore, when the MV breaker trips,
guarantees the highest level of reliability thanks to
the LV breaker is required to open, avoiding reverse
redundant zone selectivity based on two coordina-
fault power flow. Using Emax 2 communication
tion networks: electrical and digital (Ethernet).
protocols or programmable contacts, it is possible
to perform functions such as these and interlock
Interface protection functions based on voltage
the MV and LV sides.
and frequency measurements are required when
disconnecting the microgrid from the main grid.
Emax 2 is the breaker at the microgrid point of
common coupling (PCC) and it includes these func-
tions, in compliance with international standards.

02
03| 2017 E MA X 2 MIC ROGRID BRE AKE R SOLU TION 63

— Connectivity Management
01 Emax 2, all-in-one
innovation. The network analyzer embedded in the Emax 2 Fast load shedding can support the islanding of
understands power quality and a wide set of the microgrid during the transition from on-grid to

02 Ekip Connect 3 electrical measurements. System integration is off-grid or the steady state. Emax 2, using its rate
commissioning tool. guaranteed by full connectivity via communication of change of frequency (ROCOF) function, discon-
protocols such as IEC 61850, Modbus TCP, Modbus nects loads only when an emergency imbalance
RTU, Ethernet IP, Profibus, ProfiNet, DeviceNet, condition arises →4. Emax 2 realizes the load shed-
Ekip Link and openADR. Ekip View and Ekip Control ding logic using digital contacts embedded in the
Panel microScada are also available. breaker or installed externally in DIN rail modules.

The ABB AbilityTM Electrical Distribution Control —


System is a cloud-based platform that can monitor
and analyze the flow of power within any facility,
Zone selectivity is the most
leveraging the intelligence and connectivity of ­advanced method for making
Emax 2 air circuit breakers. It allows the evaluation
of live data and the remote control and manage-
fast, coordinated network
ment of industrial power systems and buildings. ­protection decisions.

Peak shaving and load shifting are used to control


microgrid power flow, reduce maximum demand
charges and optimize the plant absorption.
Emax 2 is ready for virtual power plant (aggrega-
tion of clients and loads) applications and demand
response programs thanks to communication
­protocols. A patented power management algo-
rithm is embedded in Emax 2.

Emax 2 delivers much functionality in a single


­device, thus replacing multiple devices and provid-
ing a simple, inexpensive and intelligent solution.

During its life, an LV utility-tied microgrid has


four operational stages (islanding, islanded, recon-
nection and grid-connected) and Emax 2
can control each one.

Fabio Monachesi
Let’s use the Ekip Connect
web-page picture (Ilaria
has the source file).
64 ABB REVI EW PROTE C TION AND SAFE T Y

From MV switchgear
HM1 HM2

From MV switchgear

From MV switchgear
Intertrip/Interlock

Intertrip/Interlock

Intertrip/Interlock

Intertrip/Interlock
To MV switchgear

To MV switchgear
Alarm Alarm
26 Trip Trip 26
Alarm Alarm
49 Trip Trip 49
71
Alarm Alarm
71
63 Trip Trip 63
Commands
1 1 11
MTS ATS
Manual Automatic
transfer changeover

A C B O OFF ON O
64 11 64
3 S4 S5 S3 S6 3

command

94reset
MTS

ATS
86TA 86TB

51G 5 25 25 51G/I
Reset

94A 94
Set
94B
51G/I 51G/I
27.1 27.2 3
51 51
27.1 ATS/MTS 27.2
51N 51N 3

86 A 86
CB-A
27.B 27.B
CB-B
51
LOC REM ON Off 51N LOC REM ON Off

S1 S2 LOC REM ON OFF S1 S2


CB-C
415 V BUS BAR “A” S1 S2 BUS BAR “B”
3 3 HM 3

86C

3 3
50 27.A 27.A
51

03a

Microgrid islanding the short-circuit protection values should be


Emax 2 is usually installed immediately down- reduced as there is no longer a contribution to the
stream of the MV/LV transformer as the interface fault from the utility side. Thanks to this adaptive
point between the microgrid and the main grid. If protection, coordination among the different
there is a fault in the MV grid, Emax 2 can detect it resources remains guaranteed even off-grid.
and quickly change voltage- and frequency-based
Ekip Link is the ABB proprietary bus tool that
— facilitates horizontal communication among the
breakers, enabling digital selectivity. Direct
Emax 2 has a patented integrated communication between the Emax 2 breakers
fast load-shedding method that ­eliminates the need for a supervising device or
master, speeding up data exchange.
exploits the device’s current and
voltage measurements to reduce During the microgrid islanding transition, it is
very important to avoid a frequency drop in case
the risk of frequency drop. instability, or even a blackout, occurs.

protection thresholds. The interface protection


system built into the breaker disconnects the
microgrid from the main grid to let it work in
standalone mode. Emax 2 then automatically
changes the feeder protection settings according
to the new microgrid conditions. In particular,
03| 2017 E MA X 2 MIC ROGRID BRE AKE R SOLU TION 65

switchgear

switchgear
From MV

From MV
Commands

MTS ATS
Manual Automatic
transfer changeover

A C B OFF ON
1
S2 S3 S1 S4
emergency
command
MTS

ATS

CB-A CB-B

LOC REM LOC REM

LOC REM
S43 S43
CB-C
415 V BUS BAR “A” S43 BUS BAR “B”

03b


03 Embedded ATS
Emax 2 has a patented integrated fast load-shed- Microgrid islanded
reduces the number of ding method that exploits the device’s current and When the microgrid is in standalone mode, it
components required for
the transfer switching
voltage measurements to reduce the risk of such is possible to start up other resources, such as
logic. an event. In accordance with the microgrid power backup generators. As described above, Emax 2’s
03a Typical setup.
consumption and frequency measurements, the embedded ATS logic manages the transfer from
adaptive load shedding quickly sheds less critical the main line to an emergency line to minimize
03b With embedded ATS.
loads to maintain power balance and avoid black- problems caused by faulty conditions in the public
outs. As it is possible to add or lose power sources network or MV grid. ABB’s embedded ATS is a
after the islanding event – eg, a backup gener- high-performance energy automation system
ator starting or an inverter with anti-islanding that is easy to install and program. The ATS takes
advantage of the new capabilities provided by the
— Ekip Connect 3 commissioning software tool →2
and the Emax 2 to deliver a compact and reliable
The ABB AbilityTM Electrical solution →3. The embedded ATS solution is as com-
Distribution Control System is a pact as the Emax 2 because nothing needs to be
added apart from internal trip units and Ekip Link
cloud-based platform that can communication. If required, Ekip ­Synchrocheck
monitor and analyze the flow of modules can be installed to handle synchronism
during paralleling.
power within any facility.

protection kicking in – Emax 2 load shedding has


dedicated configurations: One for an emergency
genset and another for solar power that takes into
account plant geography, solar panel inclination,
orientation and size.
66 ABB REVI EW PROTE C TION AND SAFE T Y

Emax 2’s ATS reduces the PLC programming skills


and electrical knowledge needed to program a
power automation switchboard by providing gen-
eral templates – tested and ready-to-go – that can
be customized via a graphical user interface (GUI).
When the user is satisfied , a simple tool allows the
template to be uploaded to the devices. Parame-
ters can be subsequently changed by simply con-
necting a laptop and using the same GUI. The time
saved in microgrid ATS engineering is estimated to
50
be around 95 percent.

49 —
The network analyzer embedded
Frequency (Hz)

48
in the Emax 2 understands power
47
quality and a wide set of electrical
measurements.

Microgrid reconnection
With load shedding The ability to resynchronize the microgrid with the
Without load shedding
grid when it is in a steady-state condition is one of
0 Emax 2’s integral features.
0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0

Time (s)
Neither an external synchrocheck relay nor syn-
chronizing equipment is required for the parallel-
04a ing operation. Voltage sensors at the microgrid
side are integrated into the Emax 2 circuit breaker,
so only one single-phase transformer is needed
at the main grid side.
Main
grid
Using the Ekip Synchrocheck cartridge module,
Emax 2 monitors the most important reconnecting
parameters and adapts the microgrid voltage and
frequency to those of the grid. The secondary reg-
Gensets Renewables
ulation of the local generator controllers is realized
by Ekip Signaling contacts so that synchronization
G
can be reached. The circuit breaker automatically
EMAX 2, all-in-one
with load shedding recloses when it understands that the synchro-
nism is achieved using Ekip Synchrocheck together
with the integrated closing coil →5.

ATS
Microgrid grid-connected
Because any power peaks can mean higher bills,
and demand response applications need to control
the power flowing at the PCC, the Emax 2 has a
patented embedded power management algorithm
that performs a slow load and generator disconnec-
tion or power modulation. The algorithm is based
Not-priority loads Priority loads on the limit of the average power flow towards the
microgrid according to the power-handling capabil-
ities of the transformer, on the contractual power
04b
or on the signal received for demand response
strategies. For this last case, Emax 2 leverages
the openADR protocol to communicate with load
aggregators or utilities as a virtual end node.
03| 2017 E MA X 2 MIC ROGRID BRE AKE R SOLU TION 67


04 Load shedding
protects the microgrid
from a rapid frequency Cloud platform
drop. The plant remains
live and can work in
standalone mode with
priority loads always
supplied.

04a A rapid frequency


drop is to be avoided. Ekip Com Hub

04b Load shedding


scheme.

— Modbus RS-485 Modbus TCP


05 Microgrid embedded
solution with the ABB
Ability Ekip Com Hub.


06 Synchro-reclosing
function enables
microgrid reconnection
to the main grid without
external synchronizer.

05

Emax 2 can help the microgrid manager in many As microgrids continue to proliferate, ABB’s
other ways too. For example, the cloud-based Emax 2 intelligent circuit breaker will enable
platform, ABB Ability Electrical Distribution Control operators to lower their costs and increase their
System, allows authorized persons to monitor, op- capabilities. Protection, control, monitoring and
timize and control the microgrid from anywhere. All management can all be handled with a single
that is needed is a cartridge-type communication device to ensure microgrid loads and generators
module, the Ekip Com Hub, to be installed on the work in a controlled fashion, whether the micro­
terminal box to establish the cloud connection →6. grid is connected to the grid or is operating
in a standalone mode. l
This cloud architecture has been developed to-
gether with Microsoft to enhance performance
and guarantee the highest reliability and security.
For the first time, intelligent circuit breakers can
provide extensive monitoring and management in
widespread LV networks.

Microgrid islanded Microgrid synchronization Microgrid connected

50.00
Frequency (Hz)

49.75

49.50

49.25
Microgrid
49.00
Distribution grid
48.75

6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24
Time (s)

1.1
Voltage (p.u)

1.0

0.9

0.8 Microgrid
0.7 Distribution grid

0.6
6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24

06 Load served (%)

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