ABB wins contract to upgrade Copel hydroelectric power plant in Brazil

ABB’s digital solutions and engineering services will improve availability and reliability of power in the State of Paraná, with ABB winning a $US2.5 million contract to upgrade Copel’s Governador José Richa hydro power plant.

ABB will provide excitation systems and speed regulation for four generator units at the 20-year-old Governador José Richa[i]  hydro power plant on the Iguazu River, and help Copel (Companhia Paranaense de Energia) enhance visibility of its operational data using predictive diagnostics. The hydro power plant produces 1240 MW of installed power, with capacity to meet the power demands of approximately 4.5 million residents, or 40 percent of Paraná’s population.

“The upgrade of the excitation system and the turbine speed regulators and their integration into the ABB Ability™ 800xA automation system will improve the performance and reliability of this hydroelectric power plant,” said Maurício Cunha, Head of Industrial Automation, ABB Brazil.

ABB’s Unitrol® 6000 Static Excitation System (SES) includes a high-performance controller. Modern hardware allows the Unitrol® 6000 control loop to react faster to grid disturbances, without disconnecting the unit from the grid. The Unitrol® 6000 SES also has two separate channels and an additional backup channel for emergency control of the generator. Each channel is designed to handle the maximum field current, enhancing reliability.

‘Hot swap’ maintenance, while the system is still in operation,[ii] will improve availability and extend uptime for the generator at the plant. Extending uptime increases profitability, while also safeguarding the electrical components.

Copel is one of the largest companies in the Brazilian electricity sector. It has 46 of its own power plants – 20 hydroelectric, one thermal and 25 wind farms – and operates a quota of hydroelectric power plants. Copel has interests in 11 other generation projects, totaling an installed capacity of 6,394 MW. ABB is also supporting Copel with asset management and life cycle services to optimize the plant.

“Modernization aims to increase operational efficiency in the power plant, which is a strategic goal of Copel Kuhn,” said Jaime de Oliveira Kuhn, Chief of Power Generation at Copel GeT. “After 20 years of operations and a total of more than 130 million of MWh generated, it was time to modernize the Governador José Richa power plant to ensure its high performance and reliability levels continue. ABB’s life cycle support offered us the peace of mind to be able to update our systems, and be assured that appropriate training would be provided, without having to worry about costly downtime.”

The new system includes a speed turbine regulator and complies with grid code compliance regulations.

ABB Industrial Automation ABB’s Industrial Automation business offers a broad range of products, systems and solutions for customers in the process and hybrid industries. These include industry-specific integrated automation, electrification and digital solutions, control technologies, software and lifecycle services, as well as measurement and analytics, marine and turbocharging offerings. ABB’s Industrial Automation business is #2 in the market globally. With deep domain knowledge, experience and expertise, ABB Industrial Automation helps customers increase their competitiveness, improve their return on investment and run safe, smart and sustainable operations.

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.

[i] Previously Salto Caxias.

[ii] Hot swapping is replacing or adding components without stopping or shutting down the system.