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ABB manages energy at intelligent wastewater plant in Germany

Aug. 7, 2023

ABB reported July 13 that its Ability Energy Management and Optimization (Optimax) solution is at the heart of an intelligent-energy wastewater treatment plant in Schwarzenbruck, Germany, started last September by the Schwarzachgruppe sewage association.

The new wastewater treatment plant is an environmental innovation showcase that automatically balances energy-consumption and production, so an external power supply is required only rarely. Thanks to this energy-intelligent concept, it’s estimated that the plant can save about 300 tons of CO2 per year.

Optimax enables the plant’s potential energy efficiencies to be exploited and existing energy generation and storage options to be networked, controlled and optimized. These facilities include a hydroelectric power plant in the wastewater treatment plant outlet, photovoltaic solar panels, two combined heat and power plants using sewage gas, electricity storage in batteries, sewage gas storage, heat storage as hot water, and coupling various storage units for continuous provision of thermal or electrical energy.

In addition, some assets at the Schwarzenbruck plant serve a grid thanks Optimax’s controls. For example, in the event of an electricity oversupply, the plant’s battery storage system is charged, and can be discharged during low production. This system can calculate optimum battery operations based on load and production forecasts.

ABB reports the association’s pilot project saved 100% of the energy it previously consumed from the grid. It adds that integrating the wastewater treatment plant into the local grid is an essential part of the project. Consequently, it received 3.9 million euros from the German government as part of its Environmental Innovation Program. 

About the Author

Jim Montague | Executive Editor

Jim Montague is executive editor of Control.