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ABB invests in the future for e-mobility with new research centre

ABB’s new R&D centre will be ready in 2019

ABB is building a new, fully sustainable, global headquarters and R&D centre to advance its market leading position in EV charging infrastructure.

The US$10-million, 3,600-square-metre facility, due for completion in June 2019, emphasises ABB’s commitment to advancing developments in the field of sustainable mobility.

ABB recently gained global recognition by Fortune Magazine, which ranked ABB as No.8 in its list of companies who are ‘changing the world’ for the advances it has made in e-mobility and EV charging.

Managing director for ABB’s EV charging business Frank Muehlon said: “The investment in this new head office and R&D centre demonstrates ABB’s commitment to technological leadership and setting the standard when it comes to sustainable mobility. The facility will allow us to increase the pace of product testing and development, ensuring we can deliver innovate products to market faster than ever.”

Located on the southern part of the TU Delft Campus, the complex, which will be able to house up to 120 people, will mark the return of ABB’s EV charging business to the home of its conception. Indeed, the students who founded Epyon (the EV charging start-up acquired by ABB in 2011), were former students of Delft University of Technology.

With interoperability the key focus for ABB chargers, the building will be fitted with the latest technology to ensure that ABB chargers are compatible with all types of vehicle. Simulators have been built exactly for this purpose, with 95% of all tests to be conducted with a digital copy of vehicles loaded into the simulator.

As how the car and charger behave in warm or cold weather cannot be tested with the simulator, ABB is developing environmental rooms for this purpose, where the systems will be subjected to extreme conditions, including a temperature range of -40 to +40 degrees Celsius and high humidity.

The facility is also being designed to advance charging for the rapidly growing electric-bus segment, with testing areas large enough for a public transport bus to drive inside.

As part of ABB’s commitment to run the world without consuming the earth, it was vital to not only create a building that can advance progress in sustainable mobility, but also to create a facility that will be 100% sustainable itself.

For heating and cooling, the ABB complex will be connected to the TU Delft geothermal heating/cooling plant. Meanwhile the roof will house solar panels, with ABB solar inverters to convert DC harvested from the sun into AC, which can be used to power the facility.

ABB will also integrate its electrical solutions throughout the building including transformers, switchgear, smarter building products and protection components, including miniature circuit breakers, residual current devices, surge protection devices, control, signalling, measuring and smart accessories.

Frank concluded: “This building marks a significant step in the continued growth of our EV charging business. The most important factor in driving technological advances is talent and we couldn’t ask for a more inspiring location than on the TU Delft Campus, where we will be surrounded by the next generation of electrical and industrial engineers.”

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