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Report | August 2019

Austria’s largest self-consumption PV system

B&R expands photovoltaic system to 1.5 megawatts.

Automation specialist B&R has expanded its photovoltaic system and increased its capacity from 1 megawatt to 1.5 megawatts. The roof of the company’s headquarters in Eggelsberg is now home to Austria’s largest solar power system for self-consumption. B&R uses sustainable solar power in its own manufacturing facilities.

B&R put the first part of the photovoltaic system into operation in May 2018. With the expansion, the plant now provides 1,500 MWh of climate-neutral solar energy per year. That’s enough to power the homes of around 430 families for a year. The electricity the company generates is fed directly into its manufacturing facilities where it is used to operate numerous production lines. The photovoltaic system is installed on the rooftops of the B&R production halls and covers an area of around 12,000 m².

“We are proud to now have the largest self-consumption PV system in Austria and thus make our contribution to sustainability and environmental protection,” says B&R Managing Director Hans Wimmer. The state government of Upper Austria supported the expansion of the plant. “Subsidies like this make it easier for companies to contribute to environmental protection. We are very grateful for the support,” says Wimmer.

B&R’s parent company ABB is involved in the Mission to Zero initiative for ending reliance on fossil fuel. ABB contributes to industrial sustainability through its products and services. More than half of ABB’s revenue comes from technologies that combat the causes of climate change.

Torque safely under control

The B&R ACOPOS P3 servo drive is now also available with safety function Safely Limited Torque (SLT). This makes B&R one of the first manufacturers to offer this certified safety function. Safely Limited Torque safely monitors torque up to SIL 2/PL d.

The torque is limited to the configured maximum value with the aid of current measurement integrated directly in the drive system. Since the safety function runs decentrally in the drive, an extremely short maximum fault detection time of 8 ms is guaranteed. Particularly when combined with other safety functions such as Safely Limited Speed or Safe Direction, the SLT function facilitates safe collaboration between human operators and their machines. The risk of operators being injured via pinching or crushing while working on a machine is minimized.

SLT can also be used to safely limit the load on mechanical systems. In this way, the safety function acts like a torque wrench that prevents over-tightening of screws. SLT can therefore be used as a protective measure against overloading drive axes and brakes. As a result, it is possible to use less expensive mechanical components since there is no need to account for torque spikes.

B&R is an innovative automation company with headquarters in Austria and offices all around the world. On July 6, 2017, B&R became a business unit of the ABB Group. As a global leader in industrial automation, B&R combines state-of-the-art technology with advanced engineering to provide customers in virtually every industry with complete solutions for machine and factory automation, motion control, HMI and integrated safety technology. With Industrial IoT communication standards like OPC UA, POWERLINK and openSAFETY as well as the powerful Automation Studio software development environment, B&R is constantly redefining the future of automation engineering. The innovative spirit that keeps B&R at the forefront of industrial automation is driven by a commitment to simplifying processes and exceeding customer expectations.

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