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ABB’s donation drives learning in power electronics at Monash University

ABB has recently donated more than $150,000 in drives, motors and PLC equipment to the Electrical Power Engineering(EPE) Laboratory, located at the Clayton campus of Monash University. The University now offers new learning opportunities for students in the area of electricity generation and how it behaves.

In early October, the Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering at Monash University, played host to guests at the official opening of its recently upgraded EPE Laboratory, at its Clayton campus. 

The upgrade was made possible, due to a substantial equipment donation by ABB in Australia, and through the hard work of many technical experts from Monash University, ABB and a number of volunteers.

Professor Jamie Evans, Head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering (ECSE) at Monash University, officially opened the upgraded EPE Laboratory, thanking everyone present who had donated their time to upgrading the lab, as well as ABB for the generous donation.

“We are proud to support Monash University and electrical engineering students via the donation of ABB’s energy efficient drives, motors and control products,” said Michael Hose, ABB’s Drives manager for Australia.

“ABB’s very excited about the future of engineering in Australia and committed to supporting educational endeavours that further develop students’ understanding of the electricity grid and the technologies that are enabling the integration of renewables to lower environmental impact.”

Equipment donated by ABB, included 8 x DCS550 DC drives, 16 x AC500 eco PLCs, 8 x ABB-Baldor electric motors and 8 x ACSM1 Servo Drives combined with Regenerative Units, with full braking power. The Regenerative Units control the line side power factor to unity, in order to maintain clean power with very low harmonic content.

ECSE’s Dr Tadeusz Czaszejko, spoke about how he had originally approached ABB in 2012, with the idea of upgrading the lab. “The ABB donation provided the momentum to undertake a much more ambitious upgrade. Monash University now has one of the most advanced power electronics labs of any university in Australia,” said Dr Czaszejko.

The upgraded lab now offers a wide range of new learning possibilities for electrical engineering students, particularly in relation to the generation of electricity and how it behaves. 

The students are able to run various theoretical calculations, then utilise the equipment in the lab to simulate how various applications actually work in practice. Students can also simulate the adding of a generator to the electric grid, as well as the transferal of surplus electricity, generated from renewable energy sources such as photovoltaic cells, back into the grid.

ABB has a strong record of making sustainable contributions to improve access to quality higher education. In recent years, ABB has committed almost $1,000,000 to development programs or university facilities across Australia, with the goal of helping local universities develop industry-ready, highly skilled and globally focused graduates.

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