ABB’s Onboard DC Grid wins OTC Spotlight on New Technology Award

19 March, 2013 – ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, today announced that its Onboard DC Grid will receive a Spotlight on New Technology Award at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) to be held May 6-9 in Houston. The awards honor innovative technologies for the oil and gas industry and related energy sectors that have the potential to significantly impact offshore exploration and production.

Designed for a wide range of vessels, ABB’s Onboard DC Grid is a highly efficient power distribution, automation and electric propulsion system that significantly reduce fuel consumption and emissions by up to 20 percent and space needed onboard for electric equipment by up to 30 percent.

Technologies considered for the Spotlight on New Technology must meet five general criteria—they must be new (less than two years old), innovative (original, groundbreaking and capable of revolutionizing the offshore exploration and production industry), proven, of broad interest and appeal to the industry, and have significant impact (offer efficiency and environmental benefits beyond existing technologies) A committee made up of representatives from the OTC Board and program committee judge the entries and choose the winners.

“We are honored to be recognized by OTC with this important award,” said Jon Olson, Region Division Manager, Process Automation, North America for ABB. “This underscores our commitment to providing leading-edge solutions to help our energy industry customers improve their overall efficiency while meeting environmental requirements.”

Different from traditional electrical propulsion systems, ABB’s Onboard DC Grid connects all DC links and distributes the power through one main DC circuit, providing significant power savings and optimizing the ship’s propulsion. As the ship’s engines no longer have to run at a fixed speed, the engine’s speed can be adjusted to optimize fuel consumption. In addition, ABB’s Onboard DC Grid reduces the footprint and weight of the electrical equipment used by up to 30 percent, by eliminating the need for bulky transformers and main switchboards. That leaves more space on the vessels for cargo, larger fuel tanks, or increased workspace areas, and provides greater flexibility in the positioning of system components in the vessel. It also enables connection of supplementary DC energy sources such as solar panels, fuel cells, or batteries, directly into the ship’s DC electrical system, for further fuel savings.

ABB’s Onboard DC Grid applies to a wide range of ships with low-voltage onboard power systems such as offshore support vessels, tug boats, ferries and yachts. The first vessel to be equipped with a full Onboard DC Grid system is a Platform Support Vessel (PSV) under construction now at Norwegian shipyard Kleven for the owner Myklebusthaug Offshore.

The Offshore Technology Conference is the world’s foremost event for the development of offshore resources in the fields of drilling, exploration, production, and environmental protection. OTC is held annually at Reliant Center in Houston.

At OTC, ABB will highlight its full line of solutions above and below the water for the global oil and gas industry in booth 3917. These solutions include integrated automation and electrification systems, telecommunications, instrumentation and life cycle services to the complete energy value chain. ABB Group companies Baldor Electric will have a range of their industrial electric motors, mechanical power transmission products, drives and generators in booth 9129; and Thomas & Betts will showcase their range of electrical components and solutions for the oil and gas industry in booths 7004 and 175.

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 145,000 people.

For more information please contact:

Process Automation North America Media Relations
Laura Patrick
Office: +1.585.889.7146
Mobile: +1.585.733.4958