Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

ABB opens up energy management software

Steve Rogerson
April 7, 2020

ABB has opened up its energy management software to facilitate development of innovative smart applications. The Swiss company has launched its Software Developer Portal, designed to enable the development of data-driven energy strategies for buildings.
The portal will make it easier for ABB’s customers to integrate data and analytics from the firm’s Ability EDCS electrical distribution control system into their operations, and for external developers to develop custom applications that meet the specialist needs of different sectors.
“ABB is the leading digital energy partner for Industry 4.0 and smart building strategies because we are passionate about making data part of the process,” said Guido Jouret, ABB chief digital officer. “We focus data analytics on the things that matter most to operations, and we integrate seamlessly with all the other data available. The ABB Ability Software Developer Portal will enable more companies to make innovative and valuable use of their energy data.”
The portal provides a secure way for developers, analytic companies and partners to use power data from ABB’s smart hardware in different ways. It includes an API and software development kit (SDK). The API enables different software packages to work together for users. The SDK allows approved developers to create applications for ABB’s digital platform, which they will be able to promote and monetise in the ABB Marketplace.
Facilities use the Ability EDCS, a cloud-based energy management system, to manage microgrids and improve energy management, cost allocation and carbon emissions. The API and SDK should enable higher levels of customisation, sector-specific algorithms and more functions that will unlock additional value for users.
“ABB’s Software Developer Portal makes it quicker and easier for partners to work together on specific sector requirements,” said Andrea Temporiti, digital leader for ABB’s electrification business. “A third-party building management system, for example, could use EDCS data to collect information about energy consumption, and correlate it with room occupancy and other activities in the building, helping to optimise comfort of the users and the energy efficiency of the building. In a factory, energy data could be overlaid with production data, enabling the business to customise its own data visualisation and analytics and therefore enhance productivity and efficiency.”
The portal provides a secure process for third party products to be developed, tested, certified and published on the ABB Ability platform and to offer these applications on the Ability Marketplace. The API layer will enable authorised third-party systems to access ABB Ability data in a secure way, providing additional features and capabilities.
“Open and developer friendly ecosystems are accelerating innovation in the rapidly transforming building technologies landscape,” said Thomas Chung, Verdigris head of product strategy. “As a developer, we value the opportunity to bring our award winning AI-driven energy management analytics and autonomous controls products to a new marketplace.”
Developers will be able to adapt existing systems that use the data acquired by the platform to offer new services. These external applications will only be able to access data when users explicitly grant them access.
Platform-hosted extensions could include: widgets providing alternative ways to present key data; analytics to forecast energy consumption for specific loads for the next 24 hours; and specific routines for complex conditions. External data sources could also be integrated. Weather forecasts, for example, could help improve microgrid management strategies.