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How clean energy firm EDL is delivering a more reliable service to customers

With the global spotlight focused firmly on environment and sustainable energy, distributed energy producer EDL is poised for a period of unprecedented growth. As expansion plans take shape, the company decided to partner with ABB Turbocharging to maintain its equipment.

Since its foundation in 1989, EDL has become a formidable player in the distributed and decarbonised energy markets. The company can provide a total generating capacity of more than 1GW by drawing energy from a range of resources, including landfill waste gas in Australia, North America and Europe, as well as renewables and waste coal mine gas in Australia.

Constant, reliable power supply is particularly critical for off-grid businesses, like the many mines operating across Australia. Any interruption in power could not only have costly repercussions, but more importantly compromise the safety of mining employees. Any unplanned downtime at even one of the company’s power stations could lead to power outages that can have serious impacts on customers.

One of EDL's power plants

The value of avoiding surprises

To ensure maximum reliability and availability of its generators, EDL entered into a Maintenance Management Agreement with ABB Turbocharging in 2015, with the two companies establishing a planned maintenance regime for the equipment used at EDL’s facilities.

Every aspect of maintaining EDL’s turbochargers throughout an engine’s entire lifecycle – from optimising performance, tailoring customer specific technical solutions, annual budgeting and spare parts management – is handled by ABB. The two companies have also collaborated on planning schedules that guarantee the highest availability of EDL’s equipment and the best benefits of the agreement. With the risk of unplanned downtime mitigated, EDL is able to better plan its budget and reduce inventory, which has a direct impact on its bottom line.

Felix Ryan, EDL’s Group Supply Manager says the proactive maintenance and increased service time since the agreement was put in place has helped reduce the total cost of owning the equipment.

Improving engine performance

ABB turbocharger technology improves engine performance by utilising residual energy from engine exhaust gas to force air into the engine cylinders to increase specific power output of the engine. Benefits to the customer include up to 300 percent increase in engine power, up to 10 percent lower fuel consumption and lowering the impact on the environment by reducing NOx (nitrogen oxide) emissions by up to 60 percent.

As the world’s leading turbocharging specialist, ABB offers upgrade solutions for existing installations to further improve engine performance, resulting in lower emissions, extending component lifetime by lowering thermal stress. The goal being to reduce the overall maintenance costs for customers by utilising modern technologies and materials to extend the time between service intervals.

A look inside EDL's workshop

Toward a sustainable future

Building reliable infrastructure to support sustainable energy consumption goes beyond the obvious cost savings that can be realised by preventing unplanned downtime. In a world where the intermittent nature of clean energy is a pressing concern, the long-term asset management strategy offered by ABB guarantees uninterrupted power supply by EDL, thereby quickening the transition from traditional energy sources to decarbonised solutions.

“EDL’s vision is to be the leading global producer of sustainable distributed energy and we are playing a key role in the world’s transition from traditional energy sources to decarbonised solutions,” said Ryan. “Working with like-minded organisations like ABB will see EDL providing solutions to customers, stakeholders and communities that will help us deliver this vision.”

Writing the future, together

ABB, which had provided ad-hoc services to EDL for many years, was in the best position to help the company with its maintenance needs. ABB believes in fostering a collaborative relationship with its customers to gain a deeper understanding of their business needs and be able to provide tailor-made solutions for the customer.

“The key success in this partnership and the Maintenance Management Agreement (MMA) with EDL is the strength in our collaboration and trust as a professional service provider,” said Anthony Abela, LBU Manager, Turbocharging.

“With the MMA we are able to add real value to the customer, as they have no need to focus on the management of their asset, that’s to say, their turbocharging installed base. This carefree option allows EDL to focus on their core activities as we ensure that the turbochargers are performing optimally.”

Image credits: EDL, Arteum/Unsplash