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Schneider Electric unveils green 'Infrastructure of the Future'

Feb. 1, 2022
The "Infrastructure of the Future" platform is billed as a holistic approach employing a mix of technologies to power tomorrow's businesses and economies, while tackling the challenges of ongoing global urbanization and the impact of climate change.

Schneider Electric in January announced an integrated platform of solutions "to create more modern, sustainable, efficient, resilient and inclusive" urban green infrastructure, accelerating global decarbonization and promoting better quality of life.

As stated by the specialist in digital transformation of energy management and automation processes, the new integrated solutions suite is tailored for creating smart, green infrastructures:

'Infrastructure of the Future' is a powerful holistic approach to power tomorrow's businesses and economies while tackling the challenges of ongoing global urbanization and the causes and impacts of climate change. Its integrated solutions encompass software for data-driven insights, services for enhanced operations and business continuity, solutions for electric mobility and green technologies and programs to accelerate the energy transition.

According to Schneider Electric, uniquely optimized to enable data-driven urban infrastructure, the Infrastructure of the Future platform comprises a set of open and interoperable software solutions that help infrastructure owners bridge progress and sustainability, including the company's:

  • EcoStruxure for E-mobility:  An end-to-end connected solution that goes beyond EV chargers that is easy to install, maintains buildings' power reliability and provides a convenient experience for EV drivers.
  • ETAP Train Power Simulation - eTraX:  Validated, user-friendly and flexible software tools for designing, analyzing and managing AC and DC railway infrastructure by ETAP (part of Schneider agnostic software portfolio).
  • AVEVA Unified Operations Centre:  A central hub solution for infrastructure operators that transforms the control room into a collaborative workspace.
  • EcoStruxure Energy and Sustainability Services:  Energy and sustainability expertise to help companies turn energy into a controllable spend, increase efficiency and meet sustainability goals.
  • EcoStruxure Microgrid Advisor:  A cloud-based, demand-side energy management software platform that allows users to collect, forecast, and automatically optimize the operation of distributed energy resources using predictive algorithms.

Furthermore, also available in the platform, Schneider says its award-winning SF6-free pure air MV technology provides a way to make infrastructure projects more sustainable.

With an innovative combination of shunt vacuum interruption (SVI) and pure air insulation technologies, Schneider contends its MV switchgear such as its SM AirSeT or RM AirSeT MV units are green and digital alternatives to traditional technology and replace SF6 greenhouse gas with pure air. The company notes its SM AirSeT MV switchgear has been integral to projects such as a renewed medium-voltage electrical distribution system for electric bus depots in Milan, Italy.

These capabilities are all part of Schneider Electric's end-to-end new integrated portfolio of software and services, launched to "help governments, cities and companies involved in public and private infrastructure projects to make them smarter, greener and more efficient to support future demand, and help address and combat the challenges posed by climate change," as stated by the company.

The need for green infrastructure

In releasing the new platform, Schneider Electric observed that the rising number of extreme weather events around the world is a leading cause of disruption to power, water and transport infrastructure.

This disruption takes a $300 billion toll on businesses every year, notes the company. Moreover, with more than six billion people projected to be living in urban areas by 2050, demand for resilient, low carbon infrastructure is rising. Cities will need to handle mass adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), electrified public transport and smart buildings supplied with reliable and renewable sources of energy and new microgrid technologies.

The company notes the expansion of population and growth in demand for energy will also lead to fluctuating demands and the development of energy "prosumers" with self-generated power sources. This will put further stress on aging energy infrastructure, which will need to be more efficient and resilient to stay ahead of the energy transition.

Frédéric Godemel, Executive Vice President for Power Systems and Services at Schneider Electric, commented, "Resilient infrastructure is a key enabler of productivity and economic development. However, climate change and rapid growth in urbanization have made it even more crucial for governments, municipalities, public infrastructure owners, energy networks, and transport providers to make well-planned investments in smarter, greener solutions to support economic growth." 

Godemel concluded, "In a time of climate change, intensifying natural disasters and rapid urbanization, infrastructure systems are under immense pressure to deliver resilient and reliable services. With urban environments also relying heavily on infrastructure's ability to handle electrification of public transport, we need a green revolution in infrastructure to keep energy flowing, transport moving and protect business and society against climate change."

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