Closer cooperation between Aalto and ABB Marine & Ports

ABB Marine & Ports and their equipment supplier Typhoon HIL are donating six simulators for researcher and student use.

ABB Marine & Ports has donated Typhoon HIL 603 Hardware-in-the-Loop simulators for the use of Aalto University students and researchers. These simulators will be useful in studying new energy systems.

“This donation supports our research work in the development of energy solutions. Typhoon HIL is a device that was made to simulate systems in real time with concurrent control of sub-systems,” says Aalto University Professor Jorma Kyyrä.

Four of the simulators will be installed at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Automation, who will use the Typhoon HIL platform to test and integrate renewable energy, such as solar power, fuel cells and wind turbines with green hydrogen production. Additionally, the equipment will meet an educational need in training Master’s level students in implementing real-time Hardware-in-the-Loop tests.

Two simulators will be used by the School of Engineering's mechatronics research group, who study new energy solutions in batteries, fuel cells and electrical power transfer.

“In line with ABB’s environmental targets, research and development of new technologies plays a key role in driving emissions-free shipping. For example, fully electric ships that use hydrogen fuel cells and batteries as power sources are experiencing growing interest, says says Arber Haxhiu, R&D Product Manager, ABB Marine & Ports. ”Hardware-in-the-Loop simulators enable testing new technologies as part of the ship’s virtual electric system already in the planning phase, which significantly improves both cost and energy efficiency,” says Arber Haxhiu, R&D Product Manager for ABB Marine & Ports.

“With Hardware-in-the-Loop simulators, it’s possible to test new technologies as a part of a virtual ship electrical system as early as the planning stage, which improves both cost and energy efficiency.”

The devices were handed over to Aalto University on Thursday, 19 May, at a special training event on Otaniemi campus.

“The donation of these devices came at a perfect time for our research work. Our idea is to open a laboratory, in which we can control the power production and consumption of a vehicle's power line. The control device donated by ABB Marine & Ports will play an important part in improving the energy efficiency of Finnish automotive industry,” says Aalto University Professor Kari Tammi.

“Improvements in energy efficiency require environmentally friendly, sustainable technology. New technology is under constant development to reduce emissions in transport and logistics, which is why close cooperation between companies and academia plays an important role. We hope that our donation supports and contributes to the creation of new innovations,” says Roy Funck, Head of Technology at ABB Marine & Ports.

ABB provides various employment opportunities every year

Cooperation between Aalto University and ABB has long history. The main focus of the cooperation has been the control of electric drives and grid-connected converters, which has been the subject of some 20 doctoral theses since 2001. Cooperation has also been carried out in the development of ships' bridges and energy solutions as well as in the areas of digital twins, power electronics, electricity networks, process automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Aalto University students have completed approximately 40 master's theses and 5 doctoral degrees each year for ABB. ABB is also a significant employer of Aalto University students and alumni.

ABB Marine & Ports’ R&D Manager, Arber Haxhiu is an Aalto University postgraduate student in professor Jorma Kyyrä’s research group, continuing his studies alongside work. His doctoral thesis is soon ready for preliminary examination.

“Doctoral graduates gaining employment in the industry and the fact that postgraduate studies can advance their careers indicates that doctoral education is a form of important cooperation,” says Kyyrä.

“We need professionals to operate these Typhoon HIL devices. With this donation, we hope to find more of them at Aalto in the coming years,” says Haxhiu.

Photo: The simulators were donated for Aalto University to use on Thursday, 19 May. In the photo, from the left: Arber Haxhiu, Jorma Kyyrä, Roy Funck and Bozica Kovacevic from ABB’s device partner Typhoon HIL. Photo: Aalto University / Anne Kosola

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