A newly constructed City College Plymouth facility, supported by ABB, is set to encourage the uptake of energy efficient, sustainable technologies in industrial, commercial and residential projects in the UK. The ABB Energy Centre has been designed to connect education and industry with the latest low carbon technology and methods.

Working with local partner, Western Electrical, ABB has supplied a range of equipment for use in the centre, which features 14 purpose-built bays for demonstrating and training on a variety of energy saving technologies and techniques. Featured equipment includes its i-bus (KNX) intelligent building controls, variable speed drives, solar inverters and instruments from its measurement products range.

The ABB Energy Centre also features technologies and training systems around grey water harvesting, solar thermal technology, photovoltaics (PV), air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps, combined heat and power (CHP) systems, variable speed drives and environmental monitoring systems.

“Western Electrical has worked closely with City College Plymouth for many years, sponsoring its electrical apprenticeship programme to help get young people into work in the electrical industry,” said Stuart Morrison, MD of electrical distributor, Western Electrical. “When the College came to us with the idea of building a dedicated training centre to showcase the energy efficient and environmental benefits of today's available technologies, I immediately suggested ABB to help bring the idea to fruition.”

The ABB Energy Centre, which will be open to students, local groups such as the ECA and NICEIC, school children, and also local companies including architects and consultants, will also have its own dedicated conference and training facility, showcase areas and an interactive workshop. It will give both students and visiting schools an opportunity to explore a range of ideas and processes through interactive activities.

Academic and commercial training will be delivered through the College with the help of ABB and construction giant Cowlin, covering the use of low carbon innovations and products.

“With energy efficiency and sustainability at the very core of ABB's business, we are always keen to find new ways to promote awareness of our technology and the ways in which we can help both people and companies to better manage their energy consumption,” said James Haigh, General Manager for ABB's UK Low Voltage Products business.

“Our involvement in City College Plymouth's Energy Centre project is a great way for us to take an active role in educating and training the workforce of the future about how they can use energy more sustainably,” he continued.

Viv Gillespie, Principal at City College Plymouth concluded: “We are thoroughly looking forward to showing what we will be able to deliver for students and companies alike at the ABB Energy Centre, which we are confident, will put the College at the forefront of the sustainability agenda.”

The centre was officially opened on December 8.