Hydropower Hero

Purpose begins with you because, at ABB, you can contribute to something bigger.

I am currently in charge of a team of 12 engineers who develop the software that controls the electronic converters used in power generation and distribution. The work is highly technical and the purpose is clear: get renewable power to the European network efficiently and make sure the grid operates in a stable manner. One of the ways additional power is injected into the grid is to tap into the energy stored in water. The best example is high up in the Swiss Alps, where the Grimsel 2 pumped-storage power plant relies on the converter we helped design.

Capacity-wise, this converter is the world’s largest of its kind in operation at a hydropower plant. I really enjoy seeing it in action because I know just how complex they are, and how many people worked to get it running. Thanks to this technology, our customer – the operator of the power plant – received the prestigious Watt d’Or award from the Swiss Federal Office of Energy. It feels good to know that our work plays a role in meeting the sustainability goals set by the Swiss government. It’s a big responsibility, bringing stability and balance to the European grid, but it’s very satisfying.

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I feel like I help solve big challenges.

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Tobias

Research & Development
Turgi, Switzerland

Increasing the efficiency of pumped-storage hydropower plants    

Tobias joined ABB in 2007 as a system engineer. Since 2012, he has headed up R&D Control Software, managing a team of specialists who develop groundbreaking technology and work with the business units on customer projects around renewable energy. The team’s technical achievements have led to increased efficiency of pumped-storage hydropower plants and wind turbines all over the world. On a more personal level, Tobias also feels immense satisfaction when someone on his team solves a difficult technical problem or makes a customer happy.

A better world begins with you

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