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Innovation in Sustainability win

01 February 2024

LEADER IN digital transformation, energy management and automation, Schneider Electric has jointly won the Innovation in Sustainability category at the recently held Robotics and Automation Awards 2023 for an exciting joint project.

System integrator Platinum Electrical Engineering is the first certified Schneider EcoStruxure Automation Expert global Alliance Partner, and recent winner of the Global EcoStruxure Partner of the Year, selected to deploy the innovative, flexible, and scalable management solution for a revolutionary carbon capture process.

Brilliant Planet is unlocking the power of algae as an affordable method of permanently and quantifiably sequestering carbon at the gigaton scale. The company’s innovative process enables vast quantities of microalgae to grow in open-air pond-based systems on a coastal desert land. This is achieved without using fresh water by harnessing a natural process that supports the health of oceans and air. On its own, this process is already an innovation in sustainability, but enabling Brilliant Planet to scale at rapid speed is EcoStruxure Automation Expert.

The capabilities of EcoStruxure Automation Expert enable Brilliant Planet to copy and paste modularised applications at each site, saving valuable time and utilising resources more effectively while creating the foundation for further expansion.

Synchronised sustainability

Brilliant Planet, Platinum Electrical Engineering, and Schneider Electric all share a commitment to using technology to reduce the impact of climate change. Brilliant Planet’s sites see a variety of technologies from various vendors, often with a mix of new and legacy equipment. Platinum Electrical Engineering recognised the need for an interoperable solution that achieves universal automation, easily integrating with new or existing third-party equipment. EcoStruxure Automation Expert allows Platinum Electrical Engineering to easily adapt processes to the specific needs of Brilliant Planet in what is essentially a bespoke system but one that can be scaled across multiple sites, each with its own specifications. Together, this ecosystem is deploying software-centric universal automation that meets the flexibility and efficiency needs of the carbon capture process. Ultimately this synergy represents the use of technology to collectively protect the environment worldwide.

The expertise of Platinum Electrical Engineering combined with EcoStruxure Automation Expert from Schneider Electric has enabled Brilliant Planet, a leader in high-quality carbon removal, to operate more efficiently across multiple sites. The universal automation system has created a benchmark for scalability that will be a key component of Brilliant Planet’s future as they advance in their crucial process.

EcoStruxure Automation Expert 

Part of the EcoStruxure suite, Automation Expert is a software-centric industrial automation system creating step-change improvements throughout the complete operational lifecycle. The asset-centric automation system breaks the dependency between application software and the hardware platform it runs on. EcoStruxure Automation Expert fully leverages IT/OT integration to operate at new levels of performance and sustainability, representing a new approach to designing, building, operating, and maintaining industrial automation systems.

Kristin Baker, VP industrial and process automation, UK & Ireland, Schneider Electric said: “We’re honoured to be recognised for our innovation in sustainability with EcoStruxure Automation Expert. Brilliant Planet’s work in removing CO₂ permanently from the atmosphere is crucial, using ocean-like carbon capture in desert areas for large-scale sequestration. Platinum Electrical Engineering’s expertise in software-centric automation, which boosts efficiency, makes them an ideal partner.”

Stephen Maltby, managing director, Platinum Electrical Engineering said: “Following our recent win as the first certified Global EcoStruxure Automation expert system integrator, it was an excellent opportunity to deploy our deep understanding of the technology for such an important application. The technology provided by Schneider electric has allowed us to be more creative in the way we approach projects, giving us the best platform to bring Brilliant Planet’s vision to life. The work that Brilliant Planet are doing to remove CO₂ is vital for the protection of the environment and deserving of the Innovation in Sustainability award.”

Raphael Jovine, founder and chief scientist, Brilliant Planet said: “Working with Schneider Electric and Platinum Electrical Engineering has been a genuinely collaborative delight. Jointly we have delivered edge technology to enable the SCADA controlled automated operation of remote algal cultivation ponds, to be responsive to environmental change, and to create a highly productive growth environment for the microalgae. This world first capability has increased Brilliant Planet’s algal production and carbon capture efficiency dramatically.”