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ABB introduces underground substation concept to Australia

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article image Locating transformer substations underground offers more scope for urban planners
ABB Australia  announces the introduction of its underground substation concept for the efficient and safe delivery of energy for Australian urban areas at ABB Automation and Power World Australia 2012.

Embraced by city planners globally, ABB’s substation concept enables up to 98% of the installation's volume to be hidden underground, allowing precious aboveground space to be used for public amenity. By having substations fully integrated into urban environments, the concept enables high voltages close to consumers in the city centres, reducing electrical losses.

David Baker, head of Power Systems for ABB in Australia explains that substations are a necessary, albeit unsightly, part of a power infrastructure critical to growing cities. However, the rising demand for energy can be met by bringing high-voltage electricity directly into the city and building the substation underground to ensure safe and highly reliable power supply at an affordable cost.

The deployment of the latest gas insulated switchgear (GIS) technology ensures high efficiency and reliability, while its extremely compact design reduces the station’s footprint. Substations can now cleverly blend into the surrounding landscape with their subterranean design eliminating the unsightly aspect.

Underground electrical substations do not encounter the planning problems encountered by surface built solutions. Additionally, the safety factor is an important benefit as all potential hazards are confined underground unlike open-air stations, and transformer related noise is kept to a minimum. The requirements for safety, ventilation, transport of equipment and maintenance access are all satisfied.

ABB's environmentally-friendly underground substations contain all the essential equipment such as transformers, gas-insulated high-voltage switchgear and medium-voltage switchgear as well as the latest automation, protection and control systems, auxiliary equipment for station services, AC and DC distribution boards, batteries, ventilation and air conditioning systems, and fire protection systems.

Underground substation solutions meet some of the most stringent requirements for power supply within urban areas such as compactness, economy, reliability and safety.

ABB Automation and Power World Australia 2012 was held at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, October 23-24, 2012 to showcase ABB’s extensive offerings and expertise in power and automation technologies that address the themes of energy efficiency, grid reliability, industrial productivity, lifecycle management and renewables and environment.

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