German trade fair upgrades its electricity distribution with ABB’s medium voltage switchgear

German trade fair upgrades its electricity distribution with ABB’s medium voltage switchgear

One of Germany’s busiest trade fairs has taken steps to reduce its energy consumption and improve guest safety by installing the latest in digital switchgear. We find out more.

Tradefair Düsseldorf has upgraded its electricity distribution by installing 30 panels of ABB UniGear ZS1 medium-voltage switchgear and 23 Ultra-Fast Earthing Switch (UFES) arc-fault protectors.

The project – which was implemented with ABB’s long-term business partner WISAG Elektrotechnik GmbH – takes safety to the next level and brings improved power and switchgear reliability, while retaining the customer’s existing infrastructure and meeting strict utility requirements around connection to the grid.

One of the main priorities for the project was to reduce the potential for dangerous arc faults within the 613,000 sq. m exhibition space. Demand for power in an exhibition is extremely intense and the risk of potentially fatal arc faults is high, with temperatures in the centre of an electric arc reaching as high as 20,000°C. The pressure this creates can be lethal to anyone nearby, causing fire as well as serious damage to the switchgear’s metal structures.

The high number of UFES systems now installed allows Tradefair Düsseldorf to shut down any internal arc fault in less than four milliseconds after detection, which is 20 times faster than standard equivalent solutions, without disrupting the power supply.

Supporting sustainability targets

The investment also supports Tradefair Düssledorf’s sustainability targets as the digital switchgear panels consume less energy. For example, over an estimated 30-year period, the 30 UniGear ZS1 panels, also equipped with non-conventional instrument transformers, will save approximately 200 MWh by utilising specifically current sensors based on the Rogowski coil principle as well as voltage sensors based on the voltage divider principle, which is equivalent to running a TV set for 275 years.

A spokesperson for Tradefair Düsseldorf said: “Any downtime during a trade fair would be disastrous for us and our reputation, so we needed a solution that would deliver reliable and resilient power supply. With people now returning to ‘real life’ events and audience numbers continuing to increase, we also want to make sure that we keep our exhibitors and visitors as safe as possible. These new digital technologies will do just that; avoiding long-lasting disruption in power distribution and reducing the risk of internal arc faults.”

Barbara Panella, Technology Manager of ABB’s Distribution Solutions Division, added: “Our overriding focus is on working together with our partners and clients to meet their changing needs and challenges via digitalisation initiatives that deliver a smarter, safer and more reliable flow of electricity. This integrated ABB digital solution not only makes sure the show goes on uninterrupted while using less energy, but that exhibitors and visitors are as safe as possible.”

Part of the ABB Ability portfolio of connected solutions, UniGear Digital combines protection, control, measurement and digital communication over IEC 61850, for a safe, flexible and smart electrical network that delivers power reliably and efficiently. This readily adaptable and innovative switchgear solution takes full advantage of ABB’s sensor technology to maximise uptime, delivering considerable energy savings.

Get more details about ABB’s range of medium voltage switchgear here

Related posts