Caution – High voltage

Compact gas insulated switchgear that enables substations to hide in the city

In a power transmission and distribution network, switchgear is used to control and protect electrical equipment isolating it when a problem occurs so that the fault does not cascade and cause a major disruption of power supply or even a blackout. This helps to enhance the reliability of the network and maintain the supply of electricity – the lifeblood of most modern conveniences.

With Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIS) technology, key components including contacts and conductors are protected with insulating gas. Compactness, reliability and robustness make this a preferred solution where space is a constraint or in harsh environmental conditions.

Whether it is bustling metropolises like India’s capital New Delhi with 14 million people constantly on the move or megacity hubs like Frankfurt,  housing around 260 financial institutions and welcoming more than 320,000 commuters to the city – it is a challenge to energize these cities. And with rapid urbanization, an even bigger dilemma is to figure out where to locate the power infrastructure required to feed them –  especially since, like in all other major metros, space is a luxury. With the ability to reduce substations from the size of a football pitch to a tennis court and the capability to be housed underground, GIS technology can enable substations to hide in the city (watch movie).

ABB pioneered high-voltage GIS in the mid-1960s and with a global market leading installed base of more than 20,000 bays ABB continues to drive this technology to new frontiers. One of the recent innovations include the new generation 420kV (kilovolt) GIS, which reduces product volume by up to 33 per cent compared to its predecessor resulting in a considerably smaller footprint, reducing the amount of SF6 insulating gas requirement by as much as 40 percent making it more environmentally friendly. It also helps to enhance resource efficiency by reducing thermal losses, lowering transportation costs and optimizing investment in infrastructure.

The new GIS can be factory assembled  and shipped as one bay in a container instead of multiple assembly units, saving site installation and commissioning time by up to 40 percent compared with traditional designs. The bays can be assembled in a day and moved on wheels to their final destination. And all this with uncompromising performance and reliability.

The introduction of the 420kV GIS follows the recent launch of advanced 245kV and 72.5kV versions. ABB has also developed 1,100 kV and 1,200 kV products to address emerging market needs for bulk power transmission over long distances at ultrahigh voltage levels to minimize losses.

And  when it comes to technology and innovation ABB remains committed to collaborating with customers and countries around the world, to meet their needs, address their challenges and leverage their opportunities.

Categories and Tags
About the author

Harmeet Bawa

I am Global Head of Communications for ABB's Power Grids division based at the Group headquarters in Switzerland. I've served in the UK, Sweden, India and South-Asia Pacific region across a range of functions spanning business and market development, strategy and corporate planning, communications, sustainability and investor relations.
Comment on this article