Why innovation matters in windy climates

A robust, lightweight, compact secondary substation built to withstand harsh environments

If you’ve been scratching your head, wondering how best to house the electrical equipment you need in those unprotected parts of the world where wind power is generated – think no more!

The UniPack-G CSS
The UniPack-G CSS

ABB has designed the UniPack-G CSS, which is a compact secondary substation (CSS) made of glass fiber reinforced polyester (GRP), a material often used for equipment exposed to harsh environments, like wind turbine blades, boats, civil construction, cable pillars and garden furniture. It is designed to withstand exactly the kinds of weather conditions most often found in the remote and harsh environments associated with renewable generation.

The UniPack-G CSS is a solution built to protect electrical equipment from strong winds, corrosive environments and extreme temperatures, whether hot or cold, protecting the medium-voltage (MV) switchgear, distribution transformers, low-voltage (LV) switchboards, connections and auxiliary equipment held within.

Such enclosures are perfect for installations left unattended for long periods and because the entire UniPack-G CSS is built of GRP, including the roof and doors, maintenance is low and consequently the cost of ownership. Beneath its double layered shell, providing great thermal characteristics and rigidity, there is no need of any additional supporting frame. This eliminates the usual sites for corrosion while stabilizing the inner climate, protecting the equipment inside from the extremes of heat and cold, even when under direct sunlight.

More conventionally CSS enclosures use concrete and steel, which is of course fine, but with GRP you get the strength and durability of concrete, without the weight; and the strength and durability of steel, without the corrosion or thermodynamic properties that cause the structure to heat up, expand and contract, putting unnecessary stress on the structure.

Cool (literally) – but does it work?

Well you tell me – we’ve installed the UniPack-G CSS near the sea and benefited from its lightweight, steel-like characteristics for easy transportation and installation, while profiting from its concrete-like strength and durability. At this site, the enclosure has experienced heavy winds and salt spray, with no detrimental effects and it remains physically strong having been designed for the challenge.

The modular platform is suitable not only for housing CSSs, but also for housing a wide range of other electrical equipment, whether in cold, moderate and warm climates and for locations ranging from sea-spray-soaked coastlines to remote, heat-seared sandy deserts.

So if you’re interested in maintenance-free compact secondary substations you should visit our booth #200, in hall A4 at the Wind Energy Summit in Hamburg from 27-30 September, 2016, and speak to our experts about UniPack-G CSS and a whole lot more.

For more info. read an ABB Review entitled The Power House

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About the author

Andrea Meroni

I am the product marketing and sales manager for compact secondary substations (CSS) based out of Dalmine, Italy. I am passionate about bringing electrification to the remotest places on earth. I am lucky to be able to travel the world in the course of consulting with customers about their challenges and helping them find solutions. I love sports and nature and often combine them in my pursuits outside work.
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