ABB technology helps power and protect the Vatican

Dry type transformers used for power supply to Vatican museums

Vatican City, one of the busiest travel destinations in the world, is well-known for many reasons. It’s where the Pope lives and addresses visitors every Wednesday.  It’s the only foreign country where the Swiss Guard is active, entrusted with the safety of the Pope and Apostolic Palace. And, on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, it’s where Michelangelo’s God famously reaches across the sky to give man the power of life.

Considerably less well known are the sophisticated technological systems that silently run in the background of the Vatican, giving the power of life to the electrical supply that in turn, like the Swiss Guard, safeguards these precious institutions, influential people and renowned works of art.

To help the power utility Acea (Azienda Comunale Elettricità e Acque), effectively “run” the Vatican, ABB has supplied six dry transformers to the electrical unit that is responsible for powering the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel as well as three dry type transformers for the Auto Parco electrical unit.

Dry transformers are used primarily in metropolitan areas to step down three-phase medium voltage to low voltage for power distribution in the form of interior lights, air-conditioning and computer systems. They are called “dry” because they contain no oil, and were also designed to be used primarily in areas like museums where fire prevention is a top priority.

These transformers are virtually maintenance-free and have several upgraded features, including a high-quality insulation system which can operate at higher temperatures, giving them enormous advantages in durability and overload capacity.  These features minimize environmental contamination and fire possibility, making them suited for use in highly sensitive areas that need extra security and the highest levels of safety.

Like the Swiss Guard, that has kept the Vatican’s most high-profile resident safe for 500 years, ABB technology helps empower and secure the Vatican’s most precious treasures and institutions.

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About the author

Matteo Marini

I am the President of ABB Italy, and Region Division Head Europe of the Power Grids Division. I'm convinced that developing technologies which preserve our environment and enhance our cultural heritage is the role our company plays in making a smarter, stronger and greener world.
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