ABB’s single-phase UPS safeguards Swiss Alp railway

ABB’s single-phase UPS, the PowerValue 11 RT, has been selected by private rail operator Rhaetian Railway (RhB) to regulate the power supply for one of Switzerland’s most demanding rail lines.

The Bernina Railway runs across the Bernina Pass, which at an altitude of 2,253 meters means any train not only has to contend with very low temperatures but also a severe level of vibration that comes from travelling across such rugged terrain.

To prevent highly disruptive breakdowns, it was therefore essential that a reliable source of quality electrical power be provided, and ABB’s PowerValue 11 RT offered the perfect solution. Guaranteeing up to 10 kVA of clean, reliable power, the double conversion PowerValue RT also conditions incoming power to eliminate spikes, swells, sags, noise and harmonics, making it ideal for the challenging Bernina Railway route.

Mr. Cotti of RhB comments: “We were very satisfied with the product, support and contact at ABB. For me, it is particularly important that we always have the same competent ABB staff at our disposal who know the equipment history and can suggest preventive maintenance measures.”

The PowerValue UPS can operate in temperatures of 0 to 40 C and is rigorously tested – including a vibration test that ensures the device can withstand rough environments. The UPS can be connected to up to four parallel battery modules for extended runtime and batteries can be added or replaced easily.

Alex Stasolla, UPS business manager for the Swiss market at ABB added: “The lifeblood of electric rail is a reliable source of quality electrical power, because even minor disturbances in power supply or quality can create major network disruptions. ABB’s power protection solutions are critically important because the electricity they safeguard not only powers the trains, but many other essential rail applications as well.”

The compact design of the PowerValue means it takes up little of the limited space available on a train. It has been installed in a railway wagon that has been converted to measure the wireless coverage of various providers – Polycom, UKW, DAB+ – as well as RhB’s train radio communications network. Should the wagon’s diesel generator drop out for any reason, the PowerValue will take over and supply power to the measurement infrastructure. The PowerValue UPS is now being accepted into RhB’s portfolio of approved standard products.

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