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ABB installs digital substation in Kerala

Substation equipment is enabled for digital communication allowing the campus to more easily monitor and maintain the equipment through real-time data

Technopark is one of the largest IT parks in India and spans 930,000 square metres
Technopark is one of the largest IT parks in India and spans 930,000 square metres

The Technopark campus is highly dependent on on reliable, round-the-clock power

Technopark is in expansion mode and is envisioned to become a self-contained township

Technopark, one of the largest information technology parks in India, is to take delivery of a 110 kilovolt (kV) digital substation as another step towards it becoming a self-contained ‘township’.


The nature of the industry, means the campus is highly dependent on reliable, round-the-clock power to serve the 350 companies employing more than 50,000 people located there. The substation, supplied by Swiss engineering group ABB, will help to improve reliability, efficiency and safety, the company said.


“This will be among the first digital substations in India and supports the country’s vision of smarter grids and cities” said Claudio Facchin, president of ABB’s power grids division. “It highlights the increasing digitalisation of the grid, a key focus area of our next level strategy and reinforces our digital thrust based on our common ABB ability offering.”


A digital substation is more compact, flexible, reliable, safer, cost effective over the lifecycle and simpler to maintain and extend than a conventional one. It is another example highlighting the integration of information and operational technologies (IT and OT) and will leverage digital communications via fibre optic cables that will replace traditional copper connections using analog signals.


This will improve flexibility, availability, reliability and safety, while reducing installation costs and environmental impact. The digital substation will also enable the drive for power management efficiencies by turning real time data into actionable intelligence and bringing cost efficiencies. It will be IEC 61850 compliant, ensuring an open communication architecture.

Using fibre optic cabling instead of copper enables reduced cost through the direct savings on copper, optimised panel design and less civil work required to lay the cables. Thousands of traditional analogue copper signalling wires between the high voltage equipment and the control room are also substituted with a few fibre optic digital communication buses. All this reduces installation cost.

Digitising signals at their source reduces the risk of electrical hazards to operators, creating a safer work environment. The substation equipment is also enabled for digital communication, which allows Technopark to more easily monitor and maintain the equipment through real time data, the company added.

A key component of the digital substation is ABB’s standalone merging unit (SAM600), built to withstand the harshest environments. It fits alongside primary equipment, collecting information close to the source in the field, and converting it into IEC 61850 digital format for control, monitoring and protection applications.

Technopark, located in the southern state of Kerala and spanning an area of 930,000 square metres, is currently in an expansion mode and is envisioned to become a self-contained township with the potential to employ 100,000 people working in the fields of IT, biotechnology and nanotechnology.



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