UK Power Networks Services and Hitachi ABB Power Grids to digitalize high-speed rail in the UK
14 October 2020: Innovative technologies to optimise asset performance ensure UK’s HS1 line is the most reliable railway in Europe and a model of more sustainable transport.
Hitachi ABB Power Grids, as part of its ongoing work with UK Power Networks Services to help manage existing traction power assets on High Speed 1 (HS1), has been awarded a contract worth around £5.4 million to upgrade the Static Var Compensator (SVC) Control systems and load balancer.
HS1 is the UK’s first high-speed railway and forms an essential part of the country’s infrastructure and its efforts to promote greener, more sustainable transport. UK Power Networks Services is responsible for all traction and non-traction power assets on this 109km rail line connecting the United Kingdom with mainland Europe.
This agreement includes three feeder stations equipped with Hitachi ABB Power Grids 33kV Static VAR Compensators (SVC), designed to specifically address UK Power Network Services unique needs. SVC solutions are a cost-effective and efficient means to provide dynamic voltage support and maintain the reliability and efficiency of power supply by quickly adjusting line voltages. These solutions form part of efficient energy control of the HS1 line’s power system. The contract scope also provides for a long-term service agreement to maintain and manage software upgrades for the control systems.
Ian Funnell, CEO of Hitachi ABB Power Grids in the UK and Ireland, said: “Our most recent work on HS1 with UK Power Networks Services comes on the back of our very successful consortium partnership for the safe and efficient delivery of 25kV traction power distribution substations on the Great Western Electrification Programme between London and Cardiff. We are proud to be playing such a leading role in the UK railway decarbonisation agenda with power, automation and electrification of the UK rail sector delivering more sustainable mobility choices for UK passengers and freight.”
In addition to this contract, UK Power Networks Services is also working with Hitachi ABB Power Grids to enhance the trackside data collection system and replace traction power SCADA systems on the HS1 line. The team relies on Hitachi ABB Power Grids’ RTU500 platform, with MicroSCADA X for automation and control solution overlaid with Asset Performance Management (APM) to help simplify the interaction with the power network and provide operators, regardless of their location, with a fast, clear real-time overview of the network landscape. This fundamentally supports a predict and prevent strategy for maintenance and asset management.
David Mitchell, head of client delivery for UK Power Networks Services said:
While overseeing HS1’s power assets, UK Power Networks Services has achieved considerable efficiencies and outstanding rail network availability of over 99.99%. In addition to providing British traveler's with fast, reliable and sustainable options, UK Power Networks Services has also helped deliver significant economic benefits in the form of jobs to Kent and other local communities.
Hitachi group delivered the high-speed Class 395 train fleet to HS1 and is also responsible for maintenance.