ABB substations to power electric bus network in Saudi Arabia

Source: ABB

ABB (NYSE: ABB), the leading power and automation technology group, has commissioned three traction substations that will deliver electricity to a new bus network and enable emission-free transportation for students, staff and visitors at the King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences (KSAU-HS), in the capital Riyadh. The newly built campus spans five square kilometers and will be served by a trolley bus system comprising ten stations each with two platforms.

As part of the turnkey project, ABB has constructed three converter substations that transform the AC (alternating current) power from the local utility network to the DC (direct current) power needed to run the trolley buses. The busses operate on separate bus lines and are fed by a nine-kilometer long catenary line. Priority control at crossroads to other streets helps ensure smooth and efficient traffic and passenger movement.

Each 13.8 kV AC / 750V DC substation installation includes gas-insulated medium-voltage switchgear, dry-type rectifier-transformers, diode rectifiers, DC switchgear and auxiliary distribution systems. ABB was responsible for the design, supply, installation and commissioning of the substations. ABB also supported the development of the operational and safety systems required for maintaining and servicing the electrical equipment within the new micro-network.

The substations are also equipped with control and protection devices and a remote terminal unit (RTU) that provides the local human-machine-interface (HMI) and also serves as a communication gateway to the electrical network control system. This enables local and remote control and monitoring of the substation assets.

“ABB has a proven track record of providing innovative solutions to the railway and urban transportation sectors and we are proud to contribute to this project,” said Oleg Aleinikov, head of ABB’s substations business, a part of the company’s Power systems division. “The technologies deployed will help ensure reliable and high-quality power supply to the electric bus system and provide an environmentally friendly transportation solution across the university campus.”

KSAU-HS is the first public university in the region, specializing in Health Sciences and is located in the eastern part of the capital city Riyadh. In addition to the university clinic and various scientific and medical institutes, the site includes a large residential area for students, lecturers and staff.

ABB has executed several other transportation related projects in the Middle East, including the Dubai Metro and the King Abdullah Financial District monorail system in Riyadh. Most recently, ABB has been entrusted with the delivery of the traction power supply for the automated people mover system for the New King Abdulaziz International Airport being built in the north of Jeddah.

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