ABB upgrades electrical infrastructure of Shanghai’s Hongkou Football Stadium

Thanks to ABB and its service-provider partner, China’s first football stadium has reached its goal of an electrical makeover before the season’s opening match.

ABB upgrades electrical infrastructure of Shanghai’s Hongkou Football Stadium

Shanghai’s Hongkou Football Stadium is the first football (soccer) stadium ever built in China. It was rebuilt in 1999 on the site of the former 46-year-old Hongkou general use stadium and today has a seating capacity of 33,000. This major sports facility is home to the Shanghai Greenland Shenhua football club, which plays in the Chinese Super League of the Chinese Football Association.

Now almost 20 years old, and having undergone limited maintenance during that period, the facility’s original ABB Megamax circuit breakers have served their purpose well but have now reached the end of their planned operational life. Spare parts are no longer available, making maintenance difficult. Considering the need for a stable power supply and continuity of service, this government facility was ready for an upgrade of its electrical infrastructure to ensure that it would begin the 2019 football season in good condition.

The timeline for implementing the needed upgrades was critical. All the work needed to be completed before the start of the season. Moreover, shops servicing sports fans visiting the stadium could not accept an extensive shutdown. Even before the season began in the stadium, the stores and restaurants around it were operating, and the refrigerators and freezers in the food establishments needed to run constantly.

A retrofit with updated breakers

The stadium relied on Shenzhen Tongyida Mechanical And Electric Equipment Co. Ltd - Shanghai Branch as its service provider for electrical work, a company that has supported many Shanghai public facilities. With upgrades of both low-voltage and medium-voltage equipment required, Shenzhen Tongyida Mechanical And Electric Equipment Co. Ltd - Shanghai Branch called on ABB in China to provide low-voltage Emax 2 circuit breakers for the stadium, upgrading its existing ABB Megamax breakers.

Along with four standard Emax E2.2 breakers, 15 advanced Emax 2 breakers were installed using ABB’s direct-replacement (DR) retrofitting kit, specifically designed for upgrading Megamax to Emax 2. This technology allows the insertion of a special Emax 2 moving part into the existing Megamax fixed part, eliminating any dismantling of the old fixed parts or rewiring of auxiliary circuits.

The service team also installed an ABB AbilityTM Electrical Distribution Control System hub in association with one of the Emax 2 DR kits as a pilot project for the stadium, enabling engineers to evaluate the system’s predictive maintenance capabilities. The engineers were happy to employ this new technology to improve their inspection and maintenance efficiency.

To minimize the impact on the shops, the upgrade work was done after midnight. Each Emax 2 Direct Replacement breaker can be installed in as little as 20 minutes, an important characteristic because of the time demands for completing the upgrades. All of the breakers were installed and tested within just two days. A traditional panel upgrade would have required one week more than the rapid installation of the DR kits.

To support enjoyable sport and ensure reliable energy supply in the stadium, ABB recommended its flagship product family of VD4 circuit breakers, with a global installed base of over 1.5 million units and up to three times higher performance than the market standard. The breakers are used to protect the stadium assets with an optimum interface, utilizing the market’s widest portfolio of circuit breakers, covering global standards and ratings to fit the project‘s specific needs.

“We always have had great confidence in ABB systems,” said Mr. Xie XiaoHui, general manager, Shenzhen Tongyida Mechanical And Electric Equipment Co. Ltd - Shanghai Branch, “and we were delighted that ABB was able to deliver our upgraded electrical protection and monitoring system on the very tight schedule we demanded. Their direct-replacement technology made a really big, positive difference for us.”

Lower costs and faster installation

With these advanced solutions, the ABB team was able to reduce the costs of both material and labor associated with the upgrading and significantly shrink the time required, compared with a traditional busbar upgrade.

“Stadium officials are very happy with the expertise demonstrated by Shenzhen Tongyida Mechanical And Electric Equipment Co. Ltd - Shanghai Branch and ABB and with our professional knowledge,” said James Zhao, Lead Business Manager of ABB Electrification in China. “Our service sales team provided an ideal solution that was effectively implemented on the customer’s timeline.”

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