Reduced downtime during switchgear retrofit ensured smooth operation at Athens International Airport

Reduced downtime during switchgear retrofit ensured smooth operation at Athens International Airport

Specially manufactured temporary panels were used to by-pass critical loads during the switchgear retrofitting activities to ensure no disturbance to airport operations

Airports are very busy places. Providing people with access to travel and connectivity, even the partial shutdown of an airport would lead to a major hassle for travelers and huge operational disruption. For several years now, ABB’s fixed type MNS switchgear have provided power to the Athens International Airport. ABB, with its well-established installed base spanning two decades and ready availability of service support provided by the Service team in Greece, was the top choice of authorities to improve the power efficiency of the airport.

The project involved retrofit of 38 fixed type low-voltage circuit breaker with withdrawable type Emax 2 circuit breakers in the existing MNS panels. The Service team carefully analyzed customer’s major pain areas, in close cooperation with the Technical Team of Athens International Airport S.A. (AIA), and pro-vided a complete solution. A primary concern was that there would be loss of power during the execu-tion of works. This power loss would disrupt main airport operations including the baggage handling system, airlines, ground handlers and, chief amongst their stakeholders, the travelers who needed to reach their destinations.

Athens airport baggage claim
Athens airport baggage claim

This concern was addressed by using specially manufactured temporary panels by means of which the critical loads were by-passed in order to avoid loss of power during the scheduled retrofitting activities. Thus, the ABB Service Team in Greece was able to upgrade the old fixed type circuit breakers with with-drawable circuit breakers, along with the relevant MNS components, install Ethernet network circuit components for future use and carry out site testing, commissioning and training – all with minimum disturbance to the airport operations.

“The AIA project was successfully implemented, within budget and according to its time plan, with min-imum interference to main terminal building’s 24/7 operational environment”, said Michael Kavvadias, Project Manager from the Athens International Airport.

Additional key benefits included:

  • Improved safety and reliability of installation.
  • Minimization of restoration time after a circuit breaker failure from three hours to five minutes using spare circuit breaker moving parts.
  • Ease of maintenance.
  • The solution offers the advantage to install at a later stage connectivity to remote monitoring system via an Ethernet network, to collect all technical data from the protection release.

Acknowledging ABB’s high safety standards, technical expertise, quality of work execution and ease of doing business, our customers have recognized ABB as a fully reliable subcontractor also for future up-grades.


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