ABB softstarters help Shimla to get access to uninterrupted water supply

ABB softstarters help Shimla to get access to uninterrupted water supply

Shimla has cut pipeline damage 50% using ABB Softstarters to help lift water thousands of feet from a dam to quench the thirst of millions.

The town of Shimla in the Indian Himalayas is one of the country’s busiest tourist destinations. It receives 3.6 million visitors a year, significantly augmenting the local population of 3 million. Known as the Queen of Hills, Shimla has experienced an acute water crisis as its popularity increased.

The Himachal Pradesh Irrigation & Public Health Department (IPH) has thus developed a plan to modernize the existing lift water supply plan with construction and upgrading of old pumps to raise water from the Kol Dam on the Satluj River thousands of feet below the city. The aim was to bring safe, clean drinking water to the population with minimal water loss and minimal environmental damage.

“With smart technology and our state-of-the-art products and solutions, ABB electrification products are helping residents of Shimla to get an uninterrupted supply of water,“ said C. P. Vyas, president of the electrification business for ABB India. “ABB‘s Softstarter device ensures smooth water movement while torque control minimizes leakage and pipe damage, eliminating pressure surges. With leakages being an important area of concern for the water industry, we are proud to set a benchmark for electrification technologies that help solve critical challenges,” he added.

ABB Softstarters wash away issues caused by conventional starters

While demand has grown every year, the aged water infrastructure has been losing 20-25% of the total water supply to leakage. Aggravating the problem, no major body of water is available in the vicinity of the main city, and the area’s steeply sloping landscape allows rainwater to run off quickly.

For some pumping stations, the IPH was having problems of water hammering when stopping pumps and frequent blown fuses caused by current spike. To avoid such issues, IPH decided to install eight ABB PSTX Softstarters for the Shimla project. IPH had a sizeable installation of ABB Softstarters in other water supply systems and had been satisfied with their performance, easy handling and ease of use.

Softstarters shrink service calls and pipeline damage

The IPH now estimates that, with reduced mechanical wear and 30 percent fewer service calls, PSTX Softstarters can cut pipeline damage by up to 50 percent during starting and stopping operations, leading to overall cost savings.

The Shimla installation project had a very ambitious completion deadline, but ABB was able to meet the customer’s expectations, supplying the Softstarters on time. As a result of the customer’s confidence, S B Trading, is now commissioning several orders with ABB to ensure safe, smart and sustainable water in the region.

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a leading global technology company that energizes the transformation of society and industry to achieve a more productive, sustainable future. By connecting software to its electrification, robotics, automation and motion portfolio, ABB pushes the boundaries of technology to drive performance to new levels. With a history of excellence stretching back more than 130 years, ABB’s success is driven by about 105,000 talented employees in over 100 countries.

ABB’s Electrification Business Area is a global leader in electrical products and solutions, operating in more than 100 countries, with over 200 manufacturing sites. Our 55,000+ employees are dedicated to delivering safe, smart and sustainable electrification. With ABB AbilityTM enabled digital solutions at its core, our portfolio protects, connects and optimizes the flow of electrical energy, including the integration of renewables and energy storage for smarter electricity distribution for utilities, industry, infrastructure and transportation. For more information visit


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