ABB wins order for large-scale supply of frequency converters to ProRail

ABB will replace Dutch railway operator ProRail's existing static frequency converters with 300 future-proof UPS systems, designed to offer high efficiency for reduced energy costs and environmental impact over time, low cost of ownership and minimized downtime.

The upgrade project will focus on improving the power supply points for key trackside equipment including signals, barriers, and control cabinets. The upgrade will guarantee safe and continuous power to keep trains running and passengers safe. Synchronized via GPS, the UPS systems will connect to the ProRail network for online remote monitoring and proactive track maintenance, to minimize costly downtime. The UPS will be delivered in phases, from the end of 2022 to early 2023.  

The UPS systems, including frequency converters, are being specially developed for ProRail at ABB's R&D department in Quartino (Switzerland). The systems will be based on ABB's decentralized parallel architecture (DPA™), to replace existing systems.  

As part of the project delivery, it is critical that the power supply system upgrade does not impact ProRail's performance levels, nor conflict with the existing rail infrastructure, including train safety systems. Thanks to the architecture every UPS module is practically its own self-contained UPS, having all the essential functional units needed for independent operation. This increases system reliability and availability as there is inherent redundancy between the UPS modules on all functional levels.  

The modular systems chosen were developed in such a way that parts can be replaced without system downtime and guarantee continuity at all times.  

Bart-Jan de Beer, ProRail's tender manager, said: "A number of qualitative criteria were considered on this project. It was important that the solution reduced energy losses, ensured the stability of the synchronization and minimized noise levels.  The solution offered by ABB came out on top as the highest quality and most cost-effective."  

Arie Arendonk, Senior Account Manager at ABB, commented on the project: "The decision to use ABB’s technology was partly based on the fact that it offered the most economically viable solution. ABB also has years of knowledge and experience in the field of railroad applications. And combined with our market leading solutions which offer future proof trackside power continuity, improved total cost of ownership with less downtime, and sustainability benefits with less noise, ProRail can now make optimum use of these benefits."  

With advanced features, such as the transformerless IGBTs with three-level topology, the DPA 250 S4 UPSs achieve very high energy efficiency. This high efficiency reduces operating costs and minimizes environmental impact. The DPA 250 S4 is specifically designed for critical environments with high computer density such as railroad signaling applications.  


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