ABB relays to protect the electric network of Brussels


Sibelga, the electric network operator of the Brussels Capital Region, implements ABB’s Relion® product family, ensuring a protected power supply for 700,000 citizens

With more than 100 years of experience successfully automating and protecting substations around the world, ABB has been chosen to modernize the protection and control relays of the medium-voltage substations in Brussels.

Selected by Sibelga, the local distribution system operator (DSO) in Brussels, the Belgian capital will be protected for years to come by ABB’s latest 615 series protection relays of Relion product family.

The frame agreement entails ABB medium-voltage protection and control relays in addition to remote terminal units (RTUs), the majority of which will be used in retrofit activities. One such example applies to the existing legacy ASEA protection relays, which will be replaced by the new Relion relays with leading-edge protection technology.

“The world’s first relay family to natively incorporate the IEC 61850 standard, the Relion product family, will assist Sibelga in achieving an effective protection scheme with cost-effective and reliable communication performance,” said Tero Talvitie, global product manager at ABB

ABB’s feeder protection and control relays, and line differential protection and control relays, REF615 and RED615, respectively, will ensure a reliable power supply for the 700,000 citizens of Brussels and important institutions such as the EU and NATO. In addition to the latest protection functionality, this leading-edge relay technology contains unique multifrequency admittance-based earth-fault protection offering higher sensitivity and selectivity for more accurate fault detection.

Sibelga has a highly developed network protection concept, utilizing all advanced features and benefits of ABB’s Relion protection and control relays as a standard solution in its network. Sibelga, as per its technical specifications, appreciates world-class communications features and future-proof solutions like GOOSE messaging and process bus IEC 61850-9-2 LE. Alongside all advanced features, Sibelga also appreciates the ease-of-use of the relay configuration tool, protection and control IED manager PCM600.

“In our company, we do not have many people to engineer substations. We believe we will save time due to the user-friendliness of the engineering tools. Next to the mere technical properties of the products, the tool was for us an important decision criteria,” explained François Chevalier, responsible for network operations at Sibelga.

Sibelga is the only distribution network operator for electricity and natural gas in the 19 communes of the Brussels Capital Region. Its network modernization campaign started in summer 2018 with a retrofit of a substation in the northern part of Brussels. That substation supplies power for the new headquarters of NATO, which was inaugurated in May this year.

The total number of substations to be modernized is estimated at 75, covering approximately half of Sibelga’s network. The work will be finalized by 2026.

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technology leader in power grids, electrification products, industrial automation and robotics and motion, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing a history of innovation spanning more than 130 years, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization with two clear value propositions: bringing electricity from any power plant to any plug and automating industries from natural resources to finished products. As title partner in ABB Formula E, the fully electric international FIA motorsport class, ABB is pushing the boundaries of e-mobility to contribute to a sustainable future. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 147,000 employees.


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