Rising energy costs and sustainability strategies make digitizing power distribution a priority for organizations of all sizes. In the rail sector, for passenger stations to evolve into sustainable urban mobility hubs, smart station upgrades and carbon reductions start with the power distribution
Recognized for its low carbon footprint, rail is at the heart of sustainable mobility strategies, with smart passenger stations expected to play a key role in the smart cities of the future. Managing energy demands efficiently and intelligently at these transport hubs is fundamental to maximizing the benefits for communities, business and operators.
Smart stations are an important part of rail modernization programs. In the future this will involve technologies such as intelligent vision and AI assisted smart crowd control through to digitally automated fare collection. First, rail operators are focusing on the significant opportunities to use intelligent energy distribution to make passenger stations more energy-efficient, reliable, and resilient.
Passenger stations are multimodal hubs, integrating everything from power supplies to building automation, ticketing to HVAC. Power distribution is central to their effective operation.
Rudolf Vidacak, Electrification global transportation rail Manager at ABB says: “Intelligent energy distribution is an opportunity to introduce smart station technologies to improve operational efficiency, maximize resources and enhance the safety and security of customer-services. ABB is well known for power distribution: the ABB AbilityTM Energy Manager leverages this expertise with digital tools that help operators meet the energy requirements of smart stations.”
In passenger stations, main switchboards connect an almost infinite number of circuits – everything from passenger information displays, lighting systems, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, to escalators and lifts, ticketing and vending machines, fire protection systems, alarms, IT infrastructure and more.
Intelligent distribution systems, such as the ABB AbilityTM Energy Manager, simplify the monitoring and management for operators. By embedding digital communication capabilities into the panelboards and electrical infrastructure, they can be connected to provide full visibility via a single, intuitive interface.
“To help managers improve reliability and service continuity, we give them 24-7 visibility of their station’s infrastructure,” says Vidacak. “With real-time visualization data, people make better strategic decisions. Potential issues are detected and addressed before they materialize. They can improve maintenance strategies, increase operational efficiency, and reduce costs.”
Smart stations can also integrate ABB’s Energy Manager with their Building Management Systems (BMS) so supervisors can access real-time monitoring and deeper intelligence on specific devices or systems. When partnered with intelligent automatic transfer switches, such as the ABB TruOne range, operators can also ensure supply to critical assets continues in the event of a power issue.
ABB’s plug-and-play technologies make it possible to upgrade the functionality of existing power distribution devices – with or without ABB products. Changes can be made without the usual downtime and without disruption to schedules.
“ABB has been working with rail operators around the world for more than 100 years,” says Vidacak. “Our applications expertise has always focused on solving real customer challenges. In the short-term, rail operators need to manage energy costs, while laying the groundwork for their low-carbon future. We are working with rail customers to help them achieve this step by step.”
Find out more about ABB's solutions for smart passenger stations: CLICK HERE