ABB’s HVAC drives technology ensures sustainable and safe ventilation of Chennai Metro

Enabling smooth travel and safety of commuters, ABB has provided active front end variable speed drives (VSDs) for the ventilation system of Chennai metro line, a key infrastructure project that connects major areas in the city.

CHENNAI, IndiaFeb. 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ —  The Chennai metro takes the planned urbanization agenda a step forward with the opening of the 9-km-long extension. The new line will allow passengers to travel from the northern part of the city to Chennai International Airport in the south in around one hour, and will play a key role in easing the road traffic and enhancing public transportation.

ABB solutions are part of this fourth largest metro system in India with the supply of ACH580 and ACS880 active front end drives to support the metro line’s ventilation system and platform cooling. These drives are a part of ABB’s HVAC offering designed to meet the highest level of safety, reliability and energy efficiency requirements.

“This is yet another significant milestone for ABB in contributing to India’s booming infrastructure and we are proud to be associated with yet another metro rail project in India,” said Sanjeev Arora, President, Motion Business, ABB India Ltd. “Spotlight on ‘Make in India‘ initiative is back in the wake of a pandemic that disrupted supply chains. With reforms being charted out for various sectors for improving ease of doing business, we are aligned towards making India a strong and self-reliant nation. Leveraging our strong local manufacturing footprint, we are able to provide customized solutions for these key infrastructure projects,” he added.

HVAC drives features for increased safety and reliability

Rail and road tunnels mandate rigorous ventilation standards for air quality and fire safety features. ABB drives are used together with electric motors for the effective control of tunnel ventilation fans. They are integral in the operation of advanced air exchange systems in the stations and tunnels, ensuring passengers’ comfort and saving energy in normal operation as well as contributing in safe evacuation, smoke extract and fire fighting in case of emergency.

The dedicated voltage boost feature of ABB’s HVAC drives addresses voltage-drop issues caused by long cables in the tunnel network. With this feature, fans are always able to provide a nominal air flow without a need for any external equipment to compensate voltage drop. This brings enormous cost benefits to the project.

Almost non-existent harmonics, thanks to the drives’ active front end design, mitigate the risk of the network overload, ensuring continuous ventilation and efficient power supply.

The ‘fireman’s override’ feature allows VSDs on smoke extraction and pressurization fans to maintain safe escape routes for the passengers, ignoring non-critical faults and warnings e.g. due to too high temperature. In the event of a fire, this mode is usually triggered with a special key at the fireman’s control station.

Strong partnership for critical infrastructures

ABB India has partnered with Sterling Wilson, one of the leading EPC companies, to provide our HVAC solutions for the Chennai metro project. ABB has long standing association with Sterling and has partnered on several critical infrastructure projects in India, the major one being Asia’s longest road tunnel in Jammu and Kashmir. The 10.8 kilometre Chenani-Nashri tunnel in Jammu & Kashmir is the longest highway tunnel in Asia, featuring a state-of-the-art ABB ventilation control system.

ABB has played a key role in transforming the intra-city metro transportation system in the country by providing an extensive array of products and systems for wayside power and onboard requirement. About 50% of the Indian metro lines run on ABB technologies like medium voltage Uni-gear, LV ArTuK and gas insulated switchgears. Current operational metro lines in Kochi and Bengaluru uses the support of ABB solutions to transport millions of passengers safely every day.

From building the world’s most powerful ventilation system for the Gotthard Base Tunnel in Switzerland to powering the world’s tallest tower – Burj Khalifa in Dubai, ABB has been a part of some of the iconic infrastructure projects around the world. These projects not only improve transportation affecting the lives of people, but have become icons of development, creating an equilibrium of human, machine and nature for sustainability.

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.

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