ABB’s Drives, a sustainable and safe ventilation solution for Chennai Metro Lines

Chennai Metro Lines

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.

The Chennai metro takes the planned urbanisation 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 customised 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 pressurisation 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.

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