Industry Analysis

ABB realises power quality for India’s longest freight train network

The dedicated freight corridor (DFC) is an ambitious infrastructure development designed to enable the efficient movement of freight containers across the vast geography of the country. It is expected to relieve congestion on commuter routes and drive industrial growth and investments in these regions. ABB will play a key role by enhancing the system’s reliability with an innovative power quality solution.

DFCCIL expects to transport up to 15,000 tons of load for long distances and will have a container capacity of 400 units per train, among the highest in the world. To cope with the volume, DFCCIL is pioneering the operation of double stack containers on electrified routes in India. The trains will have high-speed, with maximum speed varying between 75 to 100 kmph.

Such high speeds and variation of loads can affect power consumption patterns, creating significant voltage fluctuations and low power factor that cause power quality issues in the electrical railway traction systems. This could result in equipment malfunction and even downtime. Power quality issues can also spread through the supply grid, creating a domino effect of disturbances to other users. The potential risk of non-compliance to grid codes can also lead to financial penalties.

To address this challenge, ABB will supply a step-less power quality compensator – reactive (PQCR), which helps to regulate and stabilise the power supply when there are dynamic and highly fluctuating loads. The PQCR will help improve power quality and voltage stability and help comply with grid codes. In addition, ABB will also supply fixed and dynamic reactive power compensation panels at 23 traction substations.

By improving the reliability of the grid and reducing downtime, ABB’s innovative PQCR technology will help DFCCIL optimise the operating costs of its freight network. The solution will be implemented in the western segment of the DFC between Mumbai and Dadri that covers a distance of more than 1,500 km.

“We are pleased to support the Indian Railways with our state-of-the-art power quality technology and contribute to a world class freight rail corridor in the country,” said Giandomenico Rivetti, Head of ABB’s High Voltage Products business, a part of the
company’s power grids division. “This initiative further supports ABB’s commitment to contribute to India’s economic growth with state-of-the-art technology solutions.”

DFC will run between the four cities, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, and is to be known as the Golden Quadrilateral.

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