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Article Date: 9th August 2016

ABB Power Grids - Vacuum Insulated Medium Voltage Switchgear Supports Drive Towards SF6 Free Trackside Substations

Vacuum Insulated Trackside Switchgear - Modular Switchgear - MV Switchgear

ABB Power Grids - FSK II+

ABB’s FSK II+ is the only vacuum insulated trackside switchgear to have achieved PADS (Parts and Drawings System) Approval from Network Rail. Because it is vacuum insulated, it supports the drive to eliminate SF6 as from track-side installations. The FSKii+ also has the advantage of simplicity – it is easy to install, connect and has high reliability. ABB supplies it either as a standalone product or integrated into pre-manufactured and tested modular switchgear assemblies called SMOS Light (Structure Mounted Outdoor Switchgear Light).

In some cases, the FSKii+ switchgear is installed inside containerized trackside substations alongside control equipment and wiring. Since introducing FSKii+, ABB has supplied a total of more than 2,000 FSKii+ units for rail applications across the UK, including standalone and SMOS Light installations. Carl Sawyer, ABB’s business manager for medium voltage apparatus said: "Being vacuum insulated, FSKii+ switchgear eliminates the potential for release of SF6 gas in harsh trackside environments."

Well-proven technology
The FSK II+ vacuum breaker is built on the 10-year success of its predecessor, the FSK II. It uses a combination of a magnetic actuator and electronic controller and is robust, reliable and maintenance-free, making it ideal for the harsh conditions that can be experienced on the rail network.

The breaker’s design includes externally bolted HV terminals and polymeric insulators. It has achieved more than 10,000 operations during testing, which is equivalent to a service life greater than 20 years in a typical railway application.

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