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Thu November 30 2023

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Strukton wins Dutch substation package

13 Sep 19 Strukton is putting a new substation concept to the test in the Netherlands as part of a pilot project for a programme involving more than 100 upgrades over the next 10 years.

It is one of two companies whose concepts for the 110/150 kV high-voltage substations will be trialled by grid operator TenneT. Design work will start this month September and the project must be completed by the end of 2021.

Over the coming ten years more than 100 high-voltage substations in the Netherlands must be replaced because they have reached the end of their service life. Constructing these substations requires an entirely new standard, consistent with today’s requirements.

Grid operator TenneT has decided to implement this renovation in steps and will start with two plots. Strukton and Croonwolter & Dros have won the respective tenders for these plots and will each renovate a plot in accordance with their own concept.

After a year, TenneT will inspect the two concepts to determine which concept is best suited. The other 110/150 kV high voltage substations will subsequently be renovated in accordance with the selected concept, or a mix of the two.

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Strukton said that its design meets the three requirements specified by TenneT: the design must be modular, it must become the new standard for the remaining high-voltage substations and it must be safe for the technicians working there. The company has decided to work with skids: frames with the high-voltage components mounted on them. The skids will be built in advance, after which a special carrier will move them into the installation. The only thing that is required then is to connect the skids. This approach is fast and safe, said Strukton. In the event of a malfunction, the skid can easily be removed from the installation and the technicians can then do their work in a safe zone.

Strukton’s winning design was developed through a multidisciplinary cooperative effort with Oranjewoud NV. Strukton Systems will be responsible for all high-voltage and control engineering work and for the development and implementation of the software. Antea has signed on for the cyber security and environmental and permit management work. Strukton Rolling Stock will build the control boxes, and Strukton Civiel will be responsible for all civil engineering works, including excavation, the foundation, and site preparation.

Strukton will start working on the detailed design in September. All of the preparatory work must be completed within nine months, including the fit-up of a hall for the production of the skids and the control boxes, and the high-voltage components: integration, software development, permit applications, and the construction of a test model. The first substation must be ready for implementation in the first quarter of 2020. This is expected to take five to six months. All three high voltage substations in its package must be ready by the end of 2021.

Developments such as smart grids, decentralised power generation, microgrids and data centres are making the the 110/150kV grid - the transport grid - increasingly important, said Strukton. Current replacement strategies are not keeping up with the new challenges and developments, it added. Preparing the substations for the future requires a high rate of replacement. “This is really only possible if we standardise our 110/150 kV substations,” said Strukton.

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