Major tradeshow exhibits high levels of visitor safety

Visitor safety

Tradefair Düsseldorf has taken steps to reduce its energy consumption and improve guest safety by installing the latest in digital switchgear.

Tradefair Düsseldorf has upgraded its electricity distribution by installing 30 panels of ABB UniGear ZS1 medium-voltage switchgear and 23 Ultra-Fast Earthing Switch (UFES) arc-fault protectors.

The project – which was implemented with ABB’s business partner WISAG Elektrotechnik GmbH – takes safety to the next level and brings improved power and switchgear reliability, while retaining the customer’s existing infrastructure and meeting strict utility requirements about connections to the grid.

One of the main priorities for the project was to reduce the potential for dangerous arc faults within the 613,000m2 exhibition space. Demand for power in an exhibition is extremely intense and the risk of potentially fatal arc faults is high, with temperatures in the centre of an electric arc reaching as high as 20,000°C. The pressure this creates can be lethal to anyone nearby, causing a fire as well as serious damage to the switchgear’s metal structures.

The high number of UFES systems now installed allows Tradefair Düsseldorf to shut down any internal arc fault in less than four milliseconds after detection, which is 20 times faster than standard equivalent solutions, without disrupting the power supply.

The investment also supports Tradefair Düssledorf’s sustainability targets as the digital switchgear panels consume less energy. For example, over an estimated 30-year period, the 30 UniGear ZS1 panels, also equipped with non-conventional instrument transformers, will save approximately 200MWh, by utilising current sensors based on the Rogowski coil principle, as well as voltage sensors based on the voltage divider principle, which is equivalent to running a TV set for 275 years.

Barbara Panella, Technology Manager of ABB’s Distribution Solutions Division, adds, “Our overriding focus is on working together with our partners and clients to meet their changing needs and challenges via digitalisation initiatives that deliver a smarter, safer and more reliable flow of electricity. This integrated ABB digital solution not only makes sure the show goes on uninterrupted while using less energy, but that exhibitors and visitors are as safe as possible.”

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