Compact marshalling panels in the Schluchseewerk pumped-storage power station
With its five pumped-storage power stations, Schluchseewerk AG is a major player among the High Rhine hydroelectric power stations. When the time came to modernize the switchgear, optimizing the handling of the marshalling panel system was one of the requirements. The PTRV marshalling panel system from Phoenix Contact was ultimately chosen.
Established in 1928 and now with its headquarters in Laufenburg, Schluchseewerk AG is one of the largest operators of pumped-storage power stations in Europe. The five pumped-storage power stations have a combined output of 1,862 MW. The regenerative portion generated by natural inflow amounts to a total of up to 400 million kilowatt hours per annum.
The pump turbines in the five pumped-storage power stations are controlled from a site in Kühmoos located on a hill in the Hotzenwald forest, and all of the reservoirs and Rhine storage reservoirs are managed from there as well. This is also the location of the 220/380 kV switchgear built in 1966/1967, via which the electricity from the Säckingen and Wehr power stations is fed into the integrated European grid.
After some 20 years of operation, the error rate in the control engineering in Kühmoos was beginning to increase. Finding replacements for defective components was becoming increasingly difficult as well. For that reason, the decision was made to install new control engineering. The person in charge of the electrical engineering for this project was Dietmar Kastner, Electrical Engineering Subdivision Manager in the Assets Division. Conversion or new construction projects are planned and coordinated from his office located at the headquarters in Laufenburg.
The aim of the modernization project was to eliminate the problem associated with replacement parts and to upgrade the systems with state-of-the-art technology.
Connecting the signals to the marshalling panel had proven extremely costly and time-consuming in the past due to the TERMI-POINT® technology. It was impossible to make connections without using a special tool that operated only with compressed air. If no compressed air connection was available, work could not continue until a compressor was brought in.
On top of all this, the design and weight of the special tool made using it on site difficult and time-consuming. As a consequence of this, contacts were deformed time and again, resulting in short circuits between the terminal points.
After having several marshalling panel systems evaluated by technicians, Schluchseewerk AG decided upon the Phoenix Contact PTRV marshalling terminals. In particular, the system’s compact design made it stand out from the alternative options. Moreover, it offers additional advantages: Thanks to the color inserts, the user can adapt the markings to their operational processes or map the standards for conductor colors (DIN VDE 0815, IEC EN 69100) to the marshalling panel system. The terminal blocks feature a 2.3 mm test opening so that standard measuring probes can be used for testing.
Due to the compact design of the PTRV system, it was possible to reduce the space required in the control cabinet by approx. 35% compared to the previous solution. Although this does not eliminate the need for any of the control cabinets, it does mean that Schluchseewerk AG has considerably more space available for future expansion projects. Thanks to the state-of-the-art Push-in connection technology of the terminal blocks, the time required for installation on site was significantly reduced. Errors, such as deformed contacts or short circuits between the contacts, are no longer an issue thanks to the design of the system. The safety of personnel on site has been significantly increased thanks to the touch protection of the terminal blocks. Even signals with a potential of up to 250 V can now be connected, something that was previously not possible for safety reasons.
Find out more about marshalling panels
The compact PTRV marshalling terminals are used to marshal signals in automation applications in a clearly arranged manner. The wiring of a large number of conductors is simplified by using color-coded levels. Together with the front wiring, this helps prevent connection errors.