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Joint project with ABB to redevelop a Swiss transformer substation

ABB Switzerland: generation, transport, and distribution of power

ABB is a leader in energy and automation technology. The global corporation employs over 110,000 people in around 100 countries.

ABB has around 5700 employees in Switzerland. The ABB Power Systems Switzerland division is active in the generation, transport, and distribution of power all over the world.


Kraftwerke Hinterrhein AG operates the third largest high-pressure storage power station in Switzerland in Grisons.

To exploit hydroelectric power, various works for the generation of operating and storage energy as well as for seasonal storage of water have been combined in three gradients.
Important parts of the electrical energy are fed into the Swiss high-voltage grid via the Sils transformer substation. The Sils transformer substation is a main hub for 220 kV and 380 kV voltage in the UCTE interconnected grid that connects Switzerland to the rest of Continental Europe.

Considerable volumes of energy are exchanged between Switzerland, Italy, Austria, and Germany via Sils. The external installations of the transformer substation form extensive outdoor switchgear and groups of large transformers with a capacity of 1200 MVA.

The transformer substation built in the 1960s needed to be extensively redeveloped in order to safeguard future operation. The project was awarded to ABB Power Systems Switzerland. The external installations and 74 associated control cabinets were modernized during operation over the course of the almost two-year long redevelopment project.


Aaretal, Power generation, Quickon, QTC, votlage, ABB  

QTC fast connection technology

The new control cabinets were equipped with modular terminal blocks from Phoenix Contact. The end customer, Kraftwerke Hinterrhein AG, was impressed with the QTC fast connection terminal block. The main reason for choosing the QTC modular terminal blocks was that the state of the insulation displacement technology could be clearly identified mechanically.

The patented mechanical system prevents conductor connections from loosening by themselves while in the closed state. Another advantage for Kraftwerke Hinterrhein AG was that the QTC terminal block range can be seamlessly integrated into the CLIPLINE complete system. This means that all accessories such as plug-in bridges and test plugs are compatible with all other connection technologies from Phoenix Contact.

The time saving offered compared to screw terminal block connection is 60%. This is because the QTC fast connection terminal block eliminates all conductor pretreatment such as stripping conductors and crimping ferrules. The conductor is simply inserted into the conductor connection opening and then clamped into the blade with a slight movement using a screwdriver. A locking mechanism secures the conductor in the terminal point and makes it impossible for the terminal block to be opened inadvertently or by itself.

ABB Power Systems Switzerland also opted for the BLUEMARK printer from Phoenix Contact. The high-speed printer is used for individual printing of standardized UniCard marker sheets and for terminal, conductor, and device marking.


As a switchgear builder, ABB Power Systems Switzerland benefits from the huge time savings afforded by the use of QTC fast connection technology.

The easy operation of the UV-technology-based printing system as well as the wipe-proof and scratch-proof labeling also impressed ABB Power Systems Switzerland.

Kraftwerke Hinterrhein AG, ABB Power Systems Switzerland, and Phoenix Contact – the perfect collaboration.


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