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Wide-angle view of a modern aircraft gaining the altitude outside the glass window facade of a contemporary waiting hall with multiple rows of seats and reflections indoors of an airport terminal

Transforming Dublins Airport

Hitachi Energy installed the electrical network in Terminal 2, the new passenger terminal at Dublin Airport. The network and its monitoring and control systems ensure reliable power for the terminal, helping the authorities to manage the 60,000 passengers who use the airport every day.

The new network installed by Hitachi Energy at Dublin Airport comprises 11 interconnected substations at various locations across the site of Terminal 2. The new substations are equipped with Hitachi Energy’s UniGear medium-voltage (MV) switchgear, including Hitachi Energy REF543 protection relays for electrical protection, monitoring and control.

To ensure maximum availability of the network, which is essential for the airport’s operations, a Hitachi Energy MicroSCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) Pro software system has been installed. This system will facilitate remote monitoring and control of the entire network.

Remote monitoring of substations

A major benefit of the MicroSCADA Pro system is that it allows the DAA (Dublin Airport Authority) to monitor its substations remotely. It automatically sends an alarm to system operators in the event of a fault and is even able to send text messages warning of impending events, allowing staff to take prompt action to reduce the risk of outages. Such action may involve the operation of switchgear, which the DAA staff can operate from the safety of a workstation, well away from the switchgear itself.

The MicroSCADA Pro system also delivers other benefits, including the monitoring and control of a combined heat and power (CHP) plant, which the airport uses to heat its buildings and generate its own electricity. A demand-response system ensures the most efficient use of resources. Heat from the plant is used in the new terminal, further reducing energy costs and the MicroSCADA Pro system optimizes the plant’s operation to minimize the use of external power sources. Improved facilities at Dublin Airport will increase capacity to more than 30 million passengers per annum.

In the unlikely event of a complete power outage, the MicroSCADA Pro system is able to detect the loss of the mains supply and will automatically start, synchronize and load two standby diesel generators, providing emergency power to the essential Terminal 2 services and initiating “black-start” capability in the network, ie, restarting Terminal 2 power systems after a complete loss of power. In the event of a partial loss of mains supply, eg, if one of the terminal’s two grid connections failed, the MicroSCADA Pro system would automatically reconfigure the T2 network to receive power from the remaining supply, coordinating the sequential restoration of power to equipment as the system returned to normal. 


New MV substation provide improved reliability

The building of Terminal 2, in conjunction with the extension of the existing Terminal 1, required the installation of a new on-site high-voltage to MV substation. The role of this substation is to provide the airport campus with a more reliable and robust connection to the local electricity grid. Before this substation went into operation, the entire airport was supplied at 38 kV from the utility. It now has two independent 110 kV connections, fed by two separate utility substations, which improve the reliability of the airport’s power supply.

The airport improvement works also included an upgrade of the existing “Campus” electrical network, which serves T1 and its peripherals. This included upgrading Campus MV switchgear and the replacement of a legacy SCADA system with a new MicroSCADA Pro system.

To meet all of the DAA’s requirements, Hitachi Energy established and led an integrated team comprising experienced project managers, low-, medium-, and high-voltage electrical-design engineers, commissioning engineers and software engineers. The project drew on expertise from both local operations and Hitachi Energy’s centers of excellence around the world, enabling the customer to deal with a single supplier for all of the network and substation refurbishment work.

The customer has praised Hitachi Energy for its performance and its ability to deliver such a complex system on time. The new terminal opened in November 2010.