Emergency Power Innovations Improve Reliability of Singapore Metro

PUBLIC transport in Singapore received a major boost on August 27, 2021 when the 13km second phase of the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) was opened to passengers.

The line adds six stations and brings another 100,000 city-state residents within a 10-minute walk of a subway station. Construction continues on the full 43km line which will have 32 stations, with the third phase due to open next year. TEL is expected to be used by 500,000 passengers per day when fully operational in 2025, which is expected to double in the long term.

Subway lines of this scale are inevitably complicated undertakings and require careful management. Unfortunately, things sometimes go wrong, which means backup power systems are an indispensable part of any metro system. These systems can step in to provide critical power in the event of a main power supply failure, helping to preserve key components and systems, as well as the safety of passengers and personnel.

In the urban rail environment, uninterrupted power supply (UPS) is essential to keep critical operating systems running such as communication, signaling, Integrated Supervisory Control System (ISCS) and automated traffic perception. rates, as well as to maintain emergency lighting, fire protection and the functionality of the operations control center.

Deploying a UPS for the TEL was particularly challenging, particularly due to Singapore’s high requirements for metro safety, reliability and stability of operation, and the requirement for a UPS solution that could facilitate an average repair time of less than 30 minutes. Singapore’s hot and humid environment was another key consideration in deploying the UPS. There are also space constraints for installing backup power equipment due to the cost of underground construction.

Huawei eventually won the contract with the Land Transport Authority (LTA) of Singapore. The company provides its 140-module UPS5000, which uses 50kVA/3U ultra-high density hot-swappable power supply modules. This is different from the traditional distributed power supply offered by single-point power solutions. and offers many advantages.

For example, the modular design allows for centralized power supply, which greatly improves reliability and has been proven to cut failure rates in half. The use of smaller, lighter lithium-ion batteries also halved the footprint of the battery cabinet, reducing installation costs compared to a traditional UPS and addressing a key project request. In addition, by using a single supplier, the complexity of spare parts procurement is reduced while remote monitoring by the UPS management system, which is connected to the building’s integrated maintenance system, facilitates simple maintenance procedure.

The system also meets LTA’s requirements for a high level of security. The dust and waterproof design of the UPS5000 eliminates the risk of short circuits and electric shocks while the use of highly stable LFP lithium iron phosphate minimizes the risk of battery fires. The battery also has a lifespan of up to 15 years and can operate reliably in high temperatures, another key consideration in Singapore and other tropical countries.

Of course, Huawei is not standing still with the UPS5000. The company recognizes the need to provide sustainable and reliable solutions to meet the demand for green transportation.

For example, by developing simplified, secure, open and intelligent products and solutions for the rail industry in Asia-Pacific and around the world that will facilitate digitalization and improve the efficiency and reliability of rail networks.

Indeed, over the next five years, information technology devices will continue to evolve, and ever higher computing power and density will be required, as well as greater CPU power from processing (CPU) and server. This is where Huawei focuses its continuous investment in research and development, especially in efficient and intelligent power supply and distribution systems. For more information on Huawei’s UPS solution, please click here.

Alan A. Seibert