Increased safety for one of the world's largest underground networks
With more than seven million journeys per day, New York City operates the largest public transport infrastructure in the USA. The Metro, one of the world's largest rapid transit systems, plays a decisive role in this. With its 472 stations, 36 train lines, and 1370 kilometres (850 miles) long rail system, it makes up a large part of the urban transportation network. It also includes a rapid transit line in the city district of Staten Island and a bus network.
Security of operational activities
The main task of the public transportation authority is to ensure safe and trouble-free movement of people throughout the city 24 hours a day. Therefore, the complex transportation infrastructure has to be permanently monitored for schedule, security and maintenance.
An essential prerequisite for this is the continuous functioning of their communication system over different networks. It enables monitoring, control and coordination of the entire railway system. Here, current traffic movements and technical systems along the route are monitored for their function, passengers are notified of operating delays, stations are monitored for safety and the railway staff are provided with vital, real time data (e. g. with regard to the rail condition). This results in a constant exchange of information, whose continuous operation has the highest priority.
The following functions are supported system-wide: public address (PA) system consisting of microphones, speakers and amplifiers; customer information systems and signs; a bus and police radio network and CCTV video surveillance systems all being carried over their ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) and SONET (Synchronous Optical Network) fiber optic network. When combined together, this results in a very complex and sensitive system that requires maximum security and critical availability.
If a complete, or even partial, power outage occurs, e. g. due to a network failure, this can not only have a catastrophic impact on operational processes, but, in the worst-case scenario, also the potential safety of passengers and railway personnel. To avoid this worse-case scenario, highly available and reliable power supplies to support the system are essential. These have to work continuously in a highly demanding harsh environment, but must also be designed to meet the specific and bespoke requirements of the public transportation services.
Exchange of knowledge
Searching for a partner who would provide both, tailored product solutions and the associated engineering expertise, the cooperation with BENNING was formed approximately ten years ago.
Engineers and designers of both companies are in constant contact to bring their ideas, requirements and solutions together and coordinate them in the most effective solutions. BENNING received its first order in 2005 for the installation of Phase II of the ATM network for a large portion of the subway system. Since completion of the ATM project, a large number of projects have been deployed throughout their rail network, in cooperation with the client’s development and design teams.
BENNING power systems are currently in use at more than 600 different locations throughout New York city – including reliable power systems for the bus and police radio networks.
The following product families have been deployed in the power systems: the TEBECHOP 3000 HD and SLIMLINE SE (48 V range) rectifiers, TEBECHOP 3000 HD converters, DSP and INVERTRONIC modular 3 Phase inverters, and UPS systems of the ENERTRONIC modular series.
Protection against heat and dust
The extremely harsh conditions near the subway tracks are a particular challenge. Many rooms in which the power supply systems are integrated have ambient temperatures of approx. 95 - 104 F° and a high concentration of corrosive steel dust resulting from the frequent braking of the trains. The systems produced and used by BENNING are designed in such a way that they can withstand these environmental challenges without any reduction in their functionality.
Furthermore, the height, width and weight of the systems require flexibility so that they can be adapted to the spatial requirements of the site installation. This means also that special methods of delivery, e. g. via a staircase or a manhole in the street, can be undertaken without any problems.
Further railway projects in the USA
The reputation that BENNING has earned in Ney York City has also paved the way for many other rail projects in the USA – for example in Philadelphia and Washington (see POWER news 9/2017). Again, in these projects, the combination of customized product solutions and services (turnkey services, maintenance and repair) play a key role in ensuring the smooth and continuous operation of railway and communication systems, as well as making rail transport mobility considerably safer, more efficient and more modern.