Blog post: Turnkey substation solutions from Linxon for Utilities, Generation & Transportation Sector

February 4, 2020

Electrical substations are crucial for transmitting electric power between the generating station and consumers. Without substations, most power would never even get to the consumer, of the simple reason that in order to cover long distances, electricity moves along power transmission lines at much higher voltages than what is required to run equipment’s in our home. Substations act as hubs, collecting power from generation plants and retransmitting electricity from points across the network. They’re equipped with transformers to “step-up” voltage for the long-distance transmission and finally stepping down to enter the consumer network. Substations enable the efficient and reliable transmission and distribution of electricity. Within the substation, switchgear controls and protects the network from power outages and facilitates reliable electricity supply.

Ensuring reliable power supplies for most electric systems is a complex process from design to commissioning with emphasis on power quality and monitoring, protections and controls for the transmission and distribution of the electricity from the grid to the vehicle. In other words, a reliable substation and network associated with it.

Substations and electrification

Substation design and installation is Linxon’s focus and specialty. Linxon is a joint venture company set up by SNC-Lavalin and ABB to deliver turnkey electrical AC substation projects.

The competitive energy market requires innovative and reliable solutions for effective integration of power from conventional and renewable generation plants, and efficient transmission and distribution to residential, commercial and industrial consumers. Comprehensive domain knowledge, global experience and continuous innovation enable us to provide optimized turnkey solutions.

Substations at the center of change

Linxon puts special emphasis on selecting right design and components thus creating an optimal substation footprint and utilizing modular designs that support a high degree of reliability and reduces power quality issues including electrical harmonics, poor power factor, voltage instability and network imbalance. Modular configuration is adopted (wherever possible) to significantly reduce the installation time and provide better inventory control on the spares. This helps in reducing the overall life cycle cost of the project which helps our clients positively.

As an example; Linxon has supplied a 380-kV gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) substation to Fadhili Plant Cogeneration Company (FPCC). The substation will help boost transmission capacity and ensure reliable power supply at a new 1,549-megawatt (MW) combined cycle power plant in the Al Fadhili area near Jubail in eastern Saudi Arabia. The supply for the Fadhili project covers construction of a new 36-bay indoor 380-kV GIS substation including IEC 61850 based protection and control, metering, communication and SCADA equipment, as well as modification of associated existing substations.

The fast-track project required partial energization within 18 months of the contract award to meet an early steam operation milestone. Linxon/ABB achieved full energization of the complete substation in August 2018, three months ahead of schedule.

IEC 61850 enabled substation

Since its publication in 2004, the global IEC 61850 standard has been accepted at an unexpectedly fast rate. Developed with the support of ABB it is the first truly global standard in the electric utility field.

But the evolution didn‘t stop there. Since the advent of the IEC 61850 edition 2 in 2011 that now also takes the standard outside the substation, more and more data are being collected thanks to the standard being extended and implemented across the whole power grid. The huge amount of data allows for a much more precise analysis of the status of the network allowing the operator to take the right decision at the right time. Linxon invests great efforts in implementing this standard in its systems as we believe that IEC 61850 is the basis for a successful and modern digital grid.

BIM – Building Information Modelling in substation design

In designing the substation, Linxon uses BIM, Building Information Modelling, to help to visualize the design. The use of BIM also eliminates design or construction errors. The substation capabilities can be simulated, the project schedule can be shortened, and construction costs can be controlled.

BIM – Building Information modelling enables:

  • Better understanding of the proposed design
  • Fewer problems during construction related to design
  • Analysis and simulation capabilities
  • Beneficial impact on Project schedule
  • Beneficial Impact on control of construction COSTs


Bridging the gap

Bridging the gaps between aspiration and action, perception and reality, Linxon is building on a powerful legacy that has delivered substation projects across the globe, in all climates, locations and voltage levels, by combining it with world-class EPC expertise and specialized services. From conventional to renewable power generation, from utilities to railways, Linxon turnkey AC substations are built on decades of experience, knowledge and trust.

By Selma Palaz, Linxon Chief Sales Officer (CSO)

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