India’s urban population grew from 222 million in 1990 to 410 million in 2014 and is expected to reach 814 million by 2050, according to a United Nations report. The pace of urbanization has been so rapid that Delhi and Mumbai are now the 2nd and 6th most populous cities in the world.
Globally, smart cities are classified as those where more than 60-70% of the population use public transport networks. Improving the ease of travel for citizens of cities with metro networks is another step forward as India moves towards its goal of building smarter and more inclusive cities.
While Tier II cities like Lucknow, Kanpur, Ahmedabad and Nagpur are setting up their dedicated metro networks, proposals for cities like Chandigarh, Bhopal, Ludhiana and Kozikode are being evaluated.
The government’s emphasis on manufacturing through ‘Made in India’ is also serving as a catalyst for many of the design, engineering and innovation works being undertaken for metro systems across the country.
“Made in India” solutions driving 6 operational metro projects in the country
Using the latest global technology made in India – from power supplies and power distribution to the SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system used to monitor and control the metro network – multinationals not only bring the best of global technology in India, but also support manufacturing.
ABB, a key partner in the Kochi and Bengaluru metro projects – sections of both were inaugurated on June 17 – says the design and engineering of these projects are resulting in innovations to address unique problems relevant to Indian needs.
“By improving the ease of travel for the citizens of Bengaluru and Kochi, these networks will take on greater importance as India moves towards its goal of building smarter and more inclusive cities,” said Sanjeev Sharma, CEO and Managing Director of ABB India. “We have been associated with most metro projects across India starting with the first one decades ago and our reach has only grown wider,” he added.
ABB solutions in Kochi metro include medium and low voltage protection and control systems, switchgear as well as dry-type transformers for power supply and distribution to stations, cars and panels of modular distribution equipment for lighting needs.
The “majestic” Namma metro
On the same day as Kochi, Bangalore had its own big metro moment. The section of the Green Line, connecting Mantri Square Sampige Road and Yelachenahalli, was inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee. This 12 km stretch not only boarded South Bengaluraians but also allowed commuters from the North-South and East-West corridors to change lines at the Kempegowda-Majestic interchange.
ABB, with Indian headquarters in Bangalore, played a key role in the implementation of third rail technology for the Bangalore metro and provided all the required traction power and substation equipment.
The remote monitoring SCADA system to ensure network efficiency and pre-detect downtime was also executed. This stretch also contained an 8 km underground section in the city’s busiest commercial area.
Company sources say the work was carried out only overnight, including moving heavy equipment and lowering it to a depth of 40 to 60 feet, and that without any safety concerns – which was a key achievement.
SCADA powers Bengaluru and many more
SCADA – a widely used industry acronym that stands for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition – is a central control system that consists of network interfaces of controllers, I/Os, communications equipment, and software. SCADA systems are used to monitor and control industrial process equipment which includes manufacturing, production, development and manufacturing. Infrastructure processes include gas and oil distribution, electricity and water distribution. Utilities include bus circulation system, airport.
Surprisingly, India’s largest SCADA system is not on any of its metro networks. It is in a leafy suburb of Bengaluru – at the Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation. Giving exclusive access to timesofindia.com and showing us around the facility, R, Thyagaraj, Superintendent Engineer of KPTCL for SCADA, says the remote monitoring system helps them control nearly 1400 substations in real time and that also with less than 3% failure.
“It’s the largest SCADA network in that part of the world. In the mid-2000s when we thought about it, it was a huge challenge that we took on to cover the entire state. If you see this system, both visibility and control is available directly from the generator to the 11 KV supply points – the last point of the transmission network.And this has been possible thanks to the installation of a SCADA system which has 72 servers, 210 workstations and it is connected by our own satellite hub. We own the hub and we take the bandwidth from ISRO,” said Thyagaraj, who has been involved in the project since its inception.
Karnataka has a peak load of around 10,200 MW and with the various government initiatives in the field of renewable energy, the challenge for KPTCL and other transmission and distribution companies in the power sector is to know how to manage production rather than how to manage load.
Thyagaraj adds, “This SCADA system has been very helpful in ensuring that Karnataka has been labeled as the most disciplined state (in the electricity sector) with the technology that we use. When we started in 2005, while SCADA systems existed, there was no system with more than 1400 nodes, because there may not have been another utility using this system with so many substations. ”
Watch “Made in India” technology is driving key metro projects