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Siemens installs network interconnection between ÖBB network and public power grid

In order to increase the efficiency of its traction power supply grid, the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) have commissioned Siemens Smart Grid to install a static frequency converter from the Sitras SFC plus series as a network interconnection in the Stubach valley near Salzburg.

The order was placed by ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG in Vienna and is worth about eight million euros and includes delivery, installation and commissioning of the converter with an output of 48 megawatts (MW), the converter transformers and the auxiliary equipment.

This is to provide a network interconnection between the 16.7-Hz traction current system of Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) and the public power supply grid (50Hz) in addition to the existing six network interconnections. The converter is being installed within the grounds of the existing hydroelectric power plant at Uttendorf in the Stubach valley and should enter service in the fall of 2014.

Moreover, the Tauernmoos pumped storage power plant with a rated capacity of about 130 MW (50 Hz) that ÖBB is planning in the Stubach valley for completion in 2017/2018 will not only be integrated into the public power supply grid, but also directly into ÖBB’s 16.7-Hz traction current system via the Siemens converter. The converter functions in both directions: it can not only convert current with a frequency of 16.7 Hz into 50 Hz, but also can convert a 50 Hz current into a frequency of 16.7 Hz so that the trains on the Austrian railway network can be operated using energy from the new hydroelectric power plant.

"We now have the right solutions to meet the demands of modern traction power supply networks. Our multilevel direct converters are the best example of this," claims Mirko Düsel, CEO of the Rail Electrification Business Unit of the Siemens Smart Grid Division.

“With this frequency converter, we can minimize transmission losses and use our traction current generating plants even more efficiently for operations in the Austrian rail network,” commented Christian Wild, head of project management at the Energy division of ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG. The special feature of the Sitras SFC plus converters is their multi-level current conversion technology: this functions with a modular structure comprising several power transistor (IGBT) components connected in series and capacitors that build up the required voltages in small steps. This reduces the switching frequencies and consequently the power loss by around ten percent compared to existing systems.

The Siemens converter technology is currently in demand, and not just in Austria. At the end of last year the company received one order from the Swedish transport authorities and one from the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) for the delivery, installation and commissioning of eight multilevel direct converter blocks for Sweden and two converter blocks for Switzerland. The converters are strengthening the traction power supply networks of both countries through their additional links to the public power grid.

Energy-efficient, eco-friendly solutions for setting up intelligent power supply networks (Smart Grids) are is part of Siemens’ Environmental Portfolio. In fiscal 2012, revenue from the Portfolio totaled about 33 billion euros, making Siemens one of the world’s largest suppliers of eco-friendly technologies. In the same period, our products and solutions enabled customers to reduce their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by more than 330 million tons, an amount equal to the total annual CO2 emissions of Berlin, Delhi, Hong Kong, Istanbul, London, New York, Singapore and Tokyo.

Contact for journalists:
Siemens AG, Media Relations
Dietrich Biester, phone: +49 911 433-2653
The Siemens Infrastructure & Cities Sector (Munich, Germany), with approximately 90,000 employees, focuses on sustainable technologies for metropolitan areas and their infrastructures. Its offering includes products, systems and solutions for intelligent traffic management, rail-bound transportation, smart grids, energy efficient buildings, and safety and security. The Sector comprises the divisions Building Technologies, Low and Medium Voltage, Mobility and Logistics, Rail Systems and Smart Grid. For more information, visit

The Siemens Smart Grid Division (Nuremberg, Germany) offers power providers, network operators, industrial enterprises and cities an end-to-end portfolio with products and solutions to develop intelligent energy networks. Smart Grids enable a bidirectional flow of energy and information. They are required for the integration of more renewable energy sources in the network. In addition, power providers can run their plants more efficiently with data gained from Smart Grids. Software solutions that analyze data from Smart Grids will continuously gain importance. Thereby, the division uses in-house developments in addition to systems from software partners. For further information please see:

Siemens AG
Wittelsbacher Platz 2, 80333 Munich, Germany Corporate Communications and Government Affairs

Head: Stephan Heimbach

Infrastructure & Cities Sector
Smart Grid Division
Gugelstrasse 65,
90459 Nuremberg, Germany
Reference number: ICSG201304.033e

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