ABB’s modular substation honoured with Australian International Design Award

Skid-mounted substation recognised for being easily transportable for safe and quick installation in remote locations with minimal labour, saving time and money for customers

Sydney, Australia, June 13, 2013 – ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, announces that its 66kV modular substation has recently received a Design Award at the 2013 Australian International Design Awards in the Commercial and Industrial category. The award was presented May 30, in Sydney, Australia.

The Australian International Design Awards program is Australia's longest running and most prestigious design recognition program with a 55-year history. The challenging task of judging more than 250 entries was undertaken by six panels of Australian and international design experts assessing entries in 15 different categories. ABB’s modular substation was evaluated in the Commercial and Industrial category with the panel assessing that it exceeded the five criteria for good design in the areas of form, function, quality, safety, sustainability and meet the critera for design excellence and innovation.

From left to right, ABB's Wayne Brookes, Michelle Sikonia, Patrick Naidoo, Supratim Banerjee, with CMD's Owen Bawden and Brandon Miller.

In presenting the award, judges commended ABB for its innovative engineering and use of intelligent design that allows the substation to be built, assembled and tested off-site, then quickly dropped into place to enable efficient and safe connection to the power grid. This method reduces civil works, installation, testing and commissioning at the customer’s location.

"ABB is proud to have its modular substation receive the Design Award accolade and be recognised by the panel of leading design experts from across the world," said Axel Kuhr country manager for ABB in Australia. "It is particularly rewarding as our skid-mounted substation was designed to better serve industry needs as it can be pre-engineered and delivered in up to 16 weeks less than a comparable substation using a conventional, primarily site-based method.

"Importantly, commissioning a new substation in remote locations and finding the skilled resources to have it up and running can take months. With this in mind, we have successfully developed this ABB solution that can save customers time, cost and resources, while providing quality and serviceability," said Axel.

ABB's skid-mounted 66kV module, is part of the ABB substation portfolio, which serves as a key component in a power transmission and distribution network. The modular substation is used in transforming high voltage 66kV to lower useable voltages, and primarily offers great benefits to companies operating in the resources, industrial and utility sectors. The reliability of the power system – which is vital to the operations of these industries – is ensured by the proven ABB technology incorporated in the skid.

Based on a 'universal' design, the ABB 66kV Module is an open-air-insulated substation in a compact form factor. It offers bay level control and protection, and incorporates a gantry, DC panel and PASS Unit. The PASS (Plug and Switch System) unit is a hybrid switchgear that combines a circuit breaker (CB), disconnector-current transformer (CT), voltage transformer (VT) and earth switch. The skid design ensures the control and protection panel can operate in the harsh conditions, while providing crucial control and protection via the latest IEC61850-enabled intelligent electronic device (IED) installed in the panel.

The visual appeal of the modular substation benefitted from the professional design services provided by CMD, a leading design studio based in Brisbane. CMD’s input has been crucial in helping ABB produce an architecturally aesthetic substation with improved transportability. The overall design delivers benefits for end users that go beyond base functionality.

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 145,000 people.

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    ABB Australia's Supratim Banerjee, Michelle Sikonia, Patrick Naidoo and Wayne Brookes, with the Australian International Design accolade awarded to ABB's 66kV modular substation which can save customers time, cost and resources, while providing quality and serviceability.
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