Suez Canal Corridor Relies on dynamic UPS
Posted on November 12, 2020
Uninterruptable power for 5.8 km tunnel facing environmental challenges with temperatures up to 40°C, and large amounts of sand.
The Suez Canal Corridor Development Project in Egypt aims at more effectively capitalizing on the Suez Canal, creating an integrated industrial and logistics zone to boost the country's economic growth. A rapid and easy link between both banks of the canal was essential in this project. Thus, the developers have planned the construction of high capacity road and rail tunnels at three locations: Port Said (North), Suez (South), and Ismailia (halfway between the two others).
With a total length of 5.8 km, its deepest point reaching 53 m under sea level, an internal diameter of 11.4m, and two lanes in each direction, the Ismailia twin-tube road tunnel is undoubtedly the most impressive part of the development. Especially considering the environmental challenges faced, as temperatures rise to up to 40°C, and large amounts of sand have to be dealt with.
To be operated safely, an infrastructure project of this nature requires a truckload of electro-mechanical equipment: lighting, road signage, ventilation, communication, fire detection, firefighting pump systems, smoke extraction, and a centralized control center. All of them must be fully operational in all circumstances, even in the case of a mains failure.
That is the reason why the client chose to equip the tunnel with 4 dynamic no-break systems, made by former Kinolt S.A. (Liège, Belgium) which Rolls-Royce acquired in 2020. The systems are now part of Rolls-Royce’s mtu portfolio and named mtu Kinetic PowerPack. Apart from the impressive constant heat-resistance of the units, the air inlets of the machine rooms are provided with performant sand traps and dust filters to deal with the vast amounts of sand at the site.
In this specific case, traditional techniques did not allow sufficiently fast communication between both power plants, because of the approximately five kilometers of distance between them. Therefore, we developed a specific communication method for the cases where the two power plants need to communicate and share loads. At each end of the tunnel, we installed two units of 2000 kVA operating in parallel, in a dedicated technical building. Each set of two systems protects one tube. Due to the cable length, the energy is conveyed in the tunnel in 22 kV up to the points of use where local step-down transformers are installed.