Alstom and DB Energie, a Deutsche Bahn company, have signed a frame agreement worth €5 million for the delivery and commissioning of the HYpact compact switchgear for their railway applications at 16.7 Hz. The frame agreement has a term of approximately 1.5 years.
In spring 2015, the German Federal Railway authority issued its final operating approval for Alstom’s HYpact switchgear after the successful pilot operation at the Fronhausen railway substation. This approval is an essential prerequisite for production and commercial introduction of the product for railway applications in Germany. Germany opens the door for the 16.7 Hz HYpact in Switzerland, Austria, Norway and Sweden as these countries have unified specifications for railway applications.
Alstom’s 16.7 Hz HYpact is an adaptation of its 50 Hz HYpact , a modular switchgear designed for outdoor applications that combines the benefits of air insulated switchgear (AIS) technology with the technology of gas-insulated switchgear. It unites power switches, circuit breakers and earthing switches within an enclosed switchgear. The compact structure of the hybrid switchgear can save space by as much as 50% in comparison with conventional AIS technology. Due to the compact nature and the significant amount of pre-assembly carried out at the factory, the Alstom HYpact can be installed within a short time.
“Alstom had to adapt the hybrid switchgear technology to the requirements of the rail. The system frequency of 16.7 Hz required a modification of individual modules and the high level of stress on the power switch in railway applications, meant that both the interrupter unit of the switch and the arcing contacts had to be adapted,” explains Lutz Drews, Head of the Development Centre and Product Director of HYpact for ALSTOM Grid GmbH in Kassel.
Gunter Oberreich, Head of the Leipzig branch of ALSTOM Grid GmbH, adds, “The HYpact 16.7 Hz is Alstom’s first hybrid switchgear system for railway applications. Development of the product followed specifications from DB, SBB and ?BB  the German, Swiss and Austrian railway companies. The approval by the German Federal Railway Authority and the frame agreement with DB Energie, has allowed Alstom to gained entry into this niche market in Germany paving the way for other countries in Europe.”
The switchgear assembly for the 16.7 Hz application is developed and manufactured entirely at the Kassel location.
 Alstom’s HYpact for 50 Hz applications was launched in 2006. To date, well over 600 systems have entered operation worldwide.
 DB = Deutsche Bahn (German Railway), SBB = Schweizer Bundesbahnen (Swiss Railway), OBB = Osterreichische Bundesbahnen (Austrian Railway)