Siemens delivers power substations to Observatory

17 January 2017

Siemens has received an order from ESO (European Southern Observatory) in Chile to supply and install three container substations. These compact stations are equipped with medium-voltage switchgear, low-voltage switchgear, dry-type transformers and secondary systems, and will ensure a reliable power supply to the Very Large Telescope (VLT) array and other telescopes. The VLT is the most advanced of its kind and is situated on the 2,600-meter Cerro Paranal mountain in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. The order has a volume of approximately EUR 1.2 million.

The compact stations are modular substations, prefabricated and pre-tested on a customer-specific basis, for reliable power supply. Siemens will install 8DJH medium-voltage switchgear, Sivacon S8 low-voltage switchgear and transformers in the compact stations for the European Southern Observatory. The compact stations from Siemens are completely manufactured, installed and pre-tested in the factory and then assembled, connected and commissioned on site. This makes them fast and easy to set up. These substations are also easy to upgrade and make the best possible use of the available space. As a result, they are a time-saving and economical alternative to conventional stations built on site and are suitable for a wide range of applications.

The Very Large Telescope (VLT) array in Chile is part of the Paranal Observatory, the flagship facility for European ground-based astronomy, and it is the world's most advanced optical instrument. The VLT array consists of four unit telescopes, each with a main mirror measuring 8.2 meters in diameter, and four moving 1.8 meter auxiliary telescopes, all of which can be combined into one large array. The telescope is operated by the European Southern Observatory (ESO), the leading European organization for astronomical research.