Dewatering the Channel Tunnel
AuCom soft starters have been used since the 1990s to drain water from the Channel Tunnel linking Great Britain to Europe.
The Eurotunnel system consists of two rail tunnels, each 50 kilometres long, and a smaller service tunnel. Water is drained from the tunnels by large submersible pumps, and reliable operation is critical - there are more than 200 train movements in each direction every day.
Eurotunnel engineers sought a high-quality solution to control all pumping processes during excavation. Voltage disturbances, jammed pumps and fluid hammer could all bring this vital transport link to a standstill.
AuCom soft starters offer important features which keep the tunnel running smoothly:
From the outset, the Eurotunnel engineers knew they needed to work with an experienced supplier who could guarantee maximum reliability. In an international tender process, they selected AuCom based on the company's product range, experience and excellent level of support.
- Soft start reduces voltage disturbance and reduces current levels during starting.
- Soft stop prevents water hammer, avoiding serious damage to pipework.
- Start monitoring prevents damage to the pump if it stalls or jams. Instead of stepping through to full voltage and subjecting the pump and motor to damaging electrical and mechanical stresses, AuCom soft starters shut the equipment down safely.
- Extensive motor and system protection features (such as overcurrent, overtemperature and phase loss) make AuCom soft starters the obvious choice for such a critical application.