Channel Tunnel, the Longest Undersea Tunnel in the World, Reaches a Technological Grid Milestone With GE

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Feb 01, 2023

Today the Channel Tunnel, the longest undersea tunnel in the world, reached a technological milestone with Getlink’s commissioning of a high-voltage grid solution from GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions business [NYSE:GE]. GE’s flexible Static Synchronous Compensator (STATCOM) solution delivers the fast voltage support Eurotunnel requires to be able to run up to 16 trains simultaneously in the Channel Tunnel - a 60% increase in maximum capacity or as many as 1,000 trains per day.

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The world's largest and most powerful Static Synchronous Compensator (STATCOM) solution in a railway environment was developed by GE Grid Solutions and adapted to the Channel Tunnel in collaboration with Eurostar (Graphic: GE)

The busiest and most heavily used rolling motorway in the world, Eurotunnel decided to increase the power and stability of its network to ensure a constant flow of traffic and meet peak demand when multiple trains run simultaneously. The STATCOM solution, developed by GE and adapted to the Channel Tunnel in collaboration with Eurostar, supports voltage stability, grid resilience, and enhanced power transfer capability.

The STATCOM solution will double the reactive compensation power flow as well as improve stability even during peak periods and deliver enhanced quality of service, by enabling optimized regularity of the freight and passenger shuttle service.

“Faithful to its pioneering spirit, the Channel Tunnel welcomes the world's largest and most powerful STATCOM solution in a railway environment. This state-of-the-art technological system reinforces the reliability and capacity of our infrastructure and ensures optimal operational performance for our customers,” said Nicolas Brossier, Engineering & Projects Director for Eurotunnel.

GE’s STATCOM technology will enable the Channel Tunnel infrastructure to remain in place for the long term. Expected traffic growth will facilitate the access to a new generation of speed trains, which will support the development of new cross-Channel services.

Amar Chaabi, Chief Operations Officer of Eurostar Group, stated: “As pioneers of high-speed rail transport in Europe, Eurostar Group is proud to be part of this adventure that pushes the boundaries of cross-Channel travel. By improving the efficiency of the infrastructure and increasing the number of trains running through the tunnel, this new technological advance will support our ambitious target of carrying 30 million passengers a year by 2030, across our network.”

GE is a leader in the industry in developing high-voltage grid solutions, including STATCOM, SVC, Series Compensation Systems, and Synchronous Condensers—resulting in project cost savings, increased quality, greater reliability, and lower environmental impact.

Read the full news release here.


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