How smart e-mobility infrastructure supports the transition to carbon neutral public transport in the Merseyside area.
Arriva Merseyside is a public transport operator running bus services in and around the Liverpool City Region, providing public transport services to the nearly 1.5 million local residents.
Arriva is committed to making its business carbon neutral by 2030. The company also wants to reduce its impact on air quality in the urban centres where its services operate.
In 2018, Arriva Merseyside purchased 12 Enviro Buses, BYD ADL Enviro200EV single deck pure electric buses to serve some of the bus routes in Liverpool’s city centre. The e-buses joined the 51 hybrid and 9 gas buses already added to the fleet earlier that year. This was the introduction of the final part of a £21 million investment into cutting edge green technology from Arriva Merseyside. The purchase was also supported through a successful £5 million bid for Government (OLEV) funding for new, greener buses, in partnership with Arriva.
“Arriva is committed to reducing carbon emissions, both by encouraging more people to use public transport and by minimising our own environmental impact” says Marcello Giovanardi
Category Manager – Fuel, Lubricants, Utilities at Arriva. “We were already working with Schneider Electric as our partner on energy bill validations and commodity risk management for the depot, so we’re aware of their expertise in this area and reputation for delivering reliable high-performance solutions.”
Arriva’s environmental commitment extends to its power infrastructure, which is vital to supporting the increasing number of electric vehicles in its fleet. They were therefore seeking a partner with strong sustainability credentials to design and install the electrical infrastructure to deliver an industrial supply at the depot in Green Lane, Merseyside. The central requirement of the project was to provide reliable and secure electricity supply for 6 double bus chargers on a charging island in the middle of the depot.
A key goal was to minimise disruption to normal bus services during the installation process. It was essential that the solution enabled a reliable and resilient power supply with 100% uptime to the electric bus chargers. The provider of electrical infrastructure would be required to work in close collaboration with both the charger manufacturer and the local network operator, to ensure all components of the new system met the required regulatory standards as well as Arriva’s Health & Safety policy for people on site.
The solution itself was required to be highly durable and withstand all weather in its outdoor location, whilst also having a minimal footprint as space is at a premium in the urban setting of the Green Lane depot.
With Arriva’s commitment to transition towards emissions-free operations, the charging infrastructure would also need to have capacity to grow the number of electric buses it services in the future.
The project began with a comprehensive consultation process with Arriva Merseyside and the other technology and utilities partners involved, Schneider Electric, led by its Power Consultancy team. The parties then designed, then installed and manufactured an 11kV packaged substation in a configuration tailored to the project requirements. Key features included the implementation of a low voltage MCCB feeder pillar, RN2c T2/21 ring main unit (RMU), and transformer to step down the supply to 415v as required by the chargers. The MCCB feeder pillar featured ComPact NS circuit breakers at 1600A to enable built-in power and energy metering functionalities through embedded MicroControl units. The direct coupling used in the substation design means that the product required minimal cabling to be installed and will require minimal maintenance over its lifetime, reducing overall cost.
The 11kV packaged substation, including switchgear and transformer, is manufactured in Schneider Electric’s plant in Leeds under a direct and controlled factory assembly, making the overall product incredibly safe. The packaged substation offer is also consistent with Arriva Merseyside’s environmental commitment, having been manufactured to meet the ISO 14001 environmental standards as standard.
The substation was installed on the depot’s land near the perimeter of the site, making the most effective use of space available in the urban location. This was possible due to the highly durable design of the components. The MCCB feeder pillar, designed for the UK market, is fully compliant with ISO 12924 standard to ensure that components will not rust even when constantly exposed to the elements for years.
Delivered as a single unit, the substation implementation was a time-efficient and streamlined process, successfully minimising disruption to on site operation of bus services during the project. The unit also has capacity to support a larger number of chargers, should Arriva Merseyside decide to expand the all-electric portion of its fleet in future – without further expansion of the depot’s power infrastructure.
The depot now has two separate power supplies, providing back up capability where required to ensure Arriva has even greater resiliency of supply.
Arriva Merseyside now has a safe, reliable and convenient charging infrastructure in place for the 12 electric buses in its Merseyside fleet. Continuous achievement of 100% uptime and a charge time of 4-6 hours allows buses to be charged overnight, which is convenient, efficient, and cost-effective. Using this system, Arriva Merseyside can now operate its first all-electric bus route in Merseyside. The Schneider Electric solutions are contributing to cleaner, greener public transport for the Merseyside area.
Arriva Merseyside now has the capacity to scale the number of chargers at the Green Lane depot going forwards, to accelerate its progress towards its carbon neutral 2030 goal. The shift towards more electrified public transport is expected to combat air pollution in the local area, as well as take Arriva one step closer to its company-wide carbon neutral goal.
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