ABB’s PCS100 Reactive Power Conditioner powers one of New Zealand’s most popular tourist attractions


Passengers will be treated to a smooth, uninterrupted journey on Wellington's iconic cable car, courtesy of ABB's 100 kVar Reactive Power Conditioner (RPC) which is helping improve the power quality for the cable car's electrical drive system.

The project on New Zealand's capital city's funicular railway includes many exclusive milestones for ABB. As well as being the first PCS100 installed in New Zealand, it is the first in the public transport industry globally. It is also the smallest footprint PCS100 product ever built.

An economical solution

Based on a unique modular design providing high reliability, the PCS100 RPC will provide such benefits as:

  • Preventing costly penalties due to poor power factor or harmonics.
  • Ensuring correct operation of 3-phase rectifier loads, extending their lifetime, by correcting for voltage unbalance.
  • Lowering maintenance costs by not exposing equipment to poor quality power.
  • Eliminating the risk associated with traditional power factor capacitor correction systems such as, overheating caused by harmonic resonance problems.

Gavin MacIntyre, Wellington Cable Car’s maintenance manager, highlighted how the RPC will improve the cable car’s performance: “The RPC will correct power factor grid compliance and dampen the harmonics that can disrupt the cable cars positioning system and relays”.

In 2012 the cable car celebrated 110 years of service to the City of Wellington. A favorite of locals and visitors alike, the cable car allows easy access from its terminal on Lambton Quay in the CBD, to the top entrance of the Botanic Garden and the Kelburn lookout.

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