The London Underground Prepares for the 2012 Olympics with New Power Supplies

The London Underground Central Line is ensuring its reliability for the 2012 London Olympics by upgrading electronic component systems together with two Finnish companies. The power supply expertise of Powernet complemented the overall solution implemented by EKE-Electronics.

The Finnish power source electronics supplier Powernet has delivered new power supplies to London Underground’s Central Line, improving its operational efficiency. The Central Line is London’s longest Underground line, providing transportation for over 180 million passengers each year. The Underground system will play a key role in the logistics of the 2012 Summer Olympics. Millions of visitors will attend the games, and their mobility must be ensured throughout the event.

The original power supplies, integrated into the EKE-Trainnet train information system in the early 1990s, worked without a glitch. However, the theoretical lifespan of a power supply is approximately 20 years, as the electronic capacitor components gradually dry up, and their functionality begins to deteriorate.

At the turn of 2010/2011, a total of 3,600 new Finnish-made power supplies were delivered. The power supplies are designed using modern components while simultaneously making sure that they fit existing mechanics and are fully compatible with the system platform.

The new power supplies delivered by Powernet are expected to last until the 2030s, without any maintenance effort required. The Central Line’s EKE-Trainnet train information system includes 175 train computers, 175 coach computers, over 5,000 intelligent I/O modules, and approximately 1,000 interface units to other systems inside the trains.

“The project was demanding, and subcontractors needed to put in their best performance. The project environment presented greater-than-average challenges as e.g. vibrations are present constantly. Temperatures also vary significantly, which tests the power supply components. This is why our decision was to cooperate with Powernet and choose power source solutions of exceptionally high quality and with first-class materials,” says Mika Linden, director of EKE-Electronics.

“We are proud to be able to provide EKE-Electronics and the London Underground with unequalled power source expertise,” says Eero Kaasalainen, sales manager at Powernet.

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