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Power to the Pearl

The Pearl, a unique man made island just off the Arabian peninsular, will have power distributed to its luxury residences thanks to GenieEvo equipment from Merlin Gerin, a brand of Schneider Electric.

At the end of a searching two-year qualification process that involved the evaluation of products from a large number of international suppliers, Qatar Power Corporation (QPC), the main contractor for the project, and United Development Company (UDC), their client, placed an order worth over £3 million for Merlin Gerin GenieEvo medium voltage distribution equipment.

The original specification for this project, which was written by Dai Al Hand Consultants had, in fact called for withdrawable switchgear. The Schneider Electric team was, however, successful in convincing the specifiers that GenieEvo, which is fixed-pattern but demountable switchgear, would provide a better solution.

Destined to form the backbone of the 11kV distribution system providing power to much of the prestigious Pearl residential and leisure development in Qatar, the equipment will be installed in over 25 separate substations that make up a ring main system on the development's main island.

The Pearl, Qatar, is multi-billion dollar man made island covering 400 hectares of reclaimed land just off the coast of the State of Qatar. It is designed to provide the highest quality living accommodation and a secure environment for up to 40,000 residents in 11,000 luxury villas, town houses, penthouses and apartments spread throughout ten distinctive themed districts.

The development, which is the first of its kind in Qatar, will also include five-star hotels, marinas and schools, as well as high-class retail and restaurant offerings, making it an attractive destination for residents and investors.

The requirement for dependable energy infrastructure in the ambitious project was one of the major factors that led QPC and UDC to specify GenieEvo equipment, which has an established reputation for reliability, versatility and long life.

The equipment supplied by Schneider Electric for the Pearl, Qatar, comprises customised panels with GenieEvo 630A and 1250A circuit breakers used as incomers, feeders and bus section switches. All of the equipment is based on demountable circuit breaker elements that make maintenance fast and straightforward, together with controlled-air resin-encapsulated series disconnectors for maximum safety.

The switchgear is complemented by Merlin Gerin Sepam digital protection relays that combine high accuracy with ease of setting, and which require no routine maintenance. The panels supplied for the project also include additional relays, test sockets and comprehensive metering.

Factory acceptance testing was undertaken by representatives from Dai Al Hand, QPC and UDC. As part of the acceptance process, Schneider Electric also provided comprehensive factory-based product training for these representatives.

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