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Case Studies / A Telecommunication Project for Drava River Hydropower Plants
The European Bank supported a project for the renovation of the Drava River Power Plants in 1993 with a loan. The first goal of the project was to increase power production, followed by enlarging the variability of power transmitted into the electrical network. This goal was achieved by using a remote control system consisting of control-switching part and digital telecommunication parts.

The project's investor was Dravske Elektrarne Maribor (DEM). The public tender for the communication network was released in 1995 and the winner was Iskra Teling; the subcontractor for the transmission part of the network was Iskra Transmission.

Network lay-out for the River Drava Hydropower Plants

The purpose of the intelligent digital network is to connect the chain of eight power plants on the river Drava to the remote control center in Maribor, to other power distribution networks in Slovenia, Austria and Croatia and to the public telecommunications network. The project was started in 1995 and finished in 1996.

The network is set up with SparkWave digital radio-relay systems and SparkLine optical transmission systems. Optical links along the river of Drava from KW Schwabegg, Dravograd, and Formin to the VaraĹždin hydropower plant have been established with two optical cables and SparkLine optical equipment. This also ensures the connection to the Power Distribution Company of Maribor and Celje and the connection to ELES (Elektro Slovenija). There are 82 installed SparkLine Devices. The transmission capacity is 4x2 and 34 Mbit/s. Ring configurations of SparkLine and SparkWave system ensure traffic protection in the case of system or path outage.

SparkWave for the Drava River Power Plants Project - laboratory set-up

The backbone network to the Republic Remote Control Centre in Ljubljana was set up with SparkWave 8 Mbit/s systems from three locations: Dravograd, Maribor and Formin. Relay stations are at Plesivec, Pohorje and Kum mountains. The configuration of all the links is 1+1 hot stand-by.

Multi-protection by optical SparkLine rings along the river Drava and SparkWave radios ensures high system reliability. All Iskra Transmission devices have the built-in SparkView Network Element Management System, ensuring additional high quality and trouble-free operation.
 
 
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