01.03.2021 Projects

MR technology supports digital transformation in China

MR China supplies tap-changers for new Alibaba Jiangsu Cloud Computing Data Center

China has also seen a surge in online purchases during the Corona pandemic, necessitating an expansion of its IT infrastructure. Alibaba therefore built its largest cloud computing data center in East China to date in Nantong last year. In the final expansion stage, 300,000 servers are to work here. Three substations secure the power supply to the data center. Our subsidiary MR China supplies six VACUTAP® on-load tap-changers for the project to always ensure stable voltage conditions.

As the domestic Corona pandemic has been well controlled, China's central government has repeatedly launched new infrastructure projects over the past year to promote the digital transformation of the Chinese economy. High-quality development is being pushed forward. Cloud computing is acting as a driver here. As the most important foundation for Internet, Big Data, artificial intelligence and other new technologies, cloud computing acts as the link of the new infrastructure. The Alibaba Jiangsu Cloud Computing Data Center is being built in the Nantong Development Area. The new data center will manage the operations of Taobao, an online auction house. The contract was signed in May 2020. The investment volume totals CNY 15 billion (2.3 billion USD). With its largest cloud computing data center in East China, Alibaba enters a new era and can provide better and more convenient services to the global market.

VACUTAP® VM® ensures stable operation
Due to the large capacity of the cloud computer center, high user traffic and high reliability required, Alibaba is building three 110 kV substations with a total capacity of 300 MVA dual power supply for first-class power supply. Highest reliability, maximum stability and minimum risk of failure ˗ these are the requirements for the transformers and components. Alibaba therefore uses vacuum technology from Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen for the tap-changers. The VACUTAP® VM® is the optimal solution for these requirements, offering maximum reliability with the lowest maintenance costs and a long service life. In the future, six VACUTAP® VM® will be operating in the three substations.

The VACUTAP® VM® on-load tap-changer is a long lasting solution for this application, offering a maintenance interval of 300,000 tap-change operations. The lifetime of the diverter switch insert is 1.2 million tap-change operations. Thanks to VACUTAP® Arc Control System®, the switching arc is extinguished with absolute reliability, and thanks to VACUTAP® Step Protection System®, the diverter switch is effectively protected against overvoltage in the grid. The VACUTAP® VM® offers maximum operational reliability and is therefore the optimum solution for both, grid operation and industrial applications. With the quality from the world market leader, the stable operation of the Alibaba Jiangsu Cloud Computing Data Center is ensured.

In response to the tight delivery schedule and strict product quality requirements for the Alibaba project, the entire production and testing period for MR was less than four weeks. To ensure that the transformer for the Alibaba project could be put into service on schedule, our Suzhou factory worked intensively on production, so that the project could be delivered on time. Working together with Alibaba to build the big data industry chain is a new milestone of MR business in China. It is not only a new starting point but also an opportunity to promote in-depth collaboration between the two sides. At the same time, MR is implementing the global market strategy of replacing oil technology with vacuum technology. Winning the Alibaba project is the proof of the reputation of domestic VACUTAP® VM® in the Chinese market and promotes further sales.

MR continues to stand ready to support digitalization in China. On the one hand by supplying highly reliable actuators and components for supply transformers, and on the other hand by providing solutions for digitalization for transformers and substations, for example with ETOS®, our open operating system for smart transformers which is the first of it’s kind in the world.

The Alibaba Group operates, among others, the eponymous B2B platform Alibaba.com as well as the online auction house Taobao and is, according to its own information, the largest IT group of companies in China.