Arcteq protection relays meet CERN’s tightened technical criteria

Arcteq Relays supplies CERN with nearly 250 protection relays to protect and control the electrical grid and power supply.

Arcteq protection relays meet CERN’s tightened technical criteria

Arcteq Relays has signed a five-year frame agreement with the European nuclear research center CERN, supplying CERN with nearly 250 protection relays to protect and control their electrical grid and power supply.

Arcteq won this contract for the second time in a row. The first contract was signed in 2017 when it was agreed that Arcteq would deliver over 300 protection relays to the facilities of one of the world’s largest and most respected scientific institutions operating on the border of Switzerland and France.

We are very pleased that our technologically up-to-date protection units met CERN’s tightened criteria and passed their evaluation process, as this allows us to continue our partnership,” states Robert Olander, Arcteq’s Sales and Marketing Manager.

For Arcteq, a company that mainly operates in export markets, having its products evaluated and again selected for use by a world-renowned institution like CERN is an important merit.

A part of a diverse whole

At CERN, Arcteq’s relays are a part of a diverse electrical system. When the accelerators are running normally, CERN consumes approximately 1.2 TWh of electricity per year with peaks of up to 180 MW. The research center’s power grid is composed of more than one hundred medium and high voltage substations at 3.3 kV,18 kV, 66 kV, and 400 kV voltage levels. Various protection relay technologies and brands coexist simultaneously, from electromechanical relays of the ’60 and static relays of the ’80 up to fully digital, IEC 61850-based relays.

So far about 16 % of our protection relays are manufactured by Arcteq, and with this new contract that number will most likely rise to about 30 %,” says Emanuele Freddi, responsible for HV network protection system at CERN. “Mainly Arcteq relays will take over the static relays but are also used for some brand-new substations.”

According to Freddi, Arcteq’s relays are used in multiple substations at CERN, including ME9, one of the three substations of the 18 kV backbone featuring the so-called auto-transfer, an automatic network reconfiguration system capable of transferring critical loads on a backup supply from Switzerland in the event of failure of the main supply from France or an internal fault. Another notable application is the SPS accelerator, a double ring network counting six substations over a 7-km circumference, now almost completely protected by Arcteq relays.

Arcteq Relays

Arcteq Relays was founded in 2010 in Vaasa, within the largest energy technology cluster in the Nordic countries. The company designs and manufactures various grid protection and control products and markets them in over 40 countries on five continents. Over 90 % of Arcteq’s products are exported. The company employs 37 people. 75 % of the company is owned by Ensto, a Finnish technology company and family business, with the remaining 25% of the stakes owned by the Arcteq key personnel.

Additional information:

Sales & Marketing Manager Robert Olander, +358 (0)40 743 4647,