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Compact design reduces volume by up to 33 percent and lowers environmental impact

ABB's latest generation 420 kV GIS (April 2012)

ABB's latest generation 420 kV GIS (April 2012)

Zurich, Switzerland, April 23, 2012 – ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, announced the launch of its new generation 420kV (kilovolt) Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIS) at the Hannover Fair being held in Germany from 23-27 April 2012. The new design reduces product volume by up to 33 per cent (width x depth x height) compared to its predecessor resulting in a considerably smaller footprint.

The compactness of the unit makes it ideally suited for installations where space is a constraint and also reduces the amount of SF6 insulating gas requirement by as much as 40 percent making it more environmentally friendly. It is also designed to enhance resource efficiency by reducing thermal losses, lowering transportation costs and optimizing investment in infrastructure.

The new GIS can be factory assembled, tested, and shipped as one bay in a container instead of multiple assembly units, saving site installation and commissioning time by up to 40 percent compared with traditional designs. Frontal access to drives, position indicators and service platforms enable easier operation, inspection and maintenance. Standardized modules and connection elements also enable flexibility in terms of configurations and building optimization.

The product features a fast single-interrupter dual motion circuit breaker and has been designed for current ratings up to 5000A (amperes). It is capable of providing protection to power networks with rated short-circuit currents up to 63kA (kilo amperes).

“A compact and more user friendly design, faster on-site commissioning and lower environmental impact are some of the key features of this latest generation of Gas Insulated Switchgear”, said Giandomenico Rivetti, head of ABB’s High Voltage Products business, a part of the company’s Power Products division. “The introduction of this 420kV GIS is part of ABB’s ongoing technology and innovation focus and follows the recent launch of our advanced 245kV and 72.5kV versions.”

In a power system, switchgear is used to control, protect and isolate electrical equipment thereby enhancing the reliability of electrical supply. With GIS technology, key components including contacts and conductors are protected with insulating gas. Compactness, reliability and robustness make this a preferred solution where space is a constraint (e.g. busy cities) or in harsh environmental conditions.

ABB pioneered high-voltage GIS in the mid-1960s and continues to drive technology and innovation, offering a full range product portfolio with voltage levels from 72.5kV to 1,100kV. As a market leader in high-voltage GIS technology, ABB has a global installed base of more than 20,000 bays.

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 135,000 people.


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ABB is a major transformer manufacturer throughout the world. ABB power transformers are built and designed to meet the individual customer’s needs. This experienced attendance to details lies behind the success of ABB’s transformers.

This approach is carried throughout the manufacturing process: design, core, winding, drying, tank, quality assurance, assembly, testing, transport and installation and support.


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Cost benefits of AC drives

Cost benefits of AC drives

In addition to their technical advantages, AC drives also provide many cost benefits. In this chapter, these benefits are reviewed, with the costs divided into investment, installation and opera- tional costs.

At the moment there are still plenty of motors sold without variable speed AC drives. This pie chart shows how many motors below 2.2 kW are sold with frequency converters, and how many without. Only 3% of motors in this power range are sold each year with a frequency converter; 97% are sold without an AC drive.
This is astonishing considering what we have seen so far in this guide. Even more so after closer study of the costs of an AC drive compared to conventional control methods. But first let’s review AC drive technology compared to other control methods.

How many motors below 2.2 kW are sold with frequency converters, and how many without

How many motors below 2.2 kW are sold with and without frequency converters


Technical differences between other systems and AC drives

AC drive technology is completely different from other, simpler control methods. It can be compared, for example, to the dif- ference between a zeppelin and a modern airplane.

We could also compare AC drive technology to the develop- ment from a floppy disk to a CD-ROM. Although it is a simpler information storage method, a floppy disk can only handle a small fraction of the information that a CD-ROM can.

The benefits of both these innovations are generally well known. Similarly, AC drive technology is based on a totally different technology to earlier control methods. In this guide, we have presented the benefits of the AC drive compared to simpler control methods.

Technical differences between other systems and AC drives

Technical differences between other systems and AC drives


No mechanical control parts needed

To make a proper cost comparison, we need to study the configurations of different control methods. Here we have used pumping as an example. In traditional methods, there is always a mechanical part and an electrical part.

In throttling you need fuses, contactors and reactors on the electrical side and valves on the mechanical side. In On/Off control, the same electrical components are needed, as well as a pressure tank on the mechanical side. The AC drive provides a new solution. No mechanics are needed, because all control is already on the electrical side.

Another benefit, when thinking about cost, is that with an AC drive we can use a regular 3-phase motor, which is much cheaper than the single phase motors used in other control methods. We can still use 220 V single phase supply, when speaking of power below 2.2 kW.

Conventional methods:AC drive:
• Both electrical and mechanical parts• All in one
• Many electrical parts• Only one electrical component
• Mechanical parts need regular maintenance• No mechanical parts, no wear and tear
• Mechanical control is energy consuming• Saves energy


Factors affecting cost

This list compares the features of conventional control methods with those of the AC drive, as well as their effect on costs. In conventional methods there are both electrical and mechanical components, which usually have to be purchased separately. The costs are usually higher than if everything could be pur- chased at once. Furthermore, mechanical parts wear out quickly. This directly affects maintenance costs and in the long run, maintenance is a very important cost item. In conventional methods there are also many electrical components. The installation cost is at least doubled when there are several different types of components rather than only one.

And last but not least, mechanical control is very energy con- suming, while AC drives practically save energy. This not only helps reduce costs, but also helps minimise environmental impact by reducing emissions from power plants.

Investment costs: Mechanical and electrical components

Price Comparison For Pumps

Price Comparison For Pumps

In this graph, the investment structure as well as the total price of each pump control method is presented. Only the pump itself is not added to the costs because its price is the same regardless of whether it’s used with an AC drive or valves. In throttling, there are two possibilities depending on whether the pump is used in industrial or domestic use. In an industrial environment there are stricter requirements for valves and this increases costs.

The motor
As can be seen, the motor is much more expensive for traditional control methods than for the AC drive. This is due to the 3-phase motor used with the AC drive and the single phase motor used in other control methods.
The AC drive
The AC drive does not need any mechanical parts, which reduc- es costs dramatically. Mechanical parts themselves are almost always less costly than a frequency converter, but electrical parts also need to be added to the total investment cost.
After taking all costs into account, an AC drive is almost always the most economical investment, when compared to differ- ent control methods. Only throttling in domestic use is as low cost as the AC drive. These are not the total costs, however. Together with investment costs we need to look at installation and operational costs.

ThrottlingAC drive
Installation material20 USD10 USD
Installation work5h x 65 USD = 325 USD1h x 65 USD = 65 USD
Commissioning work1h x 65 USD = 65 USD1h x 65 USD = 65 USD
Savings in installation: 270 USD!


Installation costs: Throttling compared to AC drive

Because throttling is the second lowest investment after the AC drive, we will compare its installation and operating costs to the cost of the AC drive. As mentioned earlier, in throttling there are both electrical and mechanical components. This means twice the amount of installation material is needed.

Installation work is also at least doubled in throttling compared to the AC drive. To install a mechanical valve into a pipe is not that simple and this increases installation time. To have a mechanical valve ready for use usually requires five hours compared to one hour for the AC drive. Multiply this by the hourly rate charged by a skilled installer to get the total installation cost.

The commissioning of a throttling-based system does not usu- ally require more time than commissioning an AC drive based system. One hour is usually the time required in both cases. So now we can summarise the total installation costs. As you can see, the AC drive saves up to USD 270 per installation. So even if the throttling investment costs were lower than the price of a single phase motor (approximately USD 200), the AC drive would pay for itself before it has even worked a second.

ThrottlingAC drive
Power required0.75 kW0.37 kW
Annual energy 4000 hours/year 3000 kWh1500 kWh
Annual energy cost with 0.1 USD/kWh300 USD150 USD
Maintenance/year40 USD5 USD
Savings in installation: 185 USD!


Operational costs: Maintenance and drive energy

In many surveys and experiments it has been proved that a 50% energy saving is easily achieved with an AC drive. This means that where power requirements with throttling would be 0.75 kW, with the AC drive it would be 0.37 kW. If a pump is used 4000 hours per year, throttling would need 3000 kWh and the AC drive 1500 kWh of energy per year.
To calculate the savings, we need to multiply the energy con- sumption by the energy price, which varies depending on the country. Here USD 0.1 per kWh has been used.

As mentioned earlier, mechanical parts wear a lot and this is why they need regular maintenance. It has been estimated that whereas throttling requires USD 40 per year for service, maintenance costs for an AC drive would be USD 5. In many cases however, there is no maintenance required for a frequency converter.

Therefore, the total savings in operating costs would be USD 185, which is approximately half of the frequency convert- er’s price for this power range. This means that the payback time of the frequency converter is two years. So it is worth considering that instead of yearly service for an old valve it might be more profitable to change the whole system to an AC drive based control. To retrofit an existing throttling system the pay-back time is two years.

Total cost comparison

Total Savings Over 10 Year - USD 1562

Total Savings Over 10 Year - USD 1562

In the above figure, all the costs have been summarised. The usual time for an operational cost calculation for this kind of investment is 10 years. Here the operational costs are rated to the present value with a 10% interest rate.

In the long run, the conventional method will be more than twice as expensive as a frequency converter. Most of the savings with the AC drive come from the operational costs, and especially from the energy savings. It is in the installation that the high- est individual savings can be achieved, and these savings are realised as soon as the drive is installed.

Taking the total cost figure into account, it is very difficult to understand why only 3% of motors sold have a frequency con- verter. In this guide we have tried to present the benefits of the AC drive and why we at ABB think that it is absolutely the best possible way to control your process.



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ABB Feeder Protection REF615 ANSI

ABB Feeder Protection REF615 ANSI

The REF615 is powerful, most advanced and simplest feeder protection relay in its class, perfectly offering time and instantaneous overcurrent, negative sequence overcurrent, phase discontinuity, breaker failure and thermal overload protection. The relay also features optional high impedance fault (HIZ) and sensitive earth fault (SEF) protection for grounded and ungrounded distribution systems. Also, the relay incorporates a flexible three-phase multi-shot auto-reclose function for automatic feeder restoration in temporary faults on overhead lines. Enhanced with safety options, the relay offers a three-channel arc-fault detection system for supervision of the switchgear circuit breaker, cable and busbar compartments.

The REF615 also integrates basic control functionality, which facilitates the control of one circuit breaker via the relay’s front panel human machine interface (HMI) or remote control system. To protect the relay from unauthorized access and to maintain the integrity of information, the relay has been provided with a four-level, role-based user authentication system, with individual passwords for the viewer, operator, engineer and administrator level. The access control system applies to the front panel HMI, embedded web browser based HMI and the PCM600 relay setting and configuration tool.

Standardized communication

REF615 supports the new IEC 61850 standard for inter-device communication in substations. The relay also supports the industry standard DNP3.0 and Modbus® protocols.

The implementation of the IEC 61850 substation communication standard in REF615 encompasses both vertical and horizontal communication, including GOOSE messaging and parameter setting according to IEC 61850-8-1. The substation configuration language enables the use of engineering tools for automated configuration, commissioning and maintenance of substation devices.

Bus protection via GOOSE

The REF615 IEC 61850 implementation includes GOOSE messaging for fast horizontal relay-to-relay communication. Applying GOOSE communication to the REF615 relays of the incoming and outgoing feeders of a substation, a stable, reliable and high-speed bus protection system can be realized. The cost-effective GOOSE-based bus protection is obtained just by configuring the relays and the operational availability of the protection is assured by continuous supervision of the protection relays and their GOOSE messaging over the station communication network.

Costs are reduced since no separate physical input and output hard-wiring is needed for horizontal communication between the relays.

Bus protection via GOOSE

Bus protection via GOOSE

Pre-emptive condition monitoring

For continuous knowledge of the operational availability of the REF615 features, a comprehensive set of monitoring functions to supervise the relay health, the trip circuit and the circuit breaker health is included. The breaker monitoring can include checking the wear and tear of the circuit breaker, the spring charging time of the breaker operating mechanism and the gas pressure of the breaker chambers. The relay also monitors the breaker travel time and the number of circuit breaker (CB) operations to provide basic information for scheduling CB maintenance.

Rapid set-up and commissioning

Due to the ready-made adaptation of REF615 for the protection of feeders, the relay can be rapidly set up and commissioned, once it has been given the application- specific relay settings. If the relay needs to be adapted to the special requirements of the intended application, the flexibility of the relay allows the relay’s standard signal configuration to be adjusted by means of the signal matrix tool (SMT) included in its PCM600 relay setting and configuration user tool.

By means of Connectivity Packages containing complete descriptions of ABB’s protection relays, with data signals, parameters and addresses, the relays can be automatically configured via PCM600 relay setting and configuration user tool, COM600 Station Automation series devices, or MicroSCADA Pro substation automation system.

Unique draw-out design relay

The draw-out type relay design speeds up installation and testing of the protection. The factory-tested relay units can be withdrawn from the relay cases during factory and commissioning tests. The relay case provides automatic short-circuiting of the CT secondary circuits to prevent hazardous voltages from arising in the CT circuits when a relay plug-in unit is withdrawn from its case.

The pull-out handle locking the relay unit into its case can be sealed to prevent the unit from being unintentionally withdrawn from the relay case.

REF615 highlights

  • Comprehensive overcurrent protection with high impedance fault, sensitive earth fault and thermal overload protection for feeder and dedicated protection schemes
  • Simultaneous DN3.0 Level 2+ and Modbus Ethernet communications plus device connectivity and system interoperability according to the IEC 61850 standard for next generation substation communication
  • Enhanced digital fault recorder functionality including high sampling frequency, extended length of records, 4 analog and 64 binary channels and flexible triggering possibilities
  • High-speed, three-channel arc flash detection (AFD) for increased personal safety, reduced material damage and minimized system down-time
  • Total control of the operational capability of the protection system through extensive condition monitoring of the relay and the associated primary equipment
  • Draw-out type relay unit and a unique relay case design for a variety of mounting methods and fast installation, routine testing and maintenance
  • One single tool for managing relay settings, signal configuration and disturbance handling

Analog inputs

  • Three phase currents: 5/1 A
  • Ground current: 5/1 A or 0.2 A
  • Rated frequency: 60/50 Hz programmable

Binary inputs and outputs

  • Four binary inputs with common ground
  • Two NO double-pole outputs with TCM
  • Two NO single-pole outputs
  • One Form C signal output
  • One Form C self-check alarm output
  • Additional seven binary inputs plus three binary outputs (available as an option)


  • IEC 61850-8-1 with GOOSE messaging
  • DNP3.0 Level 2+ over TCP/IP
  • Modbus over TCP/IP
  • Time synchronization via SNTP (primary and backup servers)
  • Optional serial RS-485 port programmable for DNP3.0 Level 2+ or Modbus RTU

Control voltage

  • Option 1: 48 … 250 V dc, 100 … 240 V ac
  • Option 2: 24 … 60 V dc




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ABB i-bus KNX - Constant lighting control

ABB i-bus KNX - Constant lighting control

Lighting in modern buildings is more than a basic requirement – it can play an important role in the architectural design and the energy efficiency of the building, not to mention the health, safety and well being of the occupants.

With an impressive spectrum of products for the control, measurement, regulation and automation of lighting, ABB i-bus® EIB / KNX can perform challenging lighting tasks.

The following elaboration on the topic of constant lighting control should provide adequate background information to:
- better understand the method of operation of a constant lighting control
- ensure optimum placement of the light sensors required to detect the actual value
- recognise critical ambient conditions which interfere with the function of the constant lighting control
- evaluate the physical limitations to which a constant lighting control is subject.

For this purpose it is necessary to understand the most important terms used in the field of lighting technology.

How does constant lighting control function?

In constant lighting control a light sensor installed on the ceiling measures the luminance of the surfaces in its detection range, e.g. the floor or the desks.

How does constant lighting control function?

This measured value (actual value) is compared with the predefined setpoint value, and the control value is adjusted so that the divergence between the setpoint and actual values is minimal. If it is brighter outside, the share of artificial lighting is reduced. If it is darker outside, the share of artificial lighting is increased. The exact function of the light controller is described in detail in the manual of the Light Controller LR/Sx.16.1.
A Luxmeter placed underneath the light sensor, e.g. on a desk, is used for setting the setpoint. This Luxmeter detects the degree of illumination which illuminates the surfaces underneath the light sensor.

The objective of a constant lighting control is to retain the set degree of illumination when a setpoint is set. To perfectly implement this objective, the light sensor should be placed exactly on the spot where the Luxmeter was placed to adjust the setpoint value, in order to also determine the degree of illumination. As this is not possible for practical reasons, the light sensor is generally mounted on the ceiling.

This is a compromise. For the reference setting of the setpoint, a Luxmeter is used for measurement of the degree of illumination; however, the light controller primarily detects the luminance underneath the light sensor. In this way the light controller indirectly maintains a constant degree of illumination. If certain constraints are not observed with indirect measurement, it can mean that the constant lighting control will not function or not function as required.

This is not a specific phenomenon just affecting our constant lighting control, but rather is the case for all constant lighting controls.

What is the difference between degree of illumination and luminance?

In order to fully appreciate the problems relating to indirect measurement, it is necessary to examine the most important terms used in lighting technology. Only the basic terms are explained and we will forego a more exact and detailed explanation or mathematical derivation of more complex terms, e.g. luminous intensity = luminous flux/steradian.
A luminary, e.g. a fluorescent tube, converts electrical energy to light. The light rays emitted by a light source (luminous exitance) are referred to as a luminous flux. The unit is the Lumen [lm]. Luminaries convert the input energy to light at varying degrees of efficiency.

CategoryTypeOverall luminous
efficency (lm/w)
Overall luminous
.Incadescent lamp.5 W incandescent lamp.5.0.7%
.40 W incandescent lamp.12.1.7%
.100 W incandescent lamp.15.2.1%
.Glass halogen.16.2.3%
.Quartz halogen.24.3.5%
.High temperature incandescent lamp .35.5.1%
.Fluoroscent lamp.5 – 26 W energy saving light bulb.45 – 70.6.6 – 10.3%
.26 – 70 W energy saving light bulb.70 – 75.10.3 – 11.0%
.Fluorescent tube with inductive ballast.60 – 90.7%
.Fluorescent tube with electronic ballast.80 – 110.11 – 16%
.Light emitting diode.Most efficient white LEDs on the market.35 – 100.5 – 15%
.White LED (prototype, in development).up to 150.up to 22%
.Arc lamp.Xenon arc lamp.typ. 30 – 50;
.up to 150
.4.4 – 7.3%;
.up to 22%
.Mercury Xenon arc lamp.50 – 55.7.3 – 8.0%
.High pressure mercury vapour lamp.36 (50W HQL) –
.60 (400W HQL)
.up to 8.8%
.Gas discharge lamp.Metal halide lamp.93 (70W HCI) –
.104 (250W HCI)
.up to 15%
.High pressure sodium lamp.150.22 %
.Low pressure sodium lamp.200.29%
.1400 W sulphur lamp.95.14%
.Theoretical maximum .683.100 %

In addition to the luminous flux there is the item luminous intensity, also referred to as the lumi- nous flux density. The luminous intensity is measured in Candelas [cd]. The Candela is a mea- surement unit for luminous intensity emitted by a light source in a particular direction. An exact definition will lead to a complex mathematical analysis, e.g. the explanation of a steradiant.

Simplification: A luminous intensity of 1 cd corresponds to the measured degree of illumination of 1 lx at a distance of 1 m from the light source.

The luminous flux emitted by the light source illuminates the surfaces that it meets. The intensity with which the surfaces are illuminated is referred to as the degree of illumination. The degree of illumination depends on the magnitude of the luminous flux and the size of the surfaces.
It is defined as follows:

E = Φ/ A [lx=lm/m2]

E = degree of illumination
Φ = luminous flux in lm
A = illuminated surface

In accordance with the above table, a 100 W incandescent lamp with 15 lm/W generates a maximum luminous flux of 1500 lm. If the entire luminous flux of the incandescent lamp is not emitted in a spherical manner into the room, but rather concentrated and distributed evenly on a surface of 1 m2, then the value for the degree of illumination at every point on the surface would be 1500 lx.

The perceived brightness of an illuminated surface depends on the illuminated surface and the reflectance of the illuminated surfaces. The reflectance is the reflected share of the luminous flux from the illuminated surface. Typical values for the reflectance are:

  • 90% highly polished silver
  • 75% white paper
  • 65% highly polished aluminium
  • 20% – 30% wood
  • < 5% black satin

The perceived brightness of an illuminated surface or a self-illuminating surface, e.g. an LCD monitor, is designated as the luminance. The unit of luminance is cd/m2.

If white paper is subject to a degree of illumination of 500 lx, then the luminance is about 130 – 150 cd/m2. At the same degree of illumination, environmentally-friendly paper has a luminance of about 90 – 100 cd/m2.

On what does the luminance measured by the light sensor respectively the measured value of the light sensor depend?

The luminance “primarily” detected by the light sensor depends on different criteria. It depends on the degree of illumination which the surfaces in the detection range of the light sensor are illuminated. The higher the degree of illumination, the higher the luminance of the illuminated surfaces.
The same applies for the reflectance of the surfaces. The higher the reflectance, the higher the luminance of the surfaces and thus the measured value of the sensor. The measured value of the sensor is the actual value used for lighting control.

The installed height of the sensor also plays a role. If the light sensor was an ideal “luminance measurement device”, then the luminance which it measures would be indepen- dent of the installation height of the light sensor. As this is not the case, the measured value of the sensor decreases as the installation height increases.

SOURCE: ABB | Practical Knowledge: ABB i-bus® KNX Constant lighting control


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ABB Technical Guides

ABB - 10 Technical Guides

Na stranici ABB Technical Guides su postavljeni tehnički vodiči (eng. Technical Guides) koje je objavio proizvođač opreme ABB. Postavljeno je 10 tehničkih vodiča koji se uglavnom bave temom frekventnih regulatora, upravljanjem motorima i slično.

Pored tehničkih vodiča, tu su i uputstvo za ekstruder sa AC motorima i uputstvo za korišćenje frekventnih regulatora u aplikaciji sa pumpama. Na ovoj strani se nalazi i e-knjiga Technical guide book u kojoj je nalazi veliki broj odgovora na važna pitanja.

ABB Drives: Technical Guides

  • Technical Guide 01 – Direct Torque Control
  • Technical Guide 02 – EU Council Directives and adjustable speed electrical power drive .systems
  • Technical Guide 03 – EMC compliant installation and configuration for a power drive .system
  • Technical Guide 04 – Guide to Variable Speed Drives
  • Technical Guide 05 – Bearing Currents in Modern AC Drive Systems
  • Technical Guide 06 – Guide to Harmonics with AC Drives
  • Technical Guide 07 -Dimensioning of a Drive system
  • Technical Guide 08 -Electrical Braking
  • Technical Guide 09 -Guide to motion control drives
  • Technical Guide 10 -Functional safety
  • Application Guide to extruders in AC drives
  • Application Guide – Using variable speed drives (VSDs) in pump applications
  • ABB Drives – Technical guide book

Link: ABB Technical Guides


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Theory and examples of short circuit calculation

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An electrical transformer substation consist of a whole set of devices (conductors, measuring and control aparatus and electric machines) dedicated to transforming the voltage supplied by the medium voltage distribution grid (e.g. 12kV or 20kV), into voltage suitable for supplying low voltagelines wit power (400V-690V).


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Proizvođači opreme VRLO dobro znaju da ako hoće da se njihova oprema bude u objektu koji je u planu da se izgradi, da sve počinje od odgovornog projektanta. Dakle, mislim da je vrlo indikativno šta želim da kažem! Ukoliko bi se u tehničkoj specifikaciji ePlusMenuCAD-a našlo ime određenog proizvođača, kao i recimo stvarne dimenzije ili karakteristike opreme – to bi nesumnjivo bio jedan od prvih koraka implementiranja određene opreme u projekat. Time je otvoren put za dalje…