ORTEA BLOG

Articles, news and stories from our network

Ortea Monitored Rollers: +Monitoring = +reliability

Quality and reliability: two words that have always been key to Ortea SpA’s vision. The R&D department engineers are constantly looking for new solutions and means for improving our products.

As far as electro-mechanical stabilisers go, the various modes for achieving this purpose include increasing the monitoring of the components, going into ever more detail, and choosing a predictive way that generates alarms so as to warn of any failures or disruptions.

Despite rigorous tests performed in the company, extended use, in the absence of suitable maintenance, can sometimes generate issues owing to component wear. Through monitoring and predictive analysis, however, it is possible to avoid any stabiliser disruptions and machine stoppages, with the resulting added costs owing to unproductive personnel, wasted raw materials, damage to/malfunctions of the connected machines, etc.

To this end, the Ortea SpA engineers have developed OMR (Ortea Monitored Rollers), an electronic system capable of monitoring the operation of all the components of the regulator columns: the beating heart, together with the electronics that govern the operation thereof, of the stabiliser.

Currently available as optional for the top range: Sirius and Sirius Advance, OMR is able to:

  • Measure the actual temperature of each column in a selective way (with resulting, quick visual identification thanks to the synoptic representation on the touch display).
  • Measure the average linear distance travelled by each group of rollers (measured in metres).
  • Measure the linear distance travelled by each, individual roller (measured in metres).
  • Measure the linear distance travelled by the rollers in relation to the column temperature (distance travelled with temperature being: normal (green zone), high (yellow zone), or critical (red zone)).
  • Measure the amount of time in operation hours (measured in hours).
  • Measure the amount of time in roller movement hours in relation to the column temperature (time with temperature being: normal (green zone), high (yellow zone), or critical (red zone)).
  • Identify, in a timely way (critical red zone) the overheating of the column and/or the blocking of a roller.

The analysis of these data, displayed on the machine’s touch display, and the generation of alarms in the event of critical conditions make it possible to analyse the stabiliser’s behaviour and anticipate any disruptions with timely interventions.

OMR, an additional device for increasing the already well known reliability of Ortea targeted stabilisers and for improving the consequent peace-of-mind of the customer who installs our products.

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Enersolve: the customer doubles

The manufacturing sector for bicycles and related components is an important one in Italy; it boasts a long tradition and very high level of quality, and has survived global competition. It is a jewel in the crown of Italian manufacturing.

Our customer, always attentive to the environment, is a producer of components for competition bikes, and already had a 1000kVA Enersolve solution operating in the company, which was installed in 2017. Being happy with its results, both in terms of making the electrical system more efficient and in terms of improving Power Quality, the customer decided to install a new 630kVA machine on a new production line.

The ENERSOLVE range is available in three models:

  • ESL-5 for the retail/small business market.
  • ESL-10 for environments where energy parameters fluctuate within the requirements of the ±10% reference standard.
  • ESL-20 for the most severe cases where fluctuations exceed the requirements of the reference standard.

The added value of the ENERSOLVE solutions is undoubtedly represented by the ENERCLOUD platform, which is essential for displaying and analysing energy parameters and a prerequisite for obtaining the benefits linked to Industry 4.0 plans. The on-board instruments make it possible to read and record the values of all the plant's electrical parameters, hence processing energy-saving data in real time. The method used to process the energy-saving data is based on the principles of the ESPRO protocol approved by ENEA (National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Economic Development) after 3 years of joint studies.

The ESPRO protocol enables dynamic savings measurement: it is not based on measurements before and after the implementation of the energy efficiency implementation but rather enables continuous savings measurement.

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Power outages: transients

In the general context of Power Quality issues, power outages are among the most annoying events.

The CEI EN 50160 Standard defines the supply interruption as “a condition in which the voltage at the supply terminals is lower than 5% of the reference voltage”.

A power outage can be categorized as:

  • Scheduled, when users have previously been notified;
  • Accidental, if it is caused by transient or permanent failures, mainly related to external events, such as equipment failures or third party interference. An accidental interruption is classified as long (>3min), short (<3min) or transient (<1sec).

Scheduled interruptions are typically due to the execution of programmed maintenance works on the power grid. The effects of a scheduled outage can be minimized by the users by taking timely measures.

Accidental interruptions, on the other hand, are unpredictable and largely random events, generally caused by the intervention of operating or protective devices.

Under normal operating conditions, the annual number of outages can vary from a few dozen to several hundred, depending on the characteristics of the network. According to the statistics, 70% of outages last less than a second; accidental long outages usually originate from external causes or events that cannot be predicted by the supplier: this is the reason why it is impossible to state typical values of annual frequency and duration. Nevertheless, the ARERA statistics (Italian Regulatory Authority for Energy, Networks and Environment) are very indicative in this sense: by improving the quality of the network infrastructure, the number of interruptions is dramatically reduced. Under normal conditions, the annual frequency of such interruptions can vary from less than ten to about fifty, depending on the areas.

The effects of interruptions, even temporary, mainly affect the most sensitive users:

  • computers, PLCs, processors;
  • control systems;
  • drives;
  • lighting with gas discharge lamps;
  • electronic devices;
  • protection and control relays.

Power outages typically cause the equipment to stop, in particular the categories listed above, but they can also cause some damage. In particular, the aspect that we want to take into consideration in this article is the voltage recovery transient that takes place immediately after the interruption.

Among the many different network events that can lead to a power outage, we can identify two macrocategories:

  • Tripping of a network overload protection
  • Tripping of a short circuit or earth fault protection

This is the dynamic In the first case (picture 1). The mains voltage drops during the overload due to the voltage drops caused by the current on the line impedances: as a consequence the electromechanical voltage regulation devices (both those located upstream of the delivery point and those possibly present downstream) tend to counteract this lowering by going to the “maximum rise” operating state. However, if the overload persists and a protection is released, it is likely that when the voltage is restored, the regulating elements are still in the condition they were in just before the release. Consequently, if the voltage returns to its nominal value when it is restored, the users can be stressed by a voltage significantly higher than the nominal one.

In the second case (picture 2), the tripping of the protections can be followed by subsequent attempts by the automatic recovery devices of the energy distribution company. In this case the multiple transients due to the different O-CO-CO cycles of the circuit-breakers multiply the stress in a very short time.

In addition, after an interruption the voltage transient may have an initial overshoot. In general, the stress on the most sensitive equipment can cause damage (for example to electronic boards), which in the case of sophisticated industrial users have a great impact in terms of costs for production stops (identification of the fault, replacement of the component, provided that it is available and not to be ordered from the distributor or the manufacturer).

To reduce the stress caused by these events, ORTEA engineers have studied a solution, which is supplied as a standard on ORION PLUS, SIRIUS and SIRIUS ADVANCE, as well as on the largerst ENERSOLVE Energy Efficiency Smart Devices: it is the system of return to the optimal voltage through supercapacitors.

Picture 1: tripping of networt overload protections.

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Picture 2: tripping of a short circuit or earth fault protection and subsequent O-CO-CO maneuvers.

This feature, also called “voltage shock absorber” or “soft-start” (words that make its effect more understandable), intervenes in the event of a power failure.

The special supercapacitors mounted on the electronic board store the energy, which is necessary to drive the motors of the voltage regulator rollers to the position of “minimum” regulation.

Upon restoration of the power supply, the mechanical inertia of the voltage regulators will absorb the transient, thus delivering to the downstream users a voltage with a “tame” transient, much less dangerous than that coming from the network. In fact, the voltage is gradually restored to the load, as it is apparent in pictures 1 and 2.

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Automatic PFC banks: components quality

In the majority of industrial plants the power factor correction system is centralized, with high capacity capacitor banks usually equipped with harmonic blocking reactors to protect capacitors from harmonics in the current.

When choosing a capacitor bank, it is necessary to pay attention not only to the quality of the capacitors inside the cabinet, but also to the quality of the other components and to the different solutions adopted by the manufacturer, in order to choose a device which will be efficient, long-lasting and easy to maintain.

Internal structure\ ORTEA SpA manufactures all ICAR APFC with removable rack. It is preferable to choose a capacitor bank with removable racks: it’s the best way to reduce time and problems during maintenance.

Regulator\ It is the intelligent element, which controls the capacitor bank, so it is very important. The regulators on board the ICAR APFC are all microprocessor-based, with several measuring and alarm functions: they will help you understand how the APFC works and how the electrical system to be rephased behaves. You will appreciate it a lot during the capacitor bank’s life and in particular when there will be problematic situations.

Contactors\ In order to guarantee excellent long life and reliability, ORTEA SpA ORTEA SpA uses only good well-executed contactors. For standard PFC systems, contactors have to be with damping resistors to limit capacitors inrush current (AC6-b). For detuned PFC systems are enough standard contactors (the function of the peak smoothing It is performed by the blocking reactance).

Load break switch\ It is the operation element, the one which has to bear the current of the capacitor bank also in case of overload. According to IEC 60831-1 regulation it has to be dimensioned with a nominal current which is at least 1.43 times the nominal current of the capacitor bank.

Steps\ ORTEA SpA manufactures ICAR APFC with a step-by-step that can ensure good accuracy in the correction of the power factor. Typically ICAR realizes its APFC with linear steps, which allows the optimization of the number of electrical combinations obtainable. Harmonic blocking reactors In detuned APFC, intended for plants with distorted currents and/or resonance risks, the reactors are intended to defend capacitors from harmonic currents, which would damage them. ORTEA SpA designs and builds most of the reactors used in its ICAR APFC, based on the considerable experience gained.

Ventilation\ The ICAR APFC are all made with forced ventilation. This reduces the thermal stress of the on-board capacitors, whether electrically (harmonic overload) and/or ambient (high temperature in the cabin).

Filters for the ventilation system\ They protect the capacitor bank from the entrance of dust and foreign bodies, which could worsen its thermal situation. During the commissioning, especially if with cable arrival from below, it must be carefully placed so that inbound there are no alternative routes for cooling air: this occurs through the opening of cables passage, if it is not sealed appropriately with ad hoc shaped sets or foams.

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Enersolve XXL

The client is a large plastic moulding company located in north-eastern Italy.

The green trend led them to select a monitored energy-saving solution. Not only that, but large fluctuations in the mains supply cause operational problems for the presses… Enersolve is able to solve this problem by guaranteeing a controlled voltage output in case of mains variations in the range of ±10%.

The purchase by the client was made through an ESCO company in EPC (Energy Performance Contract) mode, specialised in this type of intervention. This method will allow the client to reduce the costs of their investment to zero thanks to the monthly savings produced by the ENERSOLVE solution. The savings have been estimated to be about 200,000 kWh per year.

The machine, a 2500-kVA ENERSOLVE ESL-10E (model complete with three electronic, emergency and exclusion by-passes), intercepts the total power of the system, under a Mt/Bt transformer, via a 4000A busbar.

This is an XXL equipment, 5400x1000x2100 mm in size with a weight of approximately 4,900 kg.

The ENERSOLVE range is available in three models:

  • ESL-5 for the retail/small business market.
  • ESL-10 for environments where energy parameters fluctuate within the requirements of the ±10% reference standard.
  • ESL-20 for the most severe cases where fluctuations exceed the requirements of the reference standard.

The added value of the ENERSOLVE solutions is undoubtedly represented by the ENERCLOUD platform, which is essential for displaying and analysing energy parameters and a prerequisite for obtaining the benefits linked to Industry 4.0 plans. The on-board instruments make it possible to read and record the values of all the plant's electrical parameters, hence processing energy-saving data in real time. The method used to process the energy-saving data is based on the principles of the ESPRO protocol approved by ENEA (National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Economic Development) after 3 years of joint studies.

The ESPRO protocol enables dynamic savings measurement: it is not based on measurements before and after the implementation of the energy efficiency implementation but rather enables continuous savings measurement.

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Remote monitoring: the Ortea Cloud solution

The remote monitoring of equipment functions and parameters is a requirement of an increasingly IOT-oriented market.

This is how Ortea Cloud, Ortea's new platform for remote voltage stabiliser monitoring, was born. It replaces and surpasses "Stabimon", the first monitoring software designed and developed more than ten years ago by Ortea. In addition to the Sirius range, Ortea Cloud is also available for the Orion Plus range.

The system consists of the Edge component, an ARM Linux gateway installed on board the machine, and the Cloud platform.

The Edge component communicates with the unit via industrial protocols, constantly acquiring operating parameters and generating telemetry via an intelligence that can vary the sampling rate according to the status of the machine. The collected information is immediately saved on the gateway, which is able to store it locally for a period of two months in case of loss of connectivity with the cloud. When connectivity is re-established, the information is immediately sent all together.

The on-board gateway application can generate alarms:

  • on the status of the connection to the cloud
  • on the status of the connection to the stabiliser
  • based on the values of the alarm measurements collected.

The data received from the cloud platform is processed by a rules engine capable of generating Real Time alarms based on dynamic rules, sending email notifications and storing telemetry and alarms in the database.

The cloud platform is able to show the telemetry of the measurements collected by each machine as a time series. In this way, the user can analyse their behaviour by comparing even different measurements on the same graph, thus highlighting any anomalies.

The platform manages the entire lifecycle of the machine and gateway, from installation to replacement in the event of failure. Data is stored on databases specifically designed for logging time series, allowing rapid retrieval for dashboard display or export to spreadsheets.

Ortea Cloud therefore makes it possible to:

  • Remotely monitor (via PC, Tablet or Smartphone) electrical and temperature values, display active alarms/archived alarms and produce multifunctional graphs, allowing the operator to produce accurate and well-defined analyses of the operation of their plant.
  • Download the data directly from the platform by selecting values and time intervals using filters.
  • In the event of alarm activation/termination, the system sends an e-mail alert, allowing a quick verification and subsequent resolution of the problem.
  • Activate any maintenance in real time.

The platform is available both to the end customer and, with different access credentials, to any person in charge of running the plant. Ortea offers a direct monitoring service on demand, by interacting with the relevant technical team.

Once logged in with the parameters provided by Ortea, an intuitive and easy-to-use dashboard appears, with the stabiliser or stabilisers, if more than one, active in the cloud.

Ortea Cloud is offered in two versions: the basic version (Ethernet) or the basic version + modem (should it not be possible to connect the stabiliser to a network). Access to the platform is free for the first year and there are no additional costs for software licences and updates. Thereafter, an annual or three-year renewal fee is required.

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Tailor-made: 2 Sirius in 1

The customer is a large Italian pasta company that has implemented a new project for two production lines located in North Africa. The plant is powered by four transformers split between the two lines. Each transformer has a parallel emergency line fed by generators to be used in the event of a power failure. For logistical reasons, the customer wanted a single piece of equipment for each line, which, in addition to stabilising the voltage for both transformers with the relevant circuit breakers, would also have the motorised drive part on board for switching from mains power to emergency-line power, using the ATS (Automatic Transfer Switch) system.

The solution designed by Ortea's engineers is an equipment assembled in a single cabinet consisting of two 1600 kVA Sirius stabilisers, with ±15% input regulation, including all the drives.

Ortea’s production then created the “Sirius two-in-one” to be installed on each of the two lines. To facilitate shipping, handling and installation they were shipped in multiple parts.

Ortea has always been able to design and build special equipment to meet customer's requirements, often helping them in the design phase and adapting its solutions to any plant and logistics situation.

The Sirius range is available for powers ranging from 60 to 6000kVA, with ±10%, ±15%, ±20%, ±25%, ±30%, +15/-35%, and +15/-45% adjustment. The control logic is managed by two DSP microprocessors (one that implements the control and the other that manages the measurements) that stabilise the output voltage, adjusting the true-RMS (root mean square) thereof. The whole system is supervised by a third (bodyguard) microprocessor that checks the correct operation of the other microprocessors

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New forces in Ortea's sales team

Ortea is pleased to announce that from June 2021 the Ortea Spa sales team will be joined by two new members, the engineers Davide Cuppari and Petio Dimitrov.

Davide Cuppari, who has an extensive experience in the world of critical power and business development skills, including international ones, is assigned the role of Italy Sales Manager.

“The Power Quality solutions and services offered by Ortea are very wide-ranging and the company's technical expertise is of great depth. In the near future, also thanks to the path taken by ARERA with the latest TIQE, there will be a lot of attention on the issue of energy quality: we are ready”, says Davide Cuppari.

Petio Dimitrov, who was born in Bulgaria and grew up in Morocco, graduated in Electronic Engineering in Milan and has many years of experience in B2B sales in the plant engineering sector with a focus on foreign countries due to his extensive language skills. Petio will join and enrich our international sales team.

“In order to achieve the targets set by the various states in terms of energy transition, the world needs to change rapidly. This will intensify the existing challenges for electrical networks across the world in terms of continuity of power supply, longevity of equipment and its safety. My professional goal is to be close to customers to overcome these challenges that are particularly dear to me; Ortea, with its organisation and expertise, has provided me with the ideal environment to accomplish this”, says Petio Dimitrov.

“I am confident that Davide and Petio’s experience and professional background will be of great help to our company. Our expectations are to ensure Ortea's continued growth, that would not be possible without an efficient customer service and a mutual relationship with our partners", states our CEO Massimilano Scarpellini.

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Odyssey: static voltage stabilizer for data centers

Odyssey, ORTEA's high-power static voltage stabilizers: ideal when a high regulation speed is a must, as in the case of data centers located in areas where poor voltage quality jeopardizes their smooth operation.

3 high-power static voltage stabilizers Odyssey with ±20% input voltage range are currently being put into operation (2 of 2000kVA and 1 of 2500kVA): they will improve the power quality of a large data center located in the Persian Gulf region.

In the Odyssey static stabilisers, the compensation of the input voltage fluctuation is managed by exploiting the double-conversion technology. The traditional regulating system is replaced by the converters that generate the necessary voltage once the control system has detected an incorrect situation.

The main feature of such configuration is the fast response (<3msecs), which guarantees real-time correction and voltage steadiness on the load side.

The double conversion technology also ensures insulation from disturbances and distortions in the grid. Thanks to suitable electrolytic capacitors, high power loads demands can be met.

Odyssey maintains the usual operational features: the regulation is performed on each phase independently, the load can vary between 0 and 100% on each phase and the operation is not affected by the load power factor. The unit can operate with or without the neutral wire.

Standard units cover a wide power range and offer a double input connection so that with the same unit two different input variations (±15/±20% or ±25/±30%) can be dealt with.

A 10” multilingual touchscreen on the front door works as user interface. By surfing the available menus, the electrical measures can be read and setting parameters adjusted. The interface is fitted with an Ethernet communication port, which, via dedicated «client», allows remote monitoring. Communication with the control system can be established also via RS485 serial bus and Modbus TCP/IP protocol.

The standard unit is housed in an IP2X metallic enclosure with RAL9005 finish for indoor installation.

Extracting fans ensure losses dissipation and unit cooling.

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4 reasons to have power factor corrections

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ENERcloud: savings always monitored

ENERcloud is the cloud platform for our ENERSOLVE “Intelligent energy efficiency devices”.

The tools on board enable the reading and recording of values for all the plant’s electric parameters, processing, in real time, the energy-saving data. The method used for processing the energy-saving data is based on ESPRO protocol principles approved by ENEA (Italy's National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development) after three years of joint research.

The ESPRO protocol enables savings to be measured dynamically. In fact, the protocol isn’t based on the measurement before and after implementing the energy efficiency measures; instead, it enables energy savings to be measured continuously.

In developing the ESPRO protocol, we started out from a quote of Galileo Galilei: "Measure what can be measured, and make measurable what cannot be measured.” In fact, it involved identifying a method that took account of the continuous variations in the two principal elements that contribute to the final result: the supply source and the combination of load mix moment by moment. Only continuous, not one-off, measurements of these quantities, which constantly and significantly vary, make it possible to determine, with certainty, the efficacy of the measures.

We began with the IPMVP (International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol), the protocol for checking the results of energy efficiency, water efficiency and renewable energy projects in any field, from civil engineering to industrial sites. This method involves comparing energy consumption before and after the installation of an energy efficiency system. The limitation is that it adapts very well to systems in which the trend of the two parameters cited above is almost constant. However, in a real plant the situation is quite different, the trend in supply voltage, power, and load mix used is very different in each moment.

We added the analysis of the VDE-AR-E 2055-1 method: a standard that VDE created and that adapts IPMVP in the area of energy efficiency. It introduces the concept of variable energy saving depending on the type of load and the classification - in three categories - depending on their sensitivity to voltage variation. The limitation is in identifying the load mix installed in the plant, a piece of data that must be accurately known and must not, subsequently, vary.

The ESPRO protocol involves continuous measurement. The measurements are carried out every 15 minutes and, during a 30-second measuring window, the saving is frozen for 10 seconds, thus obtaining an actual difference between the instantaneous power and what the system would have used without the Enersolve installation. The measurement is repeated for the machine’s entire service life.

The total energy saved during the day is the sum of the individual measurements that repeat the method involved in the IPMVP protocol 96 times per day and exceed the VDE standard requirements, intercepting, sample by sample, the change in load mix.

The guarantee provided by Enersolve, thanks to this ESPRO functionality, refers to the total savings in kWh.

In practice, however, what is the effect when Enersolve is assembled in the plant?

The graphic below, downloaded from ENERcloud, shows the active power absorbed by an actual plant. The lower part shows the power value for the plant with the Enersolve system installed. The upper part, instead, shows the power that the plant would have used without the Enersolve system installed.

In this graphic, instead, the consumption of the system can be seen, day by day, with (green bar) or without (red bar) the Enersolve system.

ENERcloud, all the information in your hands…wherever you are.

The latest-generation electronics installed in the ENERSOLVE equipment makes it possible to measure, send, and store all the sensitive measurements, the energy saving, and the state of the machine in the cloud.

Thanks to the intuitive, Web-based software, it is possible to obtain all the necessary information in real time, in any part of the world and with any device.

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Instruments compared: test ok

The quality and reliability of our products has always been a principal feature, a goal that our project engineers pursue every day with controls and tests performed continuously.

In this case, we wanted to check the reliability of some readings of the tools on board the Oxygen by comparison with class A tools, according to the CEI EN 61000-4-30 standard. One was mounted at the input stage and one at the output stage of an Oxygen 500-10-40 that was installed and operating perfectly in our production plant. There are two tools for comparison: LINETRAXX PEM735 of Bender; the clocks of each are synchronised with that of the Oxygen panel.

The purpose of the test is to check the correctness and precision of the voltage sag readings. Contrary to what you might think, voltage sags often occur on electric lines considered to be of good quality, such as Italian ones.

We have identified a single-phase voltage sag entering the second phase as can be seen from the screen-shot of the tool:

In this case, the second phase has a residual tension of 88.54%.

Here, we’d like to recall that the definition of a voltage sag is a change in voltage starting at -10% of the nominal voltage up to -95% (i.e. residual voltage of 5%) with a duration of 10ms to 1 minute.

We detect the event, accurately, in the operator’s panel mounted on board the Oxygen:

At this point, Oxygen intervenes to compensate for the sag; in fact, in the period of time in which the event occurred, the tool does not detect any voltage sag on output:

An additional confirmation of Oxygen’s performance.

Oxygen is available in two models:

Oxygen 10-40 (from 200 to 3200kVA) with input voltage compensation ±10% (continuous) and compensation for voltage sags of up to -40% of the nominal voltage per 1 minute.

Oxygen 15-50 (from 200 to 2000kVA) with input voltage compensation ±15% (continuous) and compensation for voltage sags of up to -50% of the nominal voltage per 1 minute.

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Sirius: the top voltage stabiliser!

The Sirius range of the highest-performance and most complete voltage stabilisers in our production, is encountering a lot of success on the market. In recent months, in fact, we have manufactured and delivered a significant amount of equipment destined for customers spread across every part of the globe.

The Sirius range is available for powers ranging from 60 to 6000kVA, with ±10%, ±15%, ±20%, ±25%, ±30%, +15/-35%, and +15/-45% adjustment. The control logic is managed by two DSP microprocessors (one that implements the control and the other that manages the measurements) that stabilise the output voltage, adjusting the true-RMS (root mean square) thereof. The whole system is supervised by a third (bodyguard) microprocessor that checks the correct operation of the other microprocessors.

In addition to the generous size and additional protections, which make the equipment very reliable and durable, the user interface is undoubtedly another very important feature.

Consisting of a 10-inch, multilingual touch display (equipped with an RS485 port), it can provide information on the state of the lines upstream and downstream of the voltage stabiliser (voltage, current, power factor, active power, apparent power, reactive power, etc.), the operating state of the stabiliser (it displays all the information relating to each operating mode: on/off, adjustment limit reached, increase/decrease in adjustment, etc.), and any alarms (minimum and maximum voltage, maximum current, excessive temperature, etc.).

If connected to a network via Ethernet with an RJ45 cable, the display can, in addition, be remotely transmitted to a PC using VNC software. It is, in addition, possible to interface with the stabiliser using the Modbus TCP/IP protocol (a standard protocol in communicating between industrial electronic devices). The system is also equipped with two USB ports that can be used to download the data stored and upload software updates from the control card.

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Blocking reactors XXL size

The first batch of a supply of reactors (55 units in total) to be installed inside fixed, 5 MVAR power factor correction systems, in order to block harmonic currents, is on its way.

Their function is to compensate the reactive power on 24 kV networks with an IGBT insertion system, thus a very fast - practically real-time - compensation system.

Although the application of these systems is horizontal for all those customers who use electricity with a medium-voltage connection, in this case the final customer is a producer of electronic parts for consumer electronic goods: computers, mobile phones, and peripherals.

Since 1969, the year in which ORTEA was founded, the magnetic parts (transformers and reactors) have been at the centre of its business and, thanks to vast experience and close collaboration with customers, the company has developed specific knowledge that allows them to produce reactors to respond to various problems that may derive from their great variety of uses.

In addition to this, one of ORTEA SpA’s hallmarks has always been its extreme flexibility, which enables the quick development of dedicated solutions based on the Customer's technical specifications.

In particular, we produce the following for both indoor and outdoor use:

  • Three-phase and single-phase reactors
  • Reactors with iron or air core
  • Detuning reactors
  • Smoothing reactors
  • Blocking reactance
  • Inrush current limiting reactors.

All design, production and marketing activities are carried out at ORTEA SpA's headquarters, thus ensuring continuous control and synergy among personnel involved.

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MULTImatic FH20 and ORC turbogeneration

The 960Kvar MULTImatic FH20 system, designed for the power factor correction of an ORC (Organic Rankine Cycle) thermodynamic cycle turbogenerator, is ready for dispatch.

The Rankine cycle developed for this application is similar to that used by a traditional steam turbine except that the working fluid, in this case, is an organic fluid with a high molecular mass. This enables the effective production of electricity in a wide power range, beginning with a low-temperature heat source both from renewable sources (biomass, solar heating) and from residual heat sources from primary industrial thermal processes (exhaust fumes, fluid leaving gas turbines).

The system is a special version: single cable arrival from above with an automatic switch as requested by the customer for their plant connection requirements.

The FH20 range, with blocking inductors, is a solution that is used when a current with a high harmonic content (THD) and/or with high risk of resonance with the MT/bt transformer circulates in the electrical system.

In these cases, the installation of “normal” power factor correction equipment, without barrier inductors, can cause the rapid degeneration of the capacitors and instigate dangerous electrical and mechanical stresses in the system power components (cables, busbars, switches, transformers).

The barrier inductors protect the capacitors from the harmonic distortions and, at the same time, exclude the risk of resonances, but they leave the harmonic content of the plant current unaltered (if you wish to reduce the system harmonic content, you need to install active filters. Consult us).

ORTEA SpA offers two types of power factor correction solutions with barrier inductors: one with 180Hz blocking frequency (detuned to 3.6 times the line frequency) and a second with 135Hz (2.7 times).

It’s worth underlining that the lower the detuning frequency, the more robust the system, since the inductors must have a larger iron core.

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UPS and voltage stabilisers: unpredictable synergies

The voltage supplied by the electrical network to the user’s terminals should be perfectly sinusoidal, at a constant frequency and without interruptions. Actually, the mains voltage usually presents several anomalies, as shown by the measurements carried out on site, and as taught by the CEI EN 50160 standard, a guiding document in the world of power quality fundamentals.

Non-continuity is among the major problems afflicting the power supply: this can be caused by the tripping of circuit breakers, interruption of the conductors, maintenance or works on the grid, atmospheric events, etc. Voltage sags are another big issue: they can be considered as close relatives of voltage interruptions when they are short and deep; instead, they are more similar to voltage variations when they have limited depth and long duration. Another problem is the voltage fluctuation, which can be fast or slow, usually due to network maneuvers, difficulties of adjustment by the energy distributor, disconnection or starting of large loads, etc. The duration of a voltage fluctuation can be several hours.

A "classic" solution to slow voltage variations is the voltage stabiliser, which can be electromechanical or electronic. LV voltage stabilisers for large powers, let's say >100kVA, typically operate thanks to a “buck-boost” transformer connected in series to the line and suitably piloted by voltage regulators. They are available in a wide range of sizes: from the smallest ones capable of handling an apparent power of a few kVA, up to those managing several MVA. They guarantee an excellent output voltage accuracy, up to ±0.5% of the nominal value, provided the input voltage variation remains within the range shown on the data label. In the most recent versions, the voltage regulation is obtained through electronic actuators, whose performances allow a higher reaction speed: the voltage regulation is completed within 20ms.

When equipped with appropriate accessories, voltage stabilisers become very complete solutions and can significantly improve the power quality of the systems installed downstream.

Voltage stabilisers can be equipped with the following options:

  • Interruption and protection devices.
  • Protection of the load against over/undervoltage, with automatic release if the output voltage exceeds the pre-adjusted threshold: this is a very useful protection for very sensitive loads.
  • By-pass line made with disconnectors, changeover switches or circuit breakers.
  • Input isolation transformer.
  • Fixed or automatic power factor correction system.
  • Surge arresters.
  • EMI/RFI filters, to detect and reduce high frequency disturbances conducted along the lines.
  • Active filtering system to reduce the current harmonic content.

When enriched with these optional features, a voltage stabiliser is called "line conditioner", like 3200kVA Sirius Advance shown in the picture.

Since voltage stabilisers are not equipped with any energy storage system, of course they cannot cover interruptions. Short ones have traditionally been solved by means of expensive and sophisticated equipment, such as the flywheel UPS, usually dedicated to special systems. Generators are the right solution for long-lasting interruptions.

More recently, the development of power electronics and the spread of batteries has led to the emergence of UPS as the solution for a large part of the voltage problems, which is especially true for the more complete versions ("online” or “VFI" types):

  • Interruptions
  • Slow and fast voltage variations
  • Sags
  • Frenquency variations

Therefore, it would look like the voltage stabiliser is destined to be inexorably replaced by the UPS. It would seem that when the designer or the person in charge of the plant decides to use a UPS, the stabiliser will automatically be discarded. But this is not always the case.

First of all, the perfect equipment without "weak points" does not exist: in the case of UPS, the most expensive and delicate aspect is the cost of the batteries on board and the fact that they have a limited useful life, after which they must be replaced, otherwise the UPS will prove ineffective.

The batteries must be carefully managed and maintained in order to optimize their life: attention must be paid to their operating temperature, but other aspects can also be annoying, for example the operation of the UPS with too low mains voltage. In fact, if the mains voltage exceeds a certain range, the UPS goes into battery operation even if the mains is on. For these reasons, some UPS are equipped with a stabilisation stage to preserve the batteries.

In Ortea we have come across many examples of synergy between stabilisers and UPS, especially when it comes to large installed power, and when the user loads include sophisticated machinery, sensitive to power quality issues. This is particularly true in those Countries, where large and technically advanced industrial plants are supplied by much less robust and solid electrical networks.

Let's see the three most typical situations.

In series

As already understood in the previous paragraph, a rather frequent synergistic use of stabiliser and UPS is to install the two units in cascade, with the voltage stabiliser immediately upstream of the UPS. In power grids where large and frequent voltage fluctuations are expected, the stabiliser in series with the UPS preventes the wear and tear of the batteries, which would normally be required to work overtime, with a significant reduction in their useful life. In this case, the stabiliser and the UPS necessarily have the same size. The stabiliser is designed to manage very large voltage fluctuations, which differ even up to 30% from the nominal value. For such situations we have supplied voltage stabilisers up to 1.5MVA.

In parallel

To ensure continuity of operation to the powered systems in the event of the UPS being out of order for maintenance or failure, a by-pass line is very often provided. If the network is unstable, but the customer does not want to add a redundant UPS, a good solution is to install a voltage stabiliser or a line conditioner on the by-pass line, thus raising the power quality at a reasonable cost for the limited period of time in which it will be called to operate. The stabiliser/line conditioner is an excellent solution for this kind of application, as it requires very limited maintenance during inactivity periods. Also in this case the two units are substantially the same size.

Centralized stabilizer, distributed UPS

A "centralized" stabiliser/line conditioner of great power associated with small "local" UPS only on the loads that really need them is an excellent solution for those systems, which are characterized by a large installed power, in order to avoid installing a huge UPS or many of them when the loads are numerous. In this case, the stabiliser brings the general power quality of the system to a good level, preserving the batteries of the individual peripheral UPS "pampering" particularly sensitive loads. On large systems this philosophy can lead to significant savings also in terms of battery maintenance/replacement. The stabiliser must be large enough to support the power of the entire system, whereas the UPS will be suited to the individual loads, to which they are dedicated. For this kind of application, we have supplied power stabilisers up to 4MVA.

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Master-slave 2x1: the power has doubled

The manufacturing of 6 special detuned power factor correction systems MULTImatic FH20 for a large grain milling plant in Pakistan has been completed.

Each unit has a rated power of 685kvar/415V. They will be coupled in a master-slave configuration, to create three 1370kvar power factor correction systems for the 2500kVA MV/LV transformers powering the production plant.

The plant includes numerous inverter motors, which means high current harmonics . But thanks to the robust detuning chokes on board the MULTImatic FH20 (Fd = 180Hz), there will be no overload problems on the capacitors, nor of resonance in the LV power grid.

It is interesting to underline that, in addition to the "classic" power factor control and management functions, the RPC8BGA regulator on board the MULTImatic system performs several additional advanced functions, such as the measurement of the electrical parameters and of the Power Quality (calculation of the current and voltage THD and the relevant graphic representation). These functions can be remotely monitored through MODbus protocol (on RS485 or via TCP/IP) or with Profibus protocol. The regulator can also be connected to the system in the configuration with 3 current transformers: in this case it is an "additional" multimeter. Moreover, it can monitor the hours of operation and issue warnings that recall the execution of maintenance: an important feature to keep the power factor correction system always efficient and in perfect running order

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ENERSOLVE: outdoor? No problem!

Industrial electrical systems have their own life: after they are born, they usually grow with substantial changes compared to the initial project.

The reasons can be many:

  • The Company is successful on the market and increases production.
  • The Company adds new production lines or modifies the existing ones, in order to adapt them to new market needs.
  • Regulatory evolution of electrical systems.
  • Technological evolution of machinery and processes.
  • Introduction of new systems to optimize the plant (e.g.: energy optimization, generation from renewable sources, improvement of Power Quality).

Therefore, it becomes sometimes necessary to modernize/replace/expand the power equipment located in the electrical substation, where spaces are rarely abundant and do not always allow for the installation of new heavy and big machinery.

Sometimes companies are forced to renounce interventions that would be profitable, simply because there is not enough space in the electrical room. Sometimes expensive extension works must be planned, perhaps over a long period, losing precious time in terms of efficiency and savings.

The customer is a large industrial laundry, specialized in sanitizing workwear also in the health sector, a subject of great sensitivity and urgency in this particular moment.

To improve the energy efficiency and Power Quality of their system, a 315kVA ENERSOLVE equipment was proposed and selected, but there was not enough space in the electrical room. Energy efficiency is a rather recent technology and existing electrical systems are often unprepared for housing them.

Ortea engineers have found a solution to this critical issue by proposing the equipment in IP55 configuration for outdoor installation, giving the customer the possibility to install it outside the room under a canopy.

In addition, since the power factor correction system of the laundly was obsolete, the ENERSOLVE equipment has also been equipped with an integrated 70kvar automatic power factor correction system.

The entire intervention benefits from the reduced taxation of Industry 4.0.

The whole ENERSOLVE range can be equipped with an integrated power factor correction system and it can be supplied in IP54/55 configuration for either indoor installation, for “difficult” internal environments, or for outdoor installation.

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Isolation transformer: monitoring and maximum safety

The isolation transformer is an important element for the power quality of a LV system.

Installing an isolation transformer upstream of your network allows you to galvanically isolate the loads connected downstream of the transformer from everything upstream and, consequently, to protect them from disturbances affecting the mains, in particular transient overvoltages and conducted disturbances.

Isolation transformers are used in telecommunication systems, data centers, sensitive applications in terms of security for the community, such as military bases.

In those cases where the continuity of operation of the isolation transformer is a decisive factor, monitoring and, consequently, the communication of the parameters allowing to evaluate its state of "health" become relevant.

The following example relates to a transformer supplied to a State agency in the Gulf area.

We proposed and built a transformer equipped with:

  • Temperature measurement and control instrument with communication functions.
  • Probes for reading the temperatures inside the transformer and the ambient temperature.
  • Data transmission with Modbus protocol via RS485 port.
  • Protection by circuit breaker.
  • Monitoring of fan operation and status.

This solution will allow the customer to monitor the status of the transformer and to receive real-time information on the status of its accessories and alarms, in the event of phenomena outside its operating range.

A solution by Ortea for a very demanding customer!

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ODYSSEY: Hyper-Fast response

The production of static stabilisers ODYSSEY is proceeding apace. The ODYSSEY has been in production for some years now and it is establishing itself on the world markets, thanks to its outstanding technical characteristics and quality, which have always distinguished all our products.

When response speed becomes an essential requirement, for example for computers, laboratory equipment, test benches, medical instruments, CNC machines, etc., the static stabiliser is a must.

Our static stabilisers ODYSSEY are available for powers from 80kVA to 4000kVA, with input voltage range ±15%, ±20%, ±25% and ±30%.

The compensation of the input voltage fluctuation is managed by exploiting the double-conversion technology. The traditional regulating system is replaced by the converters, that generate the necessary voltage once the control system has detected an incorrect situation.

The main feature of such configuration is its fast response (<3msecs), which guarantees real-time correction and voltage steadiness on the load side.

The double conversion technology also ensures insulation from disturbances and distortions in the grid. Thanks to suitable electrolytic capacitors, high power loads demands can be met.

A 10” multilingual touchscreen on the front door works as user interface. By surfing the available menus, all electrical data can be monitored and setting parameters can be adjusted.

The interface is equipped with an Ethernet communication port, allowing remote monitoring via a dedicated «client» (on request). Communication with the control system can be established also via RS485 serial bus and Modbus TCP/IP protocol.

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Sirius Advance… simply the top!

Two voltage stabilizers SIRIUS ADVANCE 3200kVA ±20% are now ready to be packed. These two units will be installed in Ghana, downstream of the MV/LV transformers of a power distribution project with generation by hydroelectric power plants.

The SIRIUS ADVANCE significantly increase the #powerquality of a system, as they combines a voltage stabilizer with a power factor correction system. Moreover, they are equipped with our total protection kit, which includes an automatic input circuit breaker, a manual by-pass with interlocked automatic circuit breaker and an output motorized interlocked output circuit breaker. All in a single device!

Everyone says they know how to make them… Ortea really makes them!

Our top-of-the-range model SIRIUS ADVANCE is available as standard from 60kVA up to 4000kVA and with different input voltage ranges: ±15%, ±20%, ±25%, ±30% adjustment.

Control and stabilisation, performed on the true RMS value, is carried out by a two-way DSP-microprocessor under the supervision of a second "bodyguard" microprocessor, operating with a software which has been developed specifically for ORTEA.

The columnar variable autotransformer with rollers (ORTEA design - without sliding contacts, which are subject to heavy wear & tear) is solid and very reliable.

The user interface is a multilingual 10” touch panel equipped with RS485 port. The display shows all the electric parameters (voltage, current, active power etc.), the information regarding the operating modes (power on; voltage regulation limits; increase/decrease of voltage regulation etc.) and the alarms (minimum and maximum voltage, maximum current, overtemperature, etc.).

A panel with the reactive power regulator RPC8BGA is installed to manage the power factor correction part. Designed to provide the desired power factor, while minimizing the wear and tear of capacitor banks, the SIRIUS ADVANCE are accurate and reliable in measuring and control and easy to install.

Here are some numbers:

  • Power rating: 3200kVA
  • Input voltage: 415V ±20%
  • Output voltage: 415V ±0,5%
  • Rated current: 4452A
  • Max input current: 5565A
  • Dimensions: 7400x2000x2400mm
  • Weight: 14.000kg
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MULTImatic FD25: tailor-made!

The manufacturing of 2 special detuned power factor correction systems MULTImatic FD25 has finally been completed. The two units will be installed in a large automotive plant in Southern Europe, where research and development activities for special tires are carried out.

The systems, each with a power of 750kvar/400V, have been fully tailor-made, in order to faithfully reproduce the two previously installed units they will replace.

Thanks to the indestructible bimetallized paper capacitors and the robust detuning reactors on board the MULTImatic FD25 (Fd = 180Hz), the harmonic currents of the system will not be a problem!

In fact, current is often affected by distortion in industrial plants. This can cause two types of problems:

  • stress on the capacitors on board, which tend to overheat due to the harmonic currents flowing through them, on account of their progressively lower impedance as harmonic currents increase
  • resonance with the MV/LV transformer powering the system. Resonance becomes more probable as the ratio between the reactive power (kvar) of the power factor correction system and the apparent power (kVA) of the transformer increases

To overcome these problems, detuned power factor correction systems are used. The detuning reactors installed on board must also be of excellent quality, as well as the capacitors. Our reactors are designed and manufactured by ORTEA, to guarantee the quality and reliability of the finished product. The reactors are calculated to obtain a detuning frequency of 180Hz.

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Big stabilizers? Big loading operations!

When dealing with "big" stabilizers, such as these two 3200kVA SIRIUS, also their dimensions and weights are "big": each box measures 6500x2160x2770mm and weighs 14.600kg. As a consequence, also the loading operations require the use of extra-large cranes.

Since we are talking about numbers, here are those relating to these two 3200kVA SIRIUS with ± 20% input voltage range:

• Power rating: 3200kVA \ • Input voltage: 400V ± 20% \ • Output voltage: 400V ± 0.5% \ • Rated current: 4619A \ • Max input current: 5774A \ • Dimensions: 6200x2000x2400 mm \ • Weight: 12.600 kg

Our top-of-the-range model SIRIUS is available from 60kVA up to 6000kVA and with different input voltage ranges: ±10%, ±15%, ±20%, ±25%, ±30%, +15/-35% and +15/-45%.

The stabilization, performed on the true RMS value, is carried out by a two-way DSP-microprocessor under the supervision of a second "bodyguard" microprocessor, operating with a software which has been developed specifically for ORTEA.

The columnar variable autotransformer with rollers (ORTEA design - without sliding contacts, which are subject to heavy wear & tear) is solid and very reliable.

The user interface is a multilingual 10” touch panel equipped with RS485 port. The display shows all the electric parameters (voltage, current, active power etc.), the information regarding the operating modes (power on; voltage regulation limits; increase/decrease of voltage regulation etc.) and the alarms (minimum and maximum voltage, maximum current, overtemperature, etc.).

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Everybody boasts they can do it… ORTEA really manufactures them!

Big currents (max input current 5774A) involve the production of extra-large components: big bars, big transformers, big regulators… ultimately: big voltage stabilizers.

Like these two 3200kVA SIRIUS with ± 20% input voltage range, intended to improve the power quality of a large Nigerian bank.

These are some numbers:

  • Power rating: 3200kVA
  • Input voltage: 400V ± 20%
  • Output voltage: 400V ± 0.5%
  • Rated current: 4619A
  • Max input current: 5774A
  • Dimensions: 6200x2000x2400 mm
  • Weight: 12.600 kg

The SIRIUS, ORTEA’s top-of-the-range model, is available from 60kVA up to 6000kVA and with different input voltage ranges: ±10%, ±15%, ±20%, ±25%, ±30%, +15/-35% and +15/-45%.

The control and stabilisation, performed on the true RMS value, are carried out by a two-way DSP-microprocessor under the supervision of a second "bodyguard" microprocessor, operating with a software specifically developed for ORTEA.

The columnar variable autotransformer with rollers (ORTEA design - without brushes, which are subject to heavy wear & tear) is solid and very reliable.

The user interface is a multilingual 10” touch panel equipped with RS485 port. The display shows all the electric parameters (voltage, current, active power etc.), the information regarding the operating modes (power on; voltage regulation limits; increase/decrease of voltage regulation etc.) and the alarms (minimum and maximum voltage, maximum current, overtemperature, etc.).

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Ortea SpA and Covid-19: informations

With reference to the global health emergency caused by Covid-19, ORTEA SpA has immediately reacted in order to install and adjust preventively protective measures according to the indications provided by the national Health authorities. Such measures aim at preserving and safeguarding ORTEA’s employees, avoiding the virus spreading among the population and ensuring business continuity for ORTEA’s esteemed Customers.

At the moment, although not spared by difficulties in provisioning components and raw materials, there are no indications whatsoever that might negatively affect ORTEA’s business continuity.

At the same time, we are confident we are protecting at the best the health of whoever might get in contact with ORTEA SpA, such as internal and external partners, Customers and Suppliers.

One of ORTEA SpA peculiarities has always been the attempt to offer efficiency to Customers and partners and to establish a network of consolidated relations, in which human rapport plays an important role.

In the immediate future, travelling will not be a possibility, but this emergency is teaching all of us a different working pattern by exploiting digital technologies.

To this purpose, ORTEA SPA is acquiring all the necessary knowhow to carry on these relations even from a distance by means of training initiatives and commercial and technical updating sessions.

Looking forward to shake hands once again as soon as possible, we would like to grasp the opportunity to pay tribute to the resilience of our partners and suppliers throughout these difficult weeks and we also thank them already for the their future support which will allow us to carry on with designing, manufacture and trade innovative solutions.

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ORTEA SpA press release: new CEO appointed

Ortea Spa, a global provider of advanced, high quality electrical systems and mission critical power quality solutions, is pleased to announce the appointment of Massimiliano Scarpellini as Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Ortea Spa and its distinguished collection of portfolio brands, including Ortea, Icar, Enersolve and Italfarad, serve customers in over 90 countries and across six continents via a global footprint in several segments as PFC, voltage stabilizers, SAG compensators, transformers, active filters and energy efficiency smart devices.

Mr. Scarpellini has served as executive across multiple industries and sectors, with a focus on technology, innovation and multinational operations. He most recently served as Vice president Operations, Vice president Business development and Chief Operating Officer of leading manufacturers of electronic components.

“Ortea brands and operations have tremendous market credibility, unique flexibility and the right offerings with leading innovations and operational expertise” said Mr. Scarpellini. “I am thrilled to join the Ortea team and look forward to working with our employees, customers and other partners worldwide to build on our strengths and drive the company to even greater levels of success”.

Ortea offers a new, innovative approach to the power quality sector, providing premium products and innovative solutions globally. Ortea is committed to growth through customer collaboration, innovative product development, and delivery of premium, mission-critical power quality solutions globally.

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Voltage sag: the most significant of all Power Quality issues

Modern industry is becoming more automated and the sensitivity of processes to power quality events is increasing.

It is generally recognized that quality is an important aspect of the electricity service. Not only low prices are important, also high-quality matters to customers. Price and quality are often complementary aspects; together they define the value that customers derive from consuming electricity.

Companies are more and more sensitive to Power Quality issues because they can cause troubles and damages to equipment, up to interrupting the production cycle.The most significant of all Power Quality phenomena is the voltage sag: more than 60% of poor Power Quality costs are consequence of Voltage SAGs. SAG cost is normally lower than a Voltage Supply Interruption one, but the first is by far more frequent. Troubles increase with sophisticated and electronic appliances.

WHAT ARE VOLTAGE SAGs

Temporary reduction of the Voltage RMS below a specific threshold at an electrical supply line point.

Voltage SAGs are generally caused by faults in the public network or in the installations of network users, in few cases by transient overloads due to the gearing up of large motors or the switching on of large loads. Voltage SAGs are unpredictable and random.

SAG starts when Voltage goes lower than 90% of nominal value and ends when voltages resume above 90%. Voltage SAG duration is considered within 10ms up to 1min.

The great deal of Voltage SAG has a duration lower than 1 second and a residual voltage higher than 40% of the rated value.

The voltage SAG propagates from the higher voltage levels to the lower ones, the load is often connected to a voltage level lower than the point of failure. Faults in the network cause deep voltage SAGs if they occur near loads. The incidence of voltage SAGs is much greater in the case of an aerial MV network than with underground cables.

RELEVANCE OF VOLTAGE SAGs

The more modern the equipment is and the more electronics is required, the more serious are the problems caused through voltage SAG. With the increasing number of regenerative energy sources, energy sags, fluctuations and frequency deviations also increase.

Example of costs due to voltage SAGs:

  • Costs for unproductive personnel due to the sudden termination of the production cycle.
  • Costs for raw materials and production lost.
  • Costs for damages and/or malfunctions of machineries (repairs to them, temporary hire of new ones).
  • Penalties caused by contractual shortcomings.
  • Sanctions for damage to the environment. Increase in general insurance costs.

VOLTAGE SAG SOLUTION

Many businesses require immunity to voltage SAGs and voltage conditioning rather than battery back-up power, provided by UPS system. In those cases where back-up power is unnecessary, a sag compensator provides superior protection and additional power quality functions, such as protecting against SAGs, over/under voltage, voltage fluctuations.

Moreover protecting a whole plant by UPS, which can guarantee SAGs immunity, may be very costly, due to battery and maintenance costs.

The right solution is the sag compensator, that permits SAGs correction up to -50% for 1 min.

It’s an economical solution: no maintenance and operation costs: no battery energy storage required and efficiency >98% at nominal power.

LEARN MORE

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The 3 main causes of low Power Quality

Power Quality is gaining increasing attention in the electric power industry. The consumer of electrical energy requires electric power with a certain quality, but loads can have a negative impact on the electrical system and are thus also subject to an assessment in terms of quality. Power quality is therefore intrinsically linked to the interaction between the electrical system and loads and must take into account both the voltage quality and power quality.

Possible consequences of low power quality that affect business costs are:

  • Power failures (Release switches, fuses blowing).
  • Breakdowns or malfunctions of machines.
  • Overheating of machines (transformers, motors, etc.) leading to reduced useful life.
  • Damage to sensitive equipment (computers, production line control systems, etc.).
  • Electronic communication interference.
  • Increased distribution system losses.
  • The need to oversize systems to cope with additional electric stress, resulting in higher installation and operational costs.
  • Luminosity flickering

Interruption of production due to these impacts of low power quality entails high costs due to production loss and the associated waste. For the Industrial sector, the estimated costs due to poor power quality represent 4% of turnover (Source: Studio Leonardo Energy). The impact of production interruptions is greatest in companies with continuous production.

Among the main causes of poor power quality in low voltage are:

  • Voltage sags, because equipment operates less efficiently and can stop.
  • Harmonic pollution, which causes additional stress on the networks and systems, causing them to operate less efficiently.
  • Excessive reactive power, because it charges useless power to the system.

The solutions vary for each cause. The voltage sags can be eliminated with a sag compensator, which ensures a voltage output at a nominal value. Reduced productivity, loss of data, loss of security, and machine breakdowns are only some of the problems caused by an unstable power supply that can be solved with a voltage sag compensator.

Harmonic pollution is caused by large amounts of non-linear consumption (from inverters, soft starters, rectifiers, power electronics, non-filament lighting, presses, etc.). Such devices deform the electrical current causing disturbances and problems to the system. Harmonic pollution is solved by active filters that are capable of eliminating the current harmonics in the system by measuring and injecting the same current, but in the opposite phase.

Excessive reactive power is regulated by a power factor correction system, which not only avoids any penalties due to excessive reactive energy, but reduces the “unnecessary” electrical current that flows into the lines and power components, yielding substantial benefits, such as reducing voltage drops along the lines and leakages due to the Joule effect.

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Harmonics: active or passive filter?

Loads operated by electronic devices are increasingly adopted in more and more industrial and commercial applications such as: Variable Speed Drives, rectifiers, UPS systems, DC power supplies, welding machines, computers, TV, energy efficient lamps, photocopiers.

These loads generate waveform distortions that become threat for network components.

In particular voltage and current harmonics, where the latter is the more dangerous, generate a series of problems, like:

  • Cable overheating
  • Undue tripping of circuit breakers
  • Blowing of fuses
  • Capacitor overloading and network resonance
  • Neutral cable overload
  • Transformer premature ageing
  • Electronic appliances disturbance.

These effects are seldom related to harmonic current and voltage distortion, while effective remedy for harmonics are passive and active filters. Active filters achieve much higher levels of efficiency in harmonics cleaning the first does not:

ACTIVE FILTER

  • it can compensate many harmonic currents simultaneously (ICAR FA40 up to the 50°)
  • It does not saturate or overload
  • It is uninfluenced by the network conditions (capacitance/Inductances)
  • it hasn’t capacitance
  • it is extremely flexible, it can target few harmonic currents
  • It can compensate power factor, even at high speed
  • it can compensate unbalanced loads
  • it attenuates voltage flicker
  • it can be set in parallel with other filters, even at later stages
  • it automatically and semalessly adjustes to the load

PASSIVE FILTER

  • it can compensate only one or very few harmonic current
  • it is extremely difficult to compensate few harmonics at the same time.
  • it can saturate or be overloaded
  • it is influenced by the network as for the existing capacitance and inductance
  • it is a capacitive load, hence improve power factor.
  • it is fix and not adjustable
  • it can be ON/OFF, or in steps.
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