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Solar parking lot project generates power and interest
August 2, 2018
Client Success Stories
Solar parking lot project generates power and interest Recent 3Phase Power venture offered unique challenges and creative solutions The City of Prince George has installed BC’s first solar-powered parking lot, and we at 3Phase Power got the honour of designing its electrical panel. Like an idea straight out of a sci-fi novel, the recent pilot project saw the installation of a 20-square-metre area of solar panels in the parking lot at city hall. “Essentially, the project is a test to see how the technology performs in northern communities with our colder, snowy conditions,” explains Simon Fandrey, 3Phase sales manager. “So far everything’s working well, but it’s more about seeing how it holds up during the winter.” The solar energy is converted and tied into the city hall’s electrical system to help meet its energy needs and supply additional power uses, including offsetting energy used at the electric vehicle charging stations in the parking lot. The actual area is about the size of a couple of parking stalls and looks like it is made of ceramic glass tiles. Photovoltaic cells that make up the solar arrays are about a quarter-inch thick and have a gritty finish. The installed panel is designed to currently produce a maximum of 22 kilowatt/hours of energy per day. For comparison, BC Hydro says the average BC household uses about 900 kilowatt/hours per month (approximately 30 kilowatt/hours per day). It’s expected there will be a slight drop in energy output in the winter, but cloudy days and snow still produce light energy, though it’s diffuse rather than direct. A challenging and unique undertaking The project was proposed and funded by YCS Holdings Ltd., a Northern BC construction company, and Wattway, a branch of a French civil engineering firm that focuses on solar technology. Prince George’s Lakewood Electric called us in to work with them and Pittman Asphalt to implement and install the solar arrays. We designed the panel that converts the solar cells’ DC power to AC and ties into the existing electrical system. “We’ve designed and hooked up many solar arrays in remote, off-the-grid oil and gas systems,” says Dwayne Donaldson, senior designer with 3Phase Power. “But this was the first time we’ve worked with the ‘solar road’ technology. It was really interesting finding out about the equipment and expertise behind it. “It was a good challenge for us, because while they have similar components, they’re made for European installations, so we had to come up with other CSA-approved and locally sourced solutions. Also, we were limited to a maximum 2000-wattage output for research reasons. “There was a bit of a learning process, but they were very happy with our suggestions and impressed with the final results.” What the future holds This is the only project of its kind in BC so far, but we’re excited to see the technology become more commonplace in the future. “It’s great to be involved in coming up with clean energy solutions,” notes Simon. “I can see it being very conducive to places like the Okanagan, where there are so many sunshine hours.” While the expenses involved at this point make it a large undertaking, it’s still a worthwhile venture to be involved in. “It’s exciting to think about using ‘dead space’ around roads and buildings to offset our energy needs. And as the technology becomes more common, it will become more affordable. From the concept to the design, it’s pretty cool, and we’re happy to have been part of the team.” For more information on the specifics of the project, contact Simon Fandrey at firstname.lastname@example.org....
VFD and Harmonics information seminar
April 4, 2018
Welcome our new Calgary Senior Account Manager
April 3, 2018
We at 3 Phase Power Systems are very pleased to announce that Paul von Huene will be joining us as our Calgary – Senior Account Manager starting on April 2, 2018. Paul will work to build our customer account base and promote 3 Phase Power Systems in our Calgary Sales Territory. Paul has previously worked as the Alberta Territory Sales Manager for Davis Controls, Strategic Account Manager for ABB and Business Development Specialist for Ber-Mac Process and Instrumentation. Paul brings valued experience and expertise in the sale of Electrical Process Control and Automation products, primarily in the Oil and Gas Sector. Also of interest, Paul has been involved in farming naturally raised Black Angus cattle for the Angus Beef Market from his ranch in Cypress Hills, Alberta. Paul’s combination of talents will make him a valued member of our Sales Team. Please help me in welcoming Paul to our team! Regards, Simon Fandrey Sales Manager...
Recent 3Phase Power project will help protect water for future generations
March 19, 2018
Annacis Island Waste Water Plant Upgrades: A case study An essential service that most don’t want to think about, waste water treatment is a vital part of ensuring our lakes and rivers stay clear and clean for future generations. As populations increase and higher volumes of waste are produced, the task of treating that water is also growing. In order to ensure waste water doesn’t find its way directly into our natural waterways, treatment facilities need to remain up-to-date with modern and reliable equipment. The Annacis Island Waste Water Treatment Plant (AIWWTP) is the second largest treatment plant in Canada, serving about 1.3 million people, with one of the highest levels of process treatment automation in the industry. So when its operators needed to undergo substantial upgrades while also keeping the system online, they counted on 3Phase Power Systems to get the job done. A big project with some big challenges The upgrade not only focused on replacing outdated equipment: three 1,200-horsepower influent pumps and four 684-horsepower trickling filter pumps. The existing VFDs, transformers and motors had been in service since 1997 without any major failure. However, it was becoming increasingly difficult to service and find parts for the existing drives, and they were reaching the end of their service life. This equipment is critical to operations and meeting the daily operating certificate for their facility. Key considerations for supply included the following: • The equipment had to be designed for no drive failures in 15 years. • It had to stop the backspin of IPS pump/motor. On a power loss, at the moment of loss of drive output power, the pump will quickly start to slow in the forward moving direction and for a very short moment will stop before quickly accelerating in back spinning motion. The new VFDs needed to be capable of detecting and bringing a back-spinning pump to stop and resuming the pump control within 10 seconds after power is restored. • Total voltage and current harmonic distortion were not to exceed existing levels. • Provision of a sinusoidal output filter to meet general purpose motor criteria per NEMA MG1 part 30. • Minimum system efficiency of 97%. • CDAC Control and Monitoring – hardwired I/O for control and feedback; monitoring to be via Modbus (TCP and RS485). • Witness full-load FAT testing – full-load dynamometer testing of qty (1) 1200 HP VFD and qty (1) 684 HP VFD. • Existing cabling was to be used so footprint of new installation couldn’t exceed the existing. All cable entry and exit locations had to match the existing system. • There was to be provision of on-site start up, commissioning and training assistance. • Units had to be replaced one at a time as operation conditions permitted. • Replacement work had to occur during summer when the water levels were low enough to mitigate waste overflow and any resulting government fines. How 3Phase Power came up with solutions Throughout our 20-plus years of specializing in industrial power system design, we’ve always had the ability to find and work with other quality-driven companies. By partnering with companies like Danfoss, Rittal, Bender, MTE and Phoenix Contact on this project, we were able to deliver the appropriate equipment at the appropriate times. Not only that, we were able to provide innovative solutions to hit required performance targets while also meeting the challenge of rising energy costs. The Annacis Island Waste Water Plant Upgrade project called for 97% energy efficiency, a goal that was achieved and exceeded upon completion with 98% efficiency. Close examination of the electrical design requirements and challenges well in advance of the project, coupled with careful pre-planning, helped us achieve this result. The final outcome The Annacis Island Waste Water Plant Upgrade project took about two years to complete, with the majority of the work occurring during the dry season of July and August. We are incredibly proud to say that, through integrated and innovative solutions, excellent communication, planning and implementation, the project exceeded both performance and time expectations. While this waste water treatment upgrade wasn’t the most glamorous job we’ve ever done, it’s right up there in terms of importance and innovation. And we’re flush with pride at the outcome. If you want more information on the specific equipment used in the project, feel free to contact me at email@example.com....
The ultimate power couple
February 20, 2018
3 Phase Power Systems announces its appointment as Western Canadian distributor for Bender Canada Two industry leaders known for their excellence and innovation in the electrical supply industry have joined forces, bringing whole new meaning to the term “power couple.” 3 Phase Power Systems is pleased to announce its appointment as Western Canadian distributor for Bender Canada, global experts in electrical safety for industrial power systems installations. “We’re truly excited to be working with Bender Canada,” says Kam Ghuman, president of 3 Phase Power Systems. “One of the things that makes Bender so great is that they create electrical safety solutions that work within our clients’ existing systems rather than making them change their systems to fit a particular technology. Bender is able to adapt because they’re constantly researching and developing technology to help all industries no matter the application.” How this collaboration began In fact, Bender Canada’s adaptability is what led to this collaboration. While working on a project with several large variable frequency drives (VFDs) and an ungrounded IT system, it was suggested that 3 Phase get in touch with Bender for a ground fault monitoring solution. It didn’t take long for both companies to realize that this could be the start of a beautiful friendship. “Bender selected us as a distribution partner because we have a talented team of technical salespeople along with the application expertise to assist customers with setup and configuration,” says Ghuman. “We have a proven track record and lots of experience working with ground fault monitoring systems.” This most recent appointment is yet another vote of confidence for 3 Phase Power Systems’ ability to meet the needs of clients across all industries. A leading provider of industrial motor control and power conversion solutions since 1993, and with sales and service centres across Western Canada, 3 Phase is well positioned to supply Bender Canada’s superior range of electrical safety solutions. A little background on Bender A family-owned company dating back to 1937, Bender itself has an equally strong pedigree. While innovative technologies and safety-first electrical solutions are paramount, the company also takes very seriously its social responsibility, both for its people and the planet. “Like us, Bender is not only committed to providing technical expertise of the highest level, but also to meeting and surpassing legal and ethical standards,” says Ghuman. “They have a great attitude and approach toward helping clients rather than simply trying to sell hardware, which aligns very well with our own philosophy. We couldn’t be happier about our new role as members of their extended team.” For more information on how 3 Phase Power Systems and Bender Canada can provide the technical expertise to meet the needs of your industry, including pre- and post-sales support, training and service, visit www.3phasepower.ca....
3 Phase Power Systems is pleased to announce that we are the Certified Solution Partner for Phoenix Contact for Western Canada.
August 17, 2017
latest news / Uncategorized
As a Phoenix Contact Solution Partner, 3 Phase Power Systems has unique access to the tools, training, and resources to successfully implement the full Phoenix Contact product portfolio. Combine the breadth of innovative products from Phoenix Contact with the experience of the team at 3 Phase Power Systems we can solve your toughest application challenges. Our Capabilities Phoenix Contact PLC, HMI & Remote I/O solutions Remote Access & Internet Security Wireless Technology Building Automation Controllers Surge Protection Instrumentation Interface...
The Water / Waste and Agricultural Motor Control Forum and VFD Training Lethbridge, AB March 9th 2017
February 9, 2017
The Water / Waste and Agricultural Motor Control Forum and VFD Training Lethbridge, AB March 9th 2017.[gview file=”http://www.3phasepower.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/The-WaterWaste-and-Agricultural-Motor-Control-Forum-and-VFD-Training-2017.pdf” save=”1″] ...
Learn How to Solve Water Hammer
January 2, 2017
Design & Integration
How to protect pumping systems from damaging pressure surges. by James Archer with AuCom The Basics of Water Hammer The term “water hammer” is used to describe pressure surges within a piping system. There are a range of mechanisms and triggers for water hammer, and having a clear understanding of what is causing the phenomenon in a particular installation is the key to identifying the right solution. The Science in a Nutshell The mechanics of water hammer are actually quite simple. One cause of water hammer is when the leading edge of a fluid column in a pumping system encounters a blockage, a common example being a suddenly closed valve. When this happens the flow of the water at the leading edge is instantly halted, but the fluid behind is still moving and starts to compress. Because of this compression, a small amount of fluid continues to enter the pipework even though the water at the leading edge has stopped moving. The kinetic energy of the water in the system is converted to pressure energy as the water compresses. Logically, this pressure energy created cannot continue past the blockage in the system. Instead, the pressure wave generated by the compression of water in the pipe will travel back upstream The other primary cause of water hammer is water column separation and closure. This occurs when the column of liquid water within a piping system is separated and subsequently closes again, generating a damaging shockwave. This can occur in a two phase system – one in which water changes state and can exist as both a liquid and a vapour in the same confined volume. This ‘phase change’ (ie. liquid water to water vapour) can take place whenever the pressure in a pipeline is reduced to that of the vapour pressure of the water. (Joe Evans, Ph.D, Waterhammer – – Part 2 – Causes & Variables. http://www.pumped101.com/) These causes have a number of triggers. Pump starts and stops can cause water hammer through both mechanisms. A rapid change in flow and system pressure during starting or stopping can cause sudden closure of check valves, while changes in the direction of flow can induce water column separation. Regardless of the cause, the increased pressure generated by the water hammer phenomenon can cause significant damage to any system not designed to accommodate such stresses, bursting pipes, damaging valves, and more. Calculating the ‘Big Bang’ The damaging potential of water hammer can be calculated using the formula P(additional) = aV /2.31g where: P = the additional pressure created in the system a = 4860ft/s (the speed of the pressure wave) V = the velocity of the flowing water in the pipe (ft/s) g = the universal gravitational constant (approximately 32ft/s2) Example: Water is being pumped at a flow rate of 10 ft/s. A valve in the pipeline is closed (one of the primary causes of water hammer) instantaneously, stopping the flow of water in the system. Using the formula P(additional) = aV /2.31g, it is evident that an additional 657 PSI of pressure will be created within the pipe. If the system is not designed to cope with this severe damage is likely to occur to the valves, pipework, and/or pump. The Solutions Solving the water hammer problem requires either mitigating its effects or preventing its occurrence altogether. To this end, there are a number of solutions to consider when designing a pumping system. Pressure tanks, surge chambers or similar accumulators can all be used to absorb pressure surges and are useful tools in the fight against water hammer. That said, preventing the pressure surges in the first place is often a better strategy. Controlling Valve Closure Time (Prevention) As discussed earlier, sudden closure of a valve is one of the primary causes of water hammer. Of the many variables at play within a pumping system, valve closure time significantly impacts the likelihood of damaging water hammer occurring, yet is a factor over which we have a level of direct control. The following equation shows the relationship between valve closure time and the magnitude of the water hammer pressure surge: P = 0.07 (VL / t) Where: t = the valve closing time in seconds L = the length of the pipe between the barriers in feet V = the flow velocity in ft/s The additional pressure generated by the closure of a valve is inversely proportional to the valve closure time. That is, the more slowly the valve is closed, the less significant the increase in pressure will be. Furthermore, it is evident that by careful consideration of the variables within our control (closure time and flow velocity), incidence and intensity of water hammer can be notably reduced. Controlled valve closure can be achieved manually or by use of motorized valves. Electronic Speed Control During Pump Starting and Stopping (Prevention) Electronic motor control devices such as soft starters and variable speed drives can be used to control the speed of the pump during starting and stopping. This allows for a more gradual increase or decrease in pump speed (and hence of flow and head / pressure) to prevent water column separation, flow reversal and sudden check valve closure. Controlled starting and stopping of pumps also offers other advantages, including reducing mechanical stresses on the system and electrical supply caused by DOL / ATL / electromechanical starting. This results in reduced maintenance and extended life. Furthermore, soft starters and VSDs can provide a range of advanced motor and system protection functions as well as monitoring and control options. For example: pump/motor overload protection to detect burst pipes undercurrent protection to detect blocked pipes phase rotation protection to prevent reverse rotation of the pump phase loss protection to prevent damage from power disturbances instantaneous overcurrent protection to prevent pump damage due to debris automatic timers and schedulers for control of operation operational logs and recording What You Need to Know When Using Electronic Speed Control to Prevent Water Hammer The effectiveness of electronic speed control in the reduction of water hammer is determined not only by the type of technology within the soft starter or variable speed drive (which will be discussed later) but also by the pump and system curves. System curves The system curve displays the relationship between flow rate and pressure within the system. It is made up of two components, static head and dynamic head (Figure 1). Flat system curves are more sensitive to changes in speed. A small change in speed will create a big change in flow. This means speed control must be precisely managed to prevent water hammer. Pump curves Pump characteristics vary widely, resulting in a range of different possible pump performance curves. With a ‘steep curve’ pump, a large change in pressure produces a small change in flow. Conversely, with a ‘flat curve’ pump a small change in pressure will result in a large change in flow (Figure 2). To help abate water hammer in a system, choose a steep curve pump wherever possible. The relationship between pressure and flow rate for such pumps makes precise control of the flow rate via control of pump speed much easier. Fixed speed or variable speed control? Once electronic speed control has been decided upon as a solution, next comes the choice between use of a soft starter or a VSD. Both are able to control the acceleration and deceleration of the motor/pump and thus mitigate water hammer, so which is the best choice? This will depend on the system characteristics. Soft starters run the system at full (fixed) speed during operation, controlling the speed during pump starting and stopping only. Once the system reaches full speed, the soft starter is typically bypassed and operates with very high efficiency (losses of less than 0.1%) thus reducing running costs. Soft starters also come at a lower cost than variable speed drives. Additionally, harmonic generation onto the electrical supply is not an issue with soft starters meaning they do not necessitate the use of costly filters. On the other hand, VSDs control pump speed during operation as well as during start and stop. This additional ability to control ‘run time’ speed comes at a cost. VSDs have a considerably higher capital cost than soft starters, often require harmonic filters (costly devices that prevent harmonic distortion on the electrical supply), and typically produce energy losses of 4-6%, adding to the lifetime cost of the system. That said, in some pumping systems the ability to control flow during operation will produce other system efficiencies that outweigh the higher capital and running costs. Unless such system efficiencies are proven to exist then soft starters should be the preferred method of electronic speed control for the mitigation of water hammer. Soft Start: The Importance of Acceleration and Deceleration Control in Combating Water Hammer With an understanding of the mechanics of water hammer, the system curve and the pump performance curve, we can explore the correct application of soft start technology to prevent water hammer. Not all soft starters are created equal. Over the past 40 years the starting & stopping modes offered by soft starters have evolved considerably. Voltage, current, and more recently torque control, are all common approaches to starting and stopping. Each influences acceleration (and deceleration) but none provide direct control. The most advanced soft start (and stop) mode is direct acceleration (and deceleration) control. This mode is ideal for pumping applications and the elimination of water hammer because it enables selection between a variety of starting and stopping profiles, depending upon the unique characteristics of the pumping system (pump and system curves). For example, AuCom’s XLR-8 technology provides selectable acceleration and deceleration profiles. These profiles are of particular benefit for pumping applications. Further, the ability to select and adjust a variety of control strategies makes it simple to tailor operation for optimal results no matter what the system characteristics. Application of XLR8 Profiles Mode Profile Application Starting Early acceleration Gets the pump up to pumping speed quickly ensuring water lubrication and reducing wear on thrust bearing (if applicable), then provides maximum control of flow for the rest of the start. Stopping Early deceleration Ideal for open systems without non-return valves. For example, pumps lifting water from one level to another. Reduces pump speed promptly so that flow stops while still maintaining forward pump rotation as water drains from the pipes. This provides an effective stop and prevents any reverse pump rotation. Constant deceleration Ideal for low head situations with high flow rates and long pipes. Provides a long and steady reduction in flow ensuring fluid momentum is gradually dissipated thus preventing any pressure surges. Late deceleration Ideal for situations with flat system and/or pump curves. Provides an extended and gradual reduction in speed through the critical point of control then finishes the stop quickly once proper flow control has been achieved. Summary Water hammer (pressure surges) occurs from rapid changes in flow. Typically these rapid changes are associated with start/stopping of pumps and the opening and closing of valves. Pressure traps can mitigate the damaging effects of these pressure surges. Mechanisms for preventing the pressure surges in the first place include: controlling the opening and closing of valves to gradually change the flow. controlling the motor/pump speed during starting and stopping to gradually change the flow. Preventing water hammer through control of pump speed: is easiest with steep system curves is best achieved by selection of pumps with a steep pump curve If flow control can assist overall efficiency then use a VSD, in all other cases a soft start should be preferred. Ensure the soft starter has acceleration/deceleration control and the ability to specify different acceleration and deceleration profiles....
Don’t Worry About Arc Flash – Control It!
November 1, 2016
Don’t Worry About Arc Flash – Control It! At some point in our life we have all heard or perhaps stated variations of the common phrase “don’t worry about things you can’t control”. With respect to workplace electrical safety, there has been little change over the past 10 years in non-fatal injuries due to electricity and the issue isn’t a lack of awareness or intent or budget, it is a lack of effective action, it’s a lack of control! When considering the arc flash hazard there are two questions we need to ask (the same two questions for any hazard): What is the likelihood it will happen and How severe will the impact be? What is the likelihood an arc flash will happen? US Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that there were nearly 6,000 fatal electrical injuries to workers in the US between 1992 and 2013. BLS data also indicates there were 24,100 non-fatal electrical injuries from 2003 – 2012. National Safety Council reported in its 2014 edition of Injury Facts that there were 961 fatal injuries from 2008 through 2010 due to exposure to electric current. A study of electrical injuries over a 20 year period at a Texas burn center found that 40% of burns were electrical arc injuries. How severe will the impact be? Washington State Department of Labor and Industries “Burn Injuries Facts” reported that worker’s compensation costs for 30 serious arc flash or blast burn injuries that took place between September 2000 and December 2005 were in excess of $1.3 million. OSHA in 2014 estimates a value of $62,500 per non-fatal injury for workers performing electric distribution work (direct costs only). American Society of Safety Engineers estimates that indirect costs may be as much as 20 times higher than direct costs. Recent changes to NFPA 70E and CSA Z462 aligning these standards with the Hierarchy of Risk Control in ANSI Z10 support the approach of directly answering and addressing the two questions. NFPA 70E Annex 0 General Design Requirements 0.2.2 Design option decision should facilitate the ability to eliminate hazards or reduce risk by doing the following: Reducing the likelihood of exposure Reducing the magnitude or severity of exposure The conventional approach to workplace electrical safety has been to conduct an arc flash study after the installation is complete, calculate the incident energy levels, post warning signs and labels, provide training on safe work practices then purchase appropriately rated PPE, job done. Posting warnings, conducting awareness training, purchasing and issue PPE does not in any way reduce the likelihood of an arc flash event nor does it reduce the magnitude of the arc flash. For those professing that PPE does reduce the severity of exposure, let’s pause and consider what it means to wear ARC rated clothing – there is a 50% probability of receiving second degree burns. Surely we can’t accept this is safe. Electric arcing may produce temperatures as high as 35,000 degrees and in addition to causing severe burns there is the real possibility of hearing loss, eye injuries as well as lung damage and blast injuries from the pressure wave. The positive news is that we can control both the likelihood of exposure as well as the magnitude of exposure with technology that is proven, readily available and already being used by enlightened companies leading the way in improving workplace electrical safety. Control the Likelihood of Exposure – The first and obvious step is to de-energize the electric circuit before conducting any work whenever practical. If this isn’t practical or safe, then consider options that reduce the likelihood of an arc flash event occurring. Again referring to NFPA70E, Annex 0 clause 0.2.4 3) states, “A great majority of electrical faults are of the phase-to-ground type. High-resistance grounding will insert an impedance in the ground return path and below (at 5 kV nominal or below), leaving insufficient fault energy and thereby helping reduce the arc flash hazard level.” This is consistent with statements in the Industrial Power System Grounding Design Handbook which states that 95% of all electrical faults are phase to ground faults and IEEE141-1993 Recommended Practice for Electric Power Distribution for Industrial Plants 7.2.2 which states “there is no arc flash hazard (on HRG systems) as there is with solidly grounded systems, since the current is limited to approximately 5 amps”. In FM Global Standard 5-18 Protection of Electrical Equipment Single Phase and Other Related Faults it states “Sustained arcing faults in low voltage apparatus are often initiated by a single-phase fault to ground which results in extensive damage to switchgear and motor control centers.” If we already understand that the vast majority of arcing faults start as single-phase to-ground faults, whether the specifics are 95% or the great majority, and that by employing High Resistance Grounding, a technology that has been around for 50 years and used in all manner of industries from petro-chemical to food processing to automotive to paper manufacturing to data centers etc. we can Reduce the Exposure to the hazard significantly, then the question needs to be asked why is this not the standard practice for grounding industrial facilities? HRG as a technology is recommended by IEEE, it is recognized by NFPA 70E, it is promoted by FM Global and yet it is still not the default option when making the grounding decision for industrial facilities. Of course High Resistance Grounding does not protect against phase-to-phase faults nor does it lower the incident energy calculation and therefore additional control steps must be taken to ensure an electrically safe workplace. Reduce the Magnitude of Exposure – Again referring to NFPA70E, Annex 0 clause 0.2.4 2) states “Arc flash relay. An arc flash relay typically uses light sensors to detect the light produced by an arc flash event. Once a certain level of light is detected the relay will issue a trip signal to an upstream overcurrent device” An arc is developed in milliseconds and leads to the discharge of enormous amounts of energy. The energy discharged in the arc is directly proportional to the square of the short circuit current and the time the arc takes to develop, i.e. energy = I2t The damage resulting from the arc depends on the arcing current and time and of these two factors time is the most easily controlled and managed. Rules of thumb for different arc burning times are: 35 ms or less – no significant damage to persons or switchgear which can often be returned to use after checking for insulation resistance 100 ms – small damage to switchgear that requires cleaning and possibly some minor repair. Personnel could be at risk of injuries. 500 ms – catastrophic damage to equipment and personnel are likely to suffer serious injuries. The goal of arc mitigation technology is to protect personnel and property and to effectively accomplish this we must first detect the arc and then cut the flow of current to the arc in as short a time as possible. As noted above the target is to achieve a total reaction time of 100ms or less from detection of the arc to isolation of the circuit. Arcs produce light at intensity levels that excess 20,000 lux. This can be detected through special arc detection optical sensors connected to a relay system that has a typical operating time under 1ms and is the fastest arc flash detection technology currently available. The operating time is independent of the fault current magnitude since any current detector elements are used only to supervise the optical system With optical arc protection technology installed the relay operating time is essentially negligible compared to the circuit breaker operating time and the cost is fairly low since current transformers are only needed on the main breakers. If we sum up the circuit breaker operating time and the optical arc detection time we are well below the goal of 100ms regardless of the age and speed of the circuit breaker and have mitigated the damage to a lower and safer level. Simply changing from standard coordination and instantaneous settings on the relay (suggested by some consultants as sufficient) to a protection system which uses optical arc detection that incident energy levels are reduced substantially. NFPA70E, Annex 0 clause 0.2.4 1) states “Energy-reducing active arc flash mitigation system. This system can reduce the arcing duration by creating a low impedance current path, located within a controlled compartment, to cause the arcing fault to transfer to the new current path, while the upstream breaker clears the circuit. The system works without compromising existing selective coordination in the electrical distribution system. “ Arc quenching has been used in Europe for more than 30 years but due to concerns over the mechanical stresses caused by initiating a 3 phase bolted fault, it is a technology yet to be fully embraced in North America. The solution may be as simple as modifying the approach to add an impedance into the circuit so that as the arc is detected by an optical detection relay, a signal is sent to initiate the arc quenching device which closes onto a resistor placed between the quencher and each phase of the bus bar. The high levels of fault current are dampened and controlled by a resistor on each phase eliminating the concern over mechanical stresses. The addition of arc quenching technology, controlled through an impedance could result in lowering the incident energy levels in the event of an arc flash to very low and safer levels. A safer workplace can easily be achieved if we simply change our approach by conducting risk assessment during the design phase of a project. Then we move forward and conduct the arc flash study, define the risk and quantify the hazard. Next we employ elimination technology (High Resistance Grounding) then technology to lower the hazard level (arc flash detection relay or active arc mitigation system), redo the study, re-quantify the risk and the hazard (which will be much lower), then post the warning labels, purchase the PPE, conduct the training. A workplace where the likelihood of an arc flash is 95% lower, where the impact of an arc flash can be minimized to very low levels is possible today – we just need to take control and use technology already available. Article used with permission from I-Gard...
VFD Line Sync System for Weil Group Helium Processing
September 16, 2016
Client Success Stories / Variable Frequency Drives
VFD Line Sync System for Weil Group Helium Processing A 3 Phase Power Systems project case study Arcticsands Thermal Industries contacted 3 Phase Power Systems recently on behalf of Weil Helium Processing, a developer of global energy and resource projects, to supply power solutions for a large helium processing facility in Saskatchewan. This new $10 million facility, completed in April 2016 by theWeil Helium Processing, supplies refined industrial-grade helium to North American markets. This state-of-the-art facility purifies inert gas from existing wells to a “Grade A” industrial helium, producing over 40 million cubic feet of helium per year. Saskatchewan is excited to welcome the revival of the helium industry through this project, an industry that has been inactive in the province for 50 years. “At 600V, no other manufacturer/packager offered a proven system for VFD start -synchronize and bypass run.” -Mike Keevill, Arcticsands Thermal Industries The 3 Phase Power Systems solution 3 Phase Power Systems designed and built a Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) Line Sync system within a short eight-week timeframe, including delivering the product to Calgary for integration into an E-House. 3 Phase Power Systems designed a solution whereby a Vacon VFD, running a Line Sync application, starts the 675 HP reciprocating compressor under VFD control until it is at line frequency and then switches on a contactor to run directly from the line. Once the unit is up to line frequency, the Danfoss VACON NXP VFD is able to make small adjustments to the internal frequency reference so that the line voltage angle and VFD voltage angle are within set limits. At this point the VFD is disconnected from the motor and the motor is directly connected to the line with no noticeable power disturbance. Challenges for Weil Group’s helium project included: Lync syncing and shut-off, which facilitate heat dissipation within the E-House and eliminate the need for additional air conditioning units. Building a system within the space restrictions of the E-House. Keeping harmonic disturbances within the range of IEEE 519: the limits of the VFD running time and syncing to the line also limits the quantity and duration of harmonic disturbances. Starting a high load torque system was not feasible: the site utility power system located at the end of the transmission line was extremely weak (X/R ~ 1). High starting torques on a weak system can lead to power dip and sag, which can adversely affect other plant equipment on the distribution systems. Another 3 Phase Power Systems success story Mike Dube, 3 Phase Power Systems Service Manager, arrived on site to commission the equipment (Vacon 700 Horsepower heavy duty NXP with Line Sync) in May 2016. With a single PLC input, the Vacon NXP starts the motor, smoothly ramps up to the line frequency, synchronizes to line frequency and transfers the motor. After testing and adjusting the contactor timing and transfer frequency, the motor was connected and the first trial start-up was made. The system was ready within two days and has been performing without incident ever since. 3 Phase is proud to have been part of such an important project for the Weil Helium Processing and for the Province of Saskatchewan. As Mike Keevill from Arcticsands has stated, “At 600V, no other manufacturer/packager offered a proven system for VFD start -synchronize and bypass run.”...
Electro Servo Control for High-speed Log Merchandising System
September 16, 2016
A 3Phase Case Study for WestFraser – Blue Ridge Lumber Blue Ridge Lumber’s high speed log merchandising system Blue Ridge Lumber mill is owned by WestFraser, the largest lumber producer in North America operating 40 mills across Western Canada and the southern United States. The Blue Ridge mill is located in Blue Ridge, Alberta, and was acquired by WestFraser in 1995. The company has been constantly improving production with better equipment since that time, and 3 Phase is proud to be an integral part of that process. A high speed log merchandising system was installed in 2004, and since that time the Blue Ridge Mill has become one of the company’s most efficient sawmills. The log merchandiser cuts stems into shorter logs after optimizing them for the best value by scanning, deciding which saws to use, and then cutting with a series of saws which travel on a track along the length of the stem. These five saws are controlled by an electro servo drive and motor actuator, a technology that is replacing hydraulically actuated arms in the industry. This electrically powered system avoids the need for any hydraulics, which has many benefits: Hydraulics require more maintenance for hoses, cylinders and seals, which can cause oil leaks and other problems. Electro servo controls are more energy efficient: 85% efficient vs. hydraulics which are 50% efficient at their best. Electro servo controls are environmentally friendly without the need for oil and oil disposal. Electro servo controls are more accurate, with better precision in position, speed and force. 3Phase had installed the original servo system in this mill 12 years ago, and this new installation provided a much-needed upgrade. The original system had utilized a DeviceNet communication system, while the new system now features Ethernet/IP. This is easier to integrate with a process control system and communicates much faster. It was also becoming more and more difficult for the mill to find replacement parts for the aging system. The new system uses current software and diagnostic tools, making it much easier for the mill staff to operate and maintain, and will be reliable for many years to come. 3Phase designed, assembled and tested the system at 3Phase Power Systems at our facility in Delta, BC. The exhaustive testing processes we employ allows us to install and start up systems efficiently and without major interruptions to production. Contact us with any questions or to inquire about other custom power solutions....
Electro Servo Control for High-speed Log Merchandising System
September 14, 2016
Client Success Stories
A 3Phase Case Study for WestFraser – Blue Ridge Lumber Blue Ridge Lumber mill is owned by WestFraser, the largest lumber producer in North America operating 40 mills across Western Canada and the southern United States. The Blue Ridge mill is located in Blue Ridge, Alberta, and was acquired by WestFraser in 1995. The company has been constantly improving production with better equipment since that time, and 3 Phase is proud to be an integral part of that process. A high speed log merchandising system was installed in 2004, and since that time the Blue Ridge Mill has become one of the company’s most efficient sawmills. The log merchandiser cuts stems into shorter logs after optimizing them for the best value by scanning, deciding which saws to use, and then cutting with a series of saws which travel on a track along the length of the stem. These five saws are controlled by an electro servo drive and motor actuator, a technology that is replacing hydraulically actuated arms in the industry. This electrically powered system avoids the need for any hydraulics, which has many benefits: Hydraulics require more maintenance for hoses, cylinders and seals, which can cause oil leaks and other problems. Electro servo controls are more energy efficient: 85% efficient vs. hydraulics which are 50% efficient at their best. Electro servo controls are environmentally friendly without the need for oil and oil disposal. Electro servo controls are more accurate, with better precision in position, speed and force. 3Phase had installed the original servo system in this mill 12 years ago, and this new installation provided a much-needed upgrade. The original system had utilized a DeviceNet communication system, while the new system now features Ethernet/IP. This is easier to integrate with a process control system and communicates much faster. It was also becoming more and more difficult for the mill to find replacement parts for the aging system. The new system uses current software and diagnostic tools, making it much easier for the mill staff to operate and maintain, and will be reliable for many years to come. 3Phase designed, assembled and tested the system at 3Phase Power Systems at our facility in Delta, BC. The exhaustive testing processes we employ allows us to install and start up systems efficiently and without major interruptions to production. Contact us with any questions or to inquire about other custom power solutions....
VFD Line Sync System for Weil Group Helium Processing
July 13, 2016
Client Success Stories / Variable Frequency Drives
Let’s stay connected!
June 16, 2016
Let us be your guide to industrial power systems If you’re reading this, that means you’ve discovered our brand new blog, where we plan to provide you with all kinds of informational articles, as well as details on how we’ve helped specific clients achieve their power system needs – be they in mining, forestry, transportation, wastewater management, oil & gas or another sector. Staying connected with our friends, clients and supporters is important to us, and so we’ve developed a communications plan to ensure our blog and social media profiles are continually updated with content that we believe you’ll find useful and informative. What can you expect? • Case studies on clients we’ve worked with and how we helped them achieve their power and control system needs • Information on industrial power systems, including how to get the most out of yours • Answers to your questions about power system performance Don’t miss out! We highly encourage you to stay connected using whichever channels you use the most. Like our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter or Google+ and/or sign up to our contact list so you’re always the first to know about new contests and promotions. If you have any questions along the way, please don’t hesitate to contact us at any time. Until then, we look forward to staying in touch! Kam Ghuman 3 Phase Power Systems...
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