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How to protect plants against voltage dips in the public grid?

Electrical protection voltage dipsProblems with the public grid can seriously impact the availability of connected industrial and power plants. For instance, in Panama, lightning strikes and other events affecting the local grid have caused the coal-fired Bahia Las Minas Power Plant to shut down ten times in only two years. In order to minimize the plant’s vulnerability to such events, the local operator called upon the seasoned multidisciplinary experts of Laborelec for assistance.

When lightning strikes…

The electrical grid in Panama is rather weak. For instance, during the transition period between the dry and rainy seasons, the grid is struck by lightning on a regular basis, causing serious voltage dips. As a result, industrial sites and power plants connected to the grid shut down entirely. The coal-fired Bahia Las Minas Power Plant alone, for which maximal availability is crucial in order to be economically viable, shut down ten times over the past two years. With the help of Laborelec, the local operator aims to adequately protect its plant against grid-related issues and maximize availability.

Multidisciplinary expertise wanted

The plant contacted Laborelec for its expertise in a wide variety of domains. Laborelec has experts in electromagnetic compatibility, power quality, engines, selectivity, immunization, etc. working closely together during safety audits of complex electrical networks. Such a multidisciplinary group is the perfect complement to the expertise of the local electrical engineers and ensures effective optimization of electrical network security.

Well-prepared, well-equipped

After initial contact with the plant, Laborelec assembled a team of experts and requested technical documentation. Based on these documents, the experts were able to learn about the plant’s specific electrical network before arrival onsite. In this way, they were well-prepared and they could focus their three-day visit on collecting additional (field) data.

The Laborelec experts used these data to build models, perform simulations, and make specialized calculations in order to provide practical recommendations that will help maximize the plant’s network security.

Objective second opinion during supplier negotiations

The Laborelec team of experts also helped the local operator evaluate various suppliers’ solutions. By pointing out the pros and the cons of each solution, the experts made it possible for the local operator to effectively compare and evaluate each option.

How well-protected is your electrical network?

 

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