Variable Speed Drives Overload

We prevented damaging downtime to a large pharmaceutical plant in the South of Ireland. The plant, which manufactures market-leading medicines, had issues with overloading of variable speed drives. There were faults identified on the secondary side of UPS.

The Challenge

This pharmaceutical plant reported a fault on the secondary side of a UPS. It had caused process downtime of more than two hours and resulted in the loss of product and resource downtime. Estimated loss to business was in excess of €2million. Premium Power were called in to investigate the case and make recommendations to eliminate it.

How we Helped

We carried out an analysis of power quality data for system performance versus IEC standards for critical infrastructure. Using this and a power analysis model of the distribution system, we could identify vulnerable parts of the network experiencing significant breaches of the voltage harmonic limits for controlled and sensitive equipment.

Our extensive power quality metering assessment identified vulnerable points on the network and highlighted significant breaches of the voltage harmonic limits for controlled and sensitive equipment as stipulated by the IEC61000-2-4 standard. We also modelled the facility’s electrical distribution network using our specialist software analysis programs. The software model was used to size a filtering solution that would mitigate any harmonic issues.

 

"Using our specialist equipment and knowledge, we could design a power analysis model of the distribution system and identify vulnerable parts of the network experiencing significant breaches of the voltage harmonic limits. We are seeing a number of clients suffering issues with overloading of variable speed drives, throughout their facilities."
Andrew Hogan, Senior Electrical Engineer

The Result

We were able to recommend a number of mitigation solutions to resolve the problem including dual feeding arrangement, installation of harmonic filters, upgrade of the existing power monitoring system to include integration of alarms and control for uninterrupted power supplies and variable speed drives and revised maintenance programmes.

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