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  HV Power Application Newsletter #13 (February 2015)
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  Commentary: The Elephant in the report!

Photo - Geoff Vaughan
Geoff Vaughan, Managing Director



The recently released Marxsen Consulting report 'REFCL Trial: Ignition Tests' makes for some interesting reading. The report outlines the results of tests carried out for the Powerline Bushfire Safety Programme at a purpose-built facility at Frankston, Victoria in 2014.

As a local technology distributor with 20 years involvement in power system protection, our HV Power team, plus colleagues from our European suppliers, have a keen interest in the contents of this report.  Notwithstanding the page of disclaimers to the report, we question a number of the conclusions drawn within.

Whilst the report alludes to the benefits that compensated networks or resonant earthing can provide to network supply reliability and SAIDI, the elephant in this report* is that it is SILENT on the history and overall reliability of the REFCL system used in the test.

Protection Systems, including REFCL systems, must be able to be relied upon without question and be available to operate 24 by 7, year-in year-out.

The REFCL system at Frankston was installed a number of years ago and there are utilities in New Zealand and Europe using the same manufacturer’s equipment.  There are, therefore, plenty of customer experiences in New Zealand and Europe to draw from as to the performance, overall reliability, availability and uptime of that technology.

As with the selection of any technology, talking to a range of existing users about their experience of the technology should be part of the process to evaluate the suitability of the equipment - especially when it’s a proprietary approach from just one manufacturer.

On this front, we strongly recommend making independent inquiries to existing users to check out the track record of the manufacturer to provide timely technical support, supply spares and to deal with the inherent issues of secondary systems technology (i.e. firmware upgrades) as part of your due diligence process in considering compensated network technology.

* 'Elephant in the room' is an English metaphorical idiom for an obvious truth that is either being ignored or going unaddressed. The idiomatic expression also applies to an obvious problem or risk no one wants to discuss.

  Power Quality: PQ-Box 100 Variants and Aussie Voltage Leads

HV Power has collaborated with A.Eberle, the German PQ-Box manufacturer, to develop single-phase variants of the popular PQ-Box 100 portable power analyser. Based on local feedback from customers there’s now an option to power the PQ Box directly from the measuring leads. We also now offer alternative double insulated leads on the device as well as a range of fused, heavy-duty lead accessories including optional clamps, clips and other connections.

These variants are a direct result of market feedback where the PQ-Box 100 maintains its IP65 rating, Class A certification and manufacturer's warranty in the process. 

The single-phase PQ-Box 100 offers a cost-effective solution to single phase and SWER line PQ measurements, using proven technology and software. Another quality solution from HV Power.

Photo - PQ-Box 100 Power Quality Analyser

Photo - PQ-Box optional leads
Fused leads, with interchangeable connectors - large clamps, insulated clamps, bootlace ferrule and shrouded banana plug shown

Contact Grant Wells for more information. Email him at grantw@hvpowerautomation.com or call his mobile 0447 744311


A.Eberle PQI-DA smart – Class A Power Quality Recorder

Are you planning on installing fixed PQ monitoring equipment at your substation? Look no further than A.Eberle’s WinPQ software and PQI-DA smart hardware.

Photo - PQI-DA smart fixed installed PQ device

A.Eberle have a proven, powerful and comprehensive WinPQ software system, using PQI-D and PQI-DA hardware that has been available for several years. This fixed installed system now also supports data gathered from portable/mobile PQ-Box 100 and PQ-Box 200 analysers. This cross-over also allows PQ-Box users to use the more powerful WinPQ software for analysis and display where additional functions are required (for example, comparing recordings made at different times on different devices).

A.Eberle now introduce the PQI-DA smart, a lower cost, but highly powerful device for fixed installation monitoring. With removable SD memory card, the PQI-DA smart also offers a solution for sites where a comms infrastructure is not available. Simply install an SD card to PQI-DA smart, copy the device memory, return to your office and load the measurement files to WinPQ. When site communications are available, then use the PQI-DA smart RS-232, 485 or Ethernet interface for automated data downloads. Click here or call us for more information on the PQI-DA smart and other A.Eberle Power Quality monitoring solutions.


  New REG-D/DA hardware - forget the batteries

A.Eberle’s popular REG-D Voltage Regulating Relay is now shipping with a new motherboard.  This latest motherboard uses non-volatile MRAM, so the REG-D no longer has a battery for backing up settings.  This is a seamless and transparent change for all customers, as the new motherboard supports the same CPU2 processor and all current firmware versions.

A button battery remains for the real-time clock.
Photo - PQ-Box 100

REG-DA’s will also feature this upgrade in 2015, in the meantime 'battery-less' versions of the REG-DA’s are available as a special order.

REG-D Battery replacement:

An updated guide to REG-D battery replacement is now available from our website's Technical Library, which covers all the older REG-D hardware versions and their batteries.

HV Power holds stock of the recommended battery types. Contact us for details.


Compensated Networks

The benefits of deploying Compensated Networks (also referred to as Resonant Earthing Networks/REFCL) in electricity distribution networks is well understood in Europe, where conventional Arc Suppression Coils / Petersen Coils, connected to the neutral point of power transformers, are widely used.

The majority of these systems use IED technology that is readily available from a number of suppliers specialising in compensated networks.  A.Eberle's REG-DP and REG DPA are examples of Petersen coil controllers.  These are built using the same hardware as that used on the ubiquitous REG-D and REG-DA voltage Regulating Relays.  Other than the Petersen coil and the controller the other main ingredient of any compensated network is the specialised earth fault detection devices that are employed across the network.

For information on HV Power's RE+DS - Resonant Earthing and Earth Fault Detection System - go to our website.  RE+DS is based on proven A.Eberle regulator technology and the Petersen coil is supplied by Czech manufacturer EGE.


Voltage Regulator – HV Power’s Guides to REG-D & REG-DA

HV Power's website contains a technical library with useful documents supporting the products that we provide. This library includes a section on Voltage Regulators & Transformer controls.

Continuing on with our support of the REG-D and REG-DA Voltage Regulating Relays, we have released a guide on 'Alarm, Inhibit and High–Speed Switching functions'.

In cases of large deviations of the measured voltage from the Setpoint, the Alarm, Inhibit and High-Speed switching functions provide additional control and functionality that can be enabled, overriding the Time Programs (described in an earlier document). The guides describe important functions and their main interactions.

While the guides provide detail on the internal operation of the voltage regulator, it is timely to remember that not all installations need this level of knowledge. In our Technical Library, you will also see '6 Steps to Basic Voltage Regulation', which is a reminder of how simple it can be to get a voltage regulator functioning.

  In Australia call 1-800 172 120 www.hvpower.com.au        ABN: 62 113 118 536

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