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Sparing your plant that bolt from the blue.

It was a dark and stormy night...

With the classic warning signs: lightning, thunder, needles of rain spiking the windows. You're hard at work on the computer, and you know you really should save your work every few minutes. But you're on a roll, finally making headway on that behemoth of a project.

Then it happens.

The sky blasts, the building rocks, and the lights go out-- along with your computer. Time lost, work lost.

Survivor of the storm, take heart. A new pilot program to improve and sustain power quality for industrial customers is just behind that last menacing cloud.

Creating a premium power park is the goal of a two-year research project developed by American Electric Power (AEP), Columbus, OH, and Siemens Power Transmission and Distribution, Wendell, NC. AEP and Siemens were jointly awarded the contract by EPRI, Palo Alto, CA. EPRI, formerly known as the Electric Power Research Institute, is the science and technology development organization for the energy industry.

Test site for this unprecedented demonstration will be Delaware Industrial Park, Delaware, OH, located approximately 20 miles north of Columbus. The industrial park will be retrofitted and converted to the country's first premium power park. This particular site was chosen because of its varied customer base and load, the customers' power quality concerns, and its multifaceted power quality needs.

Developed in the early 1960s, Delaware Industrial Park is home to 11 companies representing manufacturing, warehousing, data processing, and assembly functions industries. Four industrial customers, which use about 70% of the load, have agreed to participate in the project. Those customers are: Pittsburgh Plate and Glass (PPG), The Nippert Co, Willamette Industries, and Acoust-a-Fiber.

Why premium power?

No question, computers and other electronic equipment are at the core of today's manufacturing applications. Brownouts and stormy weather aside, power quality is a major concern for customers in the industrial and commercial sector. Even under everyday conditions, the standard electrical power supply can vary, subjecting customers not only to outages but also to voltage sags or surges. The resulting downtime is a productivity killer.

With new power technologies, service providers can offer customers high quality power-- premium power--that better meets customers' distinct needs in a more consistent, reliable way. The premium power park is intended to compensate for erratic power delivery, protecting sensitive electronic and electrical devices. This concept integrates leading edge power quality devices in a utility's distribution system (see sidebar). After determining customer-specific needs, several custom power technologies and applications can be used to offer enhanced power quality. These devices interface with each other, monitoring the power supply to improve quality and, ultimately, customer service.

To validate the project, the research team will measure improvements in the park's power quality and reliability. It will also have to gage the customers' degree of satisfaction with the new system and evaluate the cost benefits.

"By demonstrating the ability to implement a park that provides both technical and financial satisfaction for the energy provider and user, we hope to prove that the premium power park is more than just a concept," says John Kessinger, Siemens general manager and VP.

Power trip

For nearly a decade, market research conducted by EPRI has shown that customers want improved electrical service. In 1992, an EPRI study showed that most customers were willing to pay more for upgraded service. A 1997 survey of 750 industrial and commercial customers nationwide revealed that 40% of respondents experienced power quality problems. The survey also found that 38% of those surveyed would pay more than their current rates for power quality solutions.

Together, AEP, Siemens, and EPRI hope to demonstrate the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of providing premium power to customers in an industrial park setting. As host utility and subcontractor, AEP will provide utility system expertise. Siemens will serve as the system integrator, performing investigation, coordination, and analysis.

"The AEP/Siemens team was selected for the project because of their combined expertise, along with being the best qualified to design, construct, and install the custom power technologies," says Larry Carmichael, technical manager, distribution systems, EPRI.

AEP and Siemens have previously teamed up to demonstrate new electrical technologies, including a distribution static compensator (DSTATCOM), which will be used in the premium power park.

"What makes this project unique is that it's the first time that multiple power quality technologies will be integrated into one system," says Harry Vollkommer, project co-manager, AEP. "It also allows us to demonstrate that we can adapt existing systems with new technology." Before this current combined effort, the component applications had only been used as standalone pieces.

Many technologies and applications can improve power quality: Some devices be used in the Delaware Industrial Park project include:

Distribution Static Compressor (DSTATCOM)

Guards against the effects of sudden load changes that could cause voltage sag and/or surge problems.

Dynamic Voltage Restorer (DVR)

Restores voltage quality to an end-user, when the source-side voltage varies.

Solid State Breaker (SSB)

Clears electrical faults from the system.

Medium Voltage Sub-Cycle Transfer Switch (SSTS)

Maintains power stability for customers served radially via two separate power sources.

Transportable Battery Energy Storage (TBESS)

Functions either as a current source for managing power, or as a voltage source for maintaining power quality.

Static VAr Compensator (SVC)

Provides dynamic power factor correction and voltage regulation.

The Premium Park Concept Project goals

* Show the potential of supplying premium power to customers at a reasonable cost.

* Integrate diverse power quality devices into one system.

* Demonstrate how new technology can be adapted to existing utility systems.

* Provide enhanced power quality to customers requiring premium power.

* Deliver premium power park technology to the market as a commercially viable offering.


The two-year research project has three phases:

Phase 1--Premium power park application methodology development

* Monitor existing power quality

* Analyze the range of power needs

* Identify needed power quality devices

* Develop plans for system design and integration

* Benchmark data

Phase 2--Premium power park implementation

* Continue tracking power quality

* Conduct site preparation work

* Finalize design

* Acquire and install equipment for power enhancement

Phase 3--Performance monitoring

* Ongoing monitoring and collection of power quality data

* Measurement of power quality pre- and post-implementation
COPYRIGHT 1999 Nelson Publishing
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Comment:Sparing your plant that bolt from the blue.
Author:Matheis, Paul
Publication:Tooling & Production
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 1999
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