Our latest commercial and industrial electrical projects
Upgrade to the onsite mill motor was required to increase production of bitumen product quantities. The motor was to be upgraded from 110Kw to 160Kw. To facilitate with this upgrade a new circuit breaker would be required.
Do we add a new circuit breaker or remove and replace the old circuit breaker?
The existing stainless steel switchboard was IP65, 2100 Amp and rated for Form4B.
There were two choices with the installation of the new circuit breaker:
Install new 630A Circuit Breaker in a spare location in the existing switchboard
Remove existing 400A Circuit Breaker and replace with 630A Circuit Breaker
Option 2 was selected as there was limited availability of a suitable location on the existing switchboard for a new circuit breaker. If the existing circuit breaker was upgraded the existing cables could also be reused.
To minimise any disruption to production shutdown and isolation were carried out on a Saturday. The switchboard was shut down. Test and lock-out procedures were implemented. A generator was provided by Electro Systems during the shutdown period.
The existing cell was dismantled and switchboard modified for the larger size cell. The modular design of the existing switchboard allowed for a simple modification. The new 630A cell was installed ensuring a clear, safe connection to the busbars at the rear of the switchboard. A series of tests were performed to ensure everything was electrically correct.
The existing motor was reconnected and the circuit breaker was adjusted for the correct current rating. The switchboard was repowered and voltage checks were undertaken.
The system was fully operational ready for production on Monday morning.
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Fulton Hogan had five 40,000 Litre Storage Vessels which were underpowered. They had considerable trouble during the cooler months trying to keep the tanks warm enough. This had been a problem for several years. Existing heaters for these tanks were approximately 10kW. To resolve the problem, Fulton Hogan invested in five new heaters which would increase the heating capacity to 100kW for each tank.
Electro Systems were asked to quote to install power cables, control panels and associated controls for the five new heaters. Although the main switchboard had been upgraded there were insufficient circuits to run the five new 100kW heaters.
Kevin Lowe from Electro Systems provided a solution to the problem. Order an additional tier to add to the end of the main switchboard. The switchboard was a stainless steel IP65 Form 4B type switchboard so Kevin set to work on the design specification for the additional tier. The specification included additional cells to power three more 250 Amp circuits. The design was submitted to Lend Lease and ordered to be manufactured. While waiting on the order for the switchboard, Electro Systems commenced the installation of the cables.
The two Heater Control Panels were designed to specifications for each 100 kW Heater. There were two controllers in one panel and three controllers in the other panel. The Heater Control Panels were mounted back to back in the Production area. All the heating wiring including thermocouple wiring and safety interlocks were run back to the control panels and hooked up in preparation.
When the additional tier for the main switchboard arrived, Electro Systems organised for the plant to be closed down on a weekend. The unit was mounted and busbars were connected. All heater power wiring was terminated. As the heaters were installed into the tanks, Electro Systems commissioned each heater in turn and tested each for correct operation. All of the above work was carried out with no lost production. Temperature calibration was checked when the system was up and running. Over temperature alarms and controls were set to protect the system in the event of failure.
Fulton Hogan had all five heaters up and running with tanks heating up in a quarter of the time. More precise temperature control over the product led to improved quality of product and improved delivery standards.
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Electro Systems submitted the initial application for the 70Kw system to Energex who were unsupportive of the project and asked for a resubmission. There were 14 other users on the same part of the network and it was important there be no interference with those users. Also, the solar installation was not to interfere with the remainder of the network.
Energex has complex parameters to test the design of large solar systems. These parameters can make the larger projects untenable. After discussions between Mark Gwyn from Northside Roofing and Kevin Lowe from Electro Systems a decision was made to reduce the application to a 30 kW system. This comprised of 3 x 10Kw inverters. Each 10Kw inverter drawing power from 40 x 250 Watt panels. After Mark Gwyn accepted Energex Terms and Conditions Electro Systems were able to commence the project.
An initial assessment of the layout of the panels and the design of the system was undertaken. Ideally, solar panels should be north facing to optimise the sun’s energy however roof constraints required the panels to be on the East and West slopes of the building (16 degrees off North). To counteract this orientation the number of panels were increased. There would be 45 panels for each 10Kw inverter, 3 Strings of 15, one east facing, the second one on the ridge of the roof, east and west and the third one on the west face of the roof. This would allow for the 3 inverters to generate at full capacity.
Panels were not tilted to point north as this would have reduced roof space and prevented the panels being located in the designated areas. There had been considerable time spent in detailing the design and layout of the panels and it was important that there was no deviation. There was also another challenge to face with a sign running down the middle of the roof. This sign would interfere with the performance of the panels so it was important to factor the sign into the design as well.
Once satisfied with the design, Electro Systems began implementing the safety systems to allow for panels to be safely installed on the roof. There was a total of 135 panels to be mounted on the roof along with brackets, clamps, isolators, wiring, all of which had to be installed and completed in a safe manner. The roof of the building was a minimum 8 metre fall from working height. Additional protective features were required to meet the Australian Standard AS5033. This was due to each string incorporating extra panels and the individual output of each string exceeding the 600 Volt limit.
All cables were run unobtrusively through the factory, up onto the roof and distributed to each string of panels, running back down to the inverters located on ground level in a storage room adjacent to the main electrical switchboard. This switchboard was upgraded to enable integration of the solar power to connect to the grid.
Electro Systems used all quality components including Canadian Solar 250W panels, SMA Inverters, and ABB DC Isolators. To minimise the voltage drop due to the length of cables, 6mm DC cable to the solar panels was used.
The system was tested and commissioned. The transition went smoothly and without incident with the system performing impressively. By 10.30 am the next morning the solar panels were generating the full 30Kw.
Feedback from Mark Gwyn, owner of Northside Roofing Pty Ltd
“Three months ago we were randomly selected by the State Government to have our solar system audited and not a single defect was found and in fact the auditor made comment that the solar system installed by Electro Systems, was of the highest quality materials and one of the best workmanship installations they have ever seen.
When Electro Systems originally quoted our Solar System, they carefully assessed our monthly electricity bill of approximately $2700 and confidently advised me that my business would save 50% of this cost. I am very happily surprised that my monthly electricity bill has been reduced to an average monthly spend of $1100 saving me more than the 50% they first predicted.
Electro Systems after sales service is impeccable and coupled with the high quality parts they provide; I can feel confident that my business has no electrical concerns at all. I would highly recommend Electro Systems to any business or individual for every type of electrical service you may require.”
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