2012-07-27 - 50 new generation ABB GridShield® reclosers will enhance the reliability and efficiency of the power grid serving some Petrobras’ petroleum production sites.
ABB’s innovative GridShield outdoor vacuum recloser has made an important breakthrough in the Latin American market with a major order from a Petrobras´ (the world’s third largest energy company) contractor, to supply 50 units for the E&P Operational Unit Sergipe/Alagoas, headquartered in Sergipe State, on Brazil’s north-east coast.
Reliability and innovation are key requirements for Petrobras as it modernizes its plant infrastructure. That is why it has specified ABB’s ground-breaking 15 kV GridShield® to provide a reclosers solution that will enhance the reliability and efficiency of the medium voltage power grid serving Sergipe sites by ensuring an automatic response to system disturbances.
In addition to its innovative design, the decision to specify GridShield® for this project was based on its capability to provide a long, reliable service life in the demanding environment of coastal and country petroleum salty locations combined with full native implementation of the core values of the IEC 61850 standard for substation communication and protection schemes, in this case applied to a WAN integrated by fiber optics, switches and radios. Petrobras was also impressed by GridShield’s ease and flexibility of installation, especially the controller which is readily customizable to suit the specific application, and its compact footprint.
The GridShield® recloser combines a circuit-breaking function with the ability to restore the power automatically and quickly, so that temporary faults on the Petrobras network are less likely to result in prolonged power outages. The GridShield® recloser is designed specifically for use on distribution feeders or in substations, and incorporates a number of features aimed at maximising long-term reliability and minimising routine maintenance needs.
The GridShield® concept also offers a unique, fully integrated and flexible approach to the challenges of enhanced grid automation within a compact installation footprint. It can perform as recloser, breaker, automated switch or sectionalizer, or even to connect distributed generation to the grid or to communicate GOOSE (Generic Object Oriented Substation Event) messaging utilizing the IEC 61850 data model. Other key features for the Petrobras project include high impedance fault protection, a 15 kV circuit breaker, voltage and current sensors and the RER620 relay which is part of ABB’s new generation Relion family of intelligent electronic devices (IEDs). The complete solution is 100 percent type-tested to ANSI C37.60.
The 50 GridShield® units are being commissioned at Sergipe in 2012.
Notes for editors: Why use ‘reclosers’?
A recloser is a protection device for electrical distribution networks. It combines a circuit breaker that trips if an overcurrent is detected (indicating a short circuit somewhere in a section of the network), with an electronically-controlled reclosing function that automatically restores power to the affected line if the fault clears itself quickly – which usually happens around 80 percent of the time.
There is a double incentive for companies to deploy reclosers in their distribution networks. The first is that reclosers prevent transient short circuits from triggering prolonged power outages. This results in better supply continuity. The second benefit is that reclosers restore power automatically, without requiring an engineering site visit.
A transient short circuit is the type of event that can be caused, for example, when a branch of a tree momentarily touches overhead cables as it falls to the ground. Reclosers handle this type of event much better than circuit breakers. Typically, the power supply will be restored in a matter of a few seconds or less. Only if the cause of the short circuit has not cleared itself would the recloser keep the breaker open until the cause is manually cleared.
Reclosers like the new ABB GridShield® also have electronic control equipment with multiple network interfaces, so the reclosers can be integrated into a wider network automation strategy. However, even with a fast-acting recloser installed in a feeder network, a transient short circuit will still cause a momentary interruption to supplies. But this is much preferable to a power outage that lasts until a maintenance team can get to the breaker site to restore power.
ABB (www.abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 145,000 people.
For help with any technical terms in this release, please go to: www.abb.com/glossary