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The CIRCUTOR PRIME PLC Concentrator and the key to its success

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What does it mean for electricity distribution companies to have a completely approved PLC PRIME concentrator? Which PRIME PLC Concentrator has most successfully passed the independent tests of the Energy Technology Institute (ITE)?

In this article we will see how, in addition to having complete approval, it is essential to obtain the best results in a series of tests, performed by a top independent entity like the ITE. These tests are also focused on the parameters of most interest to distribution companies: the concentrator should offer maximum energy meter availability, regardless of who makes the smart meters.

Concentrator PLC PRIME SGE-PLC1000

PRIME PLC concentrator SGE-PLC1000 of CIRCUTOR completely approved

Why are we sure that the CIRCUTOR concentrator will meet all of your needs?

  • Because of its results in the STG-DG Test

    • Because CIRCUTOR's SGE-PLC1000 concentrator has been CERTIFIED by the external DNV-GL (KEMA) laboratory: DNV-GL's development makes it a landmark laboratory that is widely renowned in the PRIME Alliance, establishing itself as the only laboratory that grants this certification.

  • Because for CIRCUTOR, RELIABILITY is a key factor: The CIRCUTOR concentrator was the first concentrator to pass the tests with zero errors. We offer the market the most solid and reliable unit, proven with data entirely from outside our company (DNV-GL (KEMA).

  • For the results in the ITE tests

    • Because according to the results of the test (ITE), CIRCUTOR offers the BEST CONCENTRATOR ON THE MARKET: The SGE-PLC1000 concentrator was recently subjected to the  interoperability test (Test A) at the Energy Technology Institute (ITE),, the purpose of which is to assess its behaviour by connecting hundreds of energy meters produced by different manufacturers to create a benchmark of the concentrators currently available on the market.

The PRIME PLC concentrator is completely approved

With the complete approval of the PRIME PLC concentrator SGE-PLC1000 of CIRCUTOR energy distribution companies, have a unit that offers maximum reliability and safety when collecting data and managing a network of smart meters.

This concentrator has achieved all of the certifications required by the PRIME Alliance, and has passed all of the different tests specified by the different utilities.

The PRIME PLC concentrator has passed IBERDROLA's STG-DC conformity tests performed by DNV-GL (KEMA)

What is the STG-DC test?

The STG-DC is the test that ensures the implementation of the communications protocol between the concentrator and the telemanagement system (STG) used by a utility.

The test consists of simulating utility telemanagement software, which makes a series of requests to the concentrator to examine the behaviour of the concentrator.

Concentrator interconnectionConcentrator interconnection with an energy meter network by PLC and STG systems

Therefore, in addition to being completely approved, CIRCUTOR was the first manufacturer to pass the IBERDROLA STG-DC conformity test for its SGE-PLC1000 concentrator with PRIME PLC technology for reading and managing smart meters. After a long approval process established and standardised by IBERDROLA, we are proud to report that it is fully certified for PRIME PLC applications.

Summary of the report on the IBERDROLA STG-DC conformity certification test performed by DNV-GL (KEMA) on the CIRCUTOR SGE-PLC1000 PRIME PLC concentrator

test-certificacion

Obtaining this certification for the PRIME SGE-PLC1000 Concentrator is another step towards the standardisation and interoperability of the PRIME system, which is used by a great many energy distribution companies both in Spain and abroad.

The PRIME PLC concentrator has achieved the maximum qualification in “Test A”, performed by the ITE

The ITE test attempts to reproduce the real conditions of electrical distribution lines with energy meter centralisation, representative wiring lengths, different levels of attenuation and injection of attenuating noise.

For CIRCUTOR the results achieved were truly satisfying. Specifically in the two most important categories for electrical energy distribution companies:

  • SGE-PLC1000 achieved an index of 100% in topology (the best benchmarking score). In other words, all of the energy meters remained permanently connected to the concentrator during the days of the test. The official results produced by the ITE can be seen in the table below:

Topology: Average availability (energy meters connected) = 100%

disponibilidad-100

  • SGE PLC1000 achieved a mean availability index in the long cycle test of 98.95% (the best benchmarking score). The long cycle test continuously and repeatedly requests loading curves for the energy meters connected to the concentrator. The official results produced by the ITE can be seen in the table below:

Long cycles: Average availability (energy meters connected) = 98,95%

availability-9895

comparative benchmarking of PRIME Concentrators

Summary of comparative benchmarking of PRIME Concentrators showing the two most important categories for utilities (Column A: CIRCUTOR PRIME PLC concentrator). Irrelevant data eliminated for greater clarity.

Other certifications achieved which complete the series of tests required for the approval of the concentrator are:

  • EN-50065, performed by the LABEIN certified laboratory. Referring to tests on the transmission of signals over the low voltage electrical network in the frequency band of 9-95 kHz (A PRIME Band).

  • PRIME test performed by DNV-GL (KEMA). Ensures interoperability at the PRIME level.

  • Mechanical, electrical and climatic tests performed by the APPLUS and LRIC certified laboratories.

Conclusions for distributors and utilities

To take a correct reading of the energy meter network,, any distributor and electrical company must ensure that PRIME concentrator units have:

  • Complete approval by the PRIME Alliance,

  • the best results in a series of tests, performed by a top independent entity.

  • Furthermore, these tests should be focused on the parameters of most interest to distributors and utilities:: maximum energy meter availability, regardless of who manufactures the smart meters.

As we have seen in this article, the PRIME PLC Concentrator SGE-PLC1000 from CIRCUTOR perfectly meets these requirements.

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New solutions for earth leakage protection

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Continually innovating in earth leakage protection and monitoring

CIRCUTOR offers units that self-manage anomalous and random situations in electric installations, minimising the effects of electric shut-downs and fostering energy savings.

- REC3C: RCCB with self-reclosing earth leakage switch. Maximum continuity.
- RGU-2: Electronic monitoring and earth leakage protection relay. Intelligent protection within your reach.
- RGU-10B: Type B electronic earth leakage monitoring relay. Full monitoring within your reach.
- REC max: New range of reclosing devices. Earth leakage and circuit breaker protection with automatic reclosing systems, telemanage your installation.

More information: New solutions for EARTH LEAKAGE PROTECTION

Can any capacitor bank be used?

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Why can't all capacitor banks compensating reactive energy be used?

The importance of using the right detuned filter

In this article, we will explain how the installation of a capacitor bank is in itself a change in the electrical installation; a change in which a poor choice of capacitor bank could destabilise the system due to the harmonics; causing serious problems in the capacitor bank itself and in the installation, with resulting downtime and considerable financial losses.

We will try to explain the different tuning frequencies and the consequences of a poor choice in this tuning, as well as the recommendation for avoiding these possible risks.

Improvement of energy efficiency with capacitor banks

The search for improved energy efficiency and the increases in electrical tariffs are making power factor correction with capacitor banks more and more common. However, like any electrical unit, these capacitor banks have several electrical effects on the installation where they are installed. The most important effect, as well as correcting the installation's reactive energy consumption, is the change in the behaviour with respect to the harmonics present in the electrical network. This change may have a negative impact on power factor correction in the medium-term , an electrical destabilisation in the installation, or even production downtime.

Electrical installations are becoming more and more complex, and include different inductive loads, capacitive loads and power electronics. These networks often contain significant levels of harmonic distortion, which has led the large majority of manufacturers of automatic capacitor banks to unanimously include units specifically designed for use in such networks in their catalogue.

The importance of tuning frequency in capacitor banks

However, where there is no such unanimity is in the choice of the tuning frequency offered as standard, both in automatic capacitor banks and in fixed compensation units fitted with detuned filters.

For the far less common case of predominant 3rd order harmonics (150 Hz in 50 Hz networks), the use of detuned filters tuned at 134 Hz is more common (overvoltage factor of p = 14%); but for the large majority of installations, where a capacitor bank has to be fitted with detuned filters that is appropriate for 5th order harmonics (250 Hz in 50 Hz networks) or higher, which are normally produced by the more usual harmonic current sources, in other words, three-phase loads fitted with a 6-pulse diode rectifier bridge in its input: speed or frequency drives, AC/DC rectifiers, induction ovens, etc., the variety of proposed tuning frequencies is significantly varied, generally moving within a range of between 170 and 215 Hz (p = 8.7% to p = 5.4%).

However, there are two tunings that stand out over the rest: those corresponding to an overvoltage factor of p = 7% (tuning frequency of 189 Hz in 50 Hz networks) and p = 5.67% (tuning frequency of 210 Hz in 50 Hz networks).

It could easily be deduced from the above that the choice of a value of p = 7% or p = 5.67% might be indifferent and that both should give the same result for the effects of their behaviour when they are connected to the electrical network, but this is not strictly true.

Detuned filters and their effect on installations

To follow the arguments of this last comment, we will briefly go through the operating principle of detuned filters. Observing the la impedance-frequency graph of a standard reactor-capacitor unit with p = 7% (green line in Fig. 1), we see that it offers least impedance at 189 Hz, whereas that corresponding to p = 5.67% (red line in Fig. 1) offers the least impedance at 210 Hz. In both cases, the impedance gradually increases on either side of it, with the particular feature that the impedance is capacitive at frequencies under 189 Hz, and inductive at higher frequencies. It is precisely this inductive character with harmonic frequencies of the 5th order or higher that prevents the possibility of a resonance phenomenon being produced at any of those frequencies. However, another key parameter for the correct operation of the detuned filter is the value of said impedance at the different harmonic frequencies. Therefore, at said impedance-frequency in Fig. 1 the impedance difference of each tuning can clearly be seen at a harmonic frequency of 250 Hz which, we will remember, is the predominant frequency of the voltage and/or frequency harmonics in the electrical networks. For p = 5.67%, the value of the impedance is practically half of the value for p = 7%.

Fig. 1 Impedance-frequency graph of a detuned filter with p = 7% (189 Hz) and p = 5.67% (210 Hz)

Fig. 1 Impedance-frequency graph of a detuned filter with p = 7% (189 Hz) and p = 5.67% (210 Hz)

What is the main consequence of this impedance difference shown by both tunings? It is easy to deduce that the absorption of harmonic currents in the mains will be higher for p = 5.67% than for p = 7%. This could be understood as beneficial for the installation if it were deduced that the 5th order harmonic current level upstream of the connection point of the capacitor bank to the mains will be lower as compared to that which there would be with a similar power capacitor bank by p = 7% type tuning; however, both experience and the reality of the nature of the majority of networks, which is far from what would be ideal network behaviour, mean that this perception is not correct on a large number of occasions.

The use of passive harmonic filters is a subject which always requires a minimal preliminary study, as their behaviour depends on the network features. Therefore, the aim to compare the use to a certain extent of a filter tuned to 210 Hz with that which one would have tuned to 225 Hz, which is the normal frequency of absorption filters for 5th order harmonic currents in 50 Hz networks, should also have said consideration, and this is rarely so. Briefly, it is more unpredictable to determine the actual harmonic current consumption that a capacitor bank can have with p = 5.67% type filters than that which an identical one would have with p = 7%, when both are installed in the same network.

Other effects on the filtering tuning

There are also other points to be considered. One basic point is the fact that if, to start with, that of p = 5.67% is going to have a larger harmonic current consumption, its elements, principally the reactor and the associated capacitor, must be designed to withstand the overload to which they are to be subject on the level of intensity and temperature; and here we are faced with one of the main problems of these filters. In the particular case of the reactors, these, at an equal power of p = 7%, and, if the design criterion has been based on this value, the result is a smaller and lighter reactor, or a lower cost, and the same temptation can be applied to the capacitors, in the sense that the overvoltage to which they are subject will be 25% smaller than if p = 7%, and therefore the use of capacitors of a lower rated voltage may be justified. In short, there is a risk that the capacitor bank might have to withstand higher levels of harmonic overloading with weaker elements, which would inevitably cause faster wear than in the similar element of p = 7%.

The other essential point to be considered, which is the most important in the opinion of CIRCUTOR, is the influence of the capacitor capacity in tuning the reactor-capacitor series group according to the formula in Fig. 2.

Fig. 2 Formula for calculating the resonance frequency of an L-C series circuit

Fig. 2 Formula for calculating the resonance frequency of an L-C series circuit

It is easy to deduce that a decrease in the capacitor capacity will result in an increase in the unit's resonance frequency. Capacitors are elements that lose capacity with time either due to their conditions of use (voltage, temperature, connection operation rate, etc.), or due to the natural deterioration of the polypropylene of their dielectrics. A same loss of capacity in a p = 5.67% filter and in one of p = 7% , means that the first will come much closer to the 5th order frequency than the second, and the closer it comes, the greater harmonic current absorption it will present, the greater overloading it will suffer, leading to greater deterioration. In other words, the safety margin given with this loss of capacity is considerably higher in a filter with p = 7%.

Conclusions for the correct choice of a capacitor bank

The conclusion in this case is clear, and is CIRCUTOR's unequivocal recommendation of the use of filters with p = 7% instead of p = 5.67% in all installations where they have to be applied due to the level of harmonic distortion.

The purpose of this recommendation is none other than to reduce the obvious risk that a loss of capacitor capacity could cause the appearance of serious problems as a result of overcurrents in the capacitor bank much earlier, allowing a longer reaction time through the pertinent maintenance actions that are always recommendable in any unit and the application of corrective measures before the damage is definitive and, therefore, worse economic conditions.

CIRCUTOR celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2013

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40aniversari

This year, 2013, CIRCUTOR celebrates its 40th anniversary. A company dedicated to the manufacture and sale of equipment and components for the rational use of electricity, quality and Electrical Energy Efficiency, offering products and solutions ranging from electric energy measurement and management, protection and control, and quality & metering for power factor correction, harmonic filtering and charging electric vehicles.

Since being founded in 1973 in Terrassa (Barcelona), it has always focused on energy efficiency and management, together with a long history of constant innovation which has been maintained over time, making CIRCUTOR a leader in the energy efficiency field, as it provides solutions in over 100 countries worldwide with more than 3,000 products.

CIRCUTOR is present in the most significant installations in the world in terms of energy management, such as in the Madrid, Dubai and Hong Kong airports, and in emblematic buildings like the Empire State Building in New York and the world's tallest tower, the Burj Dubai Tower.

CIRCUTOR has spent 40 years working towards a globally recognised brand, striving to be different, giving priority to the service it provides to its customers, listening to their needs and providing solutions.

Bronze medal for efficiency data server EDS-3G

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Completed on 19 September 2013, the International Power Industry Fair ENERGETAB 2013 fair, Bielsko-Biała, Poland, gathered a number of 740 exhibitors from 18 countries of Europe and Asia.

The largest fair in the branch in Central Europe have accumulated exhibitors who were trying to show off their latest machinery, equipment, devices or technologies to enhance the reliability of the electricity transmission and increasing the efficiency of its production and use.

Range of devices and equipment presented was very wide: transformers, switchgears, circuit breakers, current transformers, generators and drives, renewable energy, transmission and processing of information and many other products and services.

Each year the competition for the most innovative product is being organized by ENERGETAB. Of the 54 innovative products entered in the contest this year for outstanding product, competition committee PGE Energia Odnawialna SA awarded a bronze medal efficency data server EDS-3G produced by CIRCUTOR SA.

   

 

New Data Logger with built-in Web Server

Auditing 365 days a year

Perfect for energy management systems.
EDS is a simple, powerful industrial device, able to display, through its built-in Web and XML Server, all the electric variables from power analyzers or other field devices directly related to measuring consumption, electricity, water, gas, etc.

Permanent auditor

EDS is the perfect tool for implementing and monitoring ISO 50001 certification systems.

Catalogues:

- EDS. Energy manager: es en de fr
- Energy management solutions for ISO 50001 standard: es en de fr

 

We invite you to visit CIRCUTOR's new web site

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new-web

CIRCUTOR has redesigned its web site, www.circutor.com, to offer a better service, with a design that is:

  • more dynamic: user friendly and intuitive menus, 
  • accessible: a home page that is easier to browse and guides users to its contents, 
  • easier for users to browse, 
  • and with an enhanced search engine: to access the desired contents directly. 

In addition, specific Applications and Solutions areas have been improved on the web site, as well as the Training area and the site's integration with Social Networks, such as:

  • Youtube: provides assistance during installation and start-up and explains the features of new products. 
  • Twitter: provides efficient interaction features and informs users about courses, seminars and webinars in real-time. 
  • Google Plus: the world's most powerful search engine is available to our users. 

The purpose is to remain close to our customers and Partners, with the use of simple and useful tools. To this end, we shall post new information about our products and services on our web site and different social networks. Subscribe to our Newsletter to receive information about exclusive online promotions and new products and services:

Please email us any comments, suggestions and/or doubts to: comunicacion@circutor.com

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Contact

CIRCUTOR, SA
Vial Sant Jordi s/n, 08232
Viladecavalls (Barcelona) Spain
Tel: (+34) 93 745 29 00
Fax (+34) 93 745 29 14

Technical Support

(+34) 93 745 29 19

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