ABB awarded order for HV circuit breakers for world’s largest air separation unit

ABB awarded order for HV circuit breakers for world’s largest air separation unit

ABB in South Africa, part of the global automation and power group, has been awarded an order by Fluor for five intelligent compact disconnecting circuit breakers (DCBs) for the Oxygen Train 17 project for Sasol Synfuels Operations in Secunda, South Africa. This is ABB’s first industry order for these advanced DCBs in the country – the first utilities order was for City of Tshwane municipality substation.

The Additional Oxygen Capacity Train 17 project comprises the construction and commissioning of the world’s largest air separation unit at the Secunda Synfuels Operations site, to provide additional high pressure oxygen production capacity.The ABB order booked in quarter four 2016 comprises five DCBs rated at 145kV, 3150A nominal current and a fault level of 40kA. An earth switch for each circuit breaker was included. ABB will supply the units from Sweden to a tight delivery schedule and the cold commissioning will be done by ABB’s local engineering team.

The DCBs, required to bypass the current limiting reactors to start large motors, will help to address the challenge of space at the Oxygen Train 17 project substation. The ABB units are compact because they provide the functionality of a circuit breaker and a disconnector combined in a single unit. Without the need for separate disconnectors, up to 50 to 75 percent less space is required. Unplanned outages are reduced by up to 70 percent according Cigré report on high-voltage circuit breakers reliability, (group A3.06 October 2012), which means a low life-cycle. During construction, there is less civil work.

The environmental impact of the ABB DCBs is substantially lower – an ABB study shows that energy savings over 40 years’ service corresponds to a CO2 savings equivalent to removing five cars from the road. Maintenance intervals are significantly reduced to 15 years, depending on environmental pollution – natural and industrial – and reliability is increased because of the evolution of primary breaking technology from ABB.

Confidence Mabulwana, Regional Market Manager for High Voltage Products, ABB South Africa, says, “We are proud to provide Fluor with a compact solution for Sasol that delivers higher substation availability and lower environmental impact.”

The ABB DCB solution provides outage reduction in both maintenance and failure compared to conventional solutions, says Hennie Wagenaar, Sales Manager: Industry, Electrification Products, ABB South Africa. “Our DCBs give a higher reliability of the disconnecting function since the primary contacts are gas enclosed and protected from pollution. Maintenance intervals are longer giving an overall increase of availability for substations.”

ABB’s also cater for industrial automation via a PIU (Process Interface Unit) that makes breakers ready for future substation automation, allowing the DCBs to be connected to the substation automation and control system.