Attention to every detail is vital in renewable energy and energy from waste (EFW) plants. They are major capital investments that must run reliably for decades, producing power (and heat in combined heat and power plants) on demand. The exemplary reliability of components from Mitsubishi Electric makes them an extremely good match for this type of application and has led to the introduction of an extended range of Medium Voltage (MV) Switchgear for the power industry.
Power plants typically operate with a planned maintenance strategy, one that minimises downtime and uses the very best equipment for internal systems and sub-systems. Medium voltage switchgear for instance has to be reliable in order to control the flow of electrical power from the source (the AC generator) to the take-off (the grid connection).
The same switchgear can of course be used to supply power to the pumps, fans and other electrically powered equipment in the plant. As well as switching power, the switchgear provides comprehensive protection against voltage surges, short circuits, earth leakage, motor overloads and other faults such as locked rotor and phase imbalance etc.
Ideally, all switchgear should be fully compatible with the plant requirements and be as interchangeable as possible in order to optimise spares-holding and fast replacement. For example, the MS-EBG MV switchgear powered by Mitsubishi Electric components is available from 3.3kV to 24kV operating range, from 630A to 4000A and meets all the relevant IEC standards. That is to say, it is ideal for an EFW, biomass or other renewable energy power plant.
All MV switchgears are fully type tested, independently certified and benefit from multi-decade experience in the field. They are designed for easy installation, while reliability and safety is built in to their design. For instance, enclosures include the use of partitions and automatic shutters that isolate live parts, interlocks to ensure safety during maintenance, pressure resistance and spark suppression within live parts such as contactors and circuit breakers.
The air-insulated switchgear focusses on protecting the environment by avoiding the use of SF6 gas (sulphur hexafluoride) which has nearly 25,000 times the global warming potential - GWP - of CO2, and which is banned in an increasing number of countries. Every aspect of the medium voltage range of switchgear and associated equipment such as enclosures, cabinet and busbars sets standards that the EFW, biomass and renewable energy sectors can depend on for long, trouble-free and safe service.