Ensuring Sensitive Equipment Does Not Experience Voltage Sags

Voltage sags and swells are constant problems in industrial environments. To ensure that sensitive equipment is guarded from such voltage fluctuations, it is important to maintain a steady power supply. External factors like power disruptions and defective utility grid can lead to production downtime, which would eventually result in revenue loss in businesses.

Power Quality Events

Sensirion is a leading company that specializes in developing sensor products, such as flow sensor solutions and relative humidity sensors which deliver excellent performance.

The flow and humidity sensors are utilized in the automotive industry, consumer electronics, and medical technology. In addition to a wide range of applications Based in Switzerland, the company often experiences power quality issues, however with the installation of ABB’s 1500kVA industrial UPS (PCS100 UPS-I) , it was able to eliminate the monthly voltage fluctuations and improve the power supply.

The Stäfa area is located close to the lake of Zurich, where the headquarters of Sensirion are also located. This area is plagued with power quality events, which can be attributed to environmental factors like weather, or insufficient utility grid. However, voltage sags are the most common problems, accounting for over 92% of all power quality issues.

At Sensirion, monthly power failures occur between 10ms and 2s. While this may not be a serious problem, short term power outages and very deep voltage sags occurring at just a single second are one of the most common power quality issues. Such short voltage dips affect sensitive equipment and lead to unnecessary production downtime.

Power Protection Solution

At Sensirion’s factory, the manufacture of sensor products like micro sensors was being affected by constant voltage fluctuations. However, this situation could not be improved by the utility provider even on the 50Hz grid side. As a result, Sensirion went back to ABB’s power protection system, 150kVA PCS100 UPS-I, which was already installed back in 2013. However, since there was a need for a higher power protection, ABB’s 1500kVA PCS100 UPS-I was commissioned and deployed at the Sensirion factory to meet the increasing power demands.

This transition to the new power protection system was easily achieved, thanks to ABB engineers who provided onsite service support. Additionally, ABB’s 1500kVA PCS100 UPS-I has a small footprint design, which made it possible to install it easily.

However, during installation, a number of challenges were encountered. The Sensiron factory was already developed and hence had limited space to accommodate the PCS100 UPS-I system. Due to this factor, the Failsafe Bypass function had to be incorporated in the external Manual Bypass. Instead of busbars, cables were used to connect the PCS100 UPS-I to the main distribution. A unique cable connection cabinet was also utilized. This was a special installation and did not involve any extra costs. This flexibility boosted Sensirion’s confidence in the ABB system.

When compared to other competing systems, ABB’s PCS100 UPS-I is the only system that can be integrated in space-constrained environment and cooling facilities. In addition to the small footprint design, the PCS100 UPS-I is highly efficient.

In addition and based on our experience, an autonomy period of up to seven seconds (depending on the load) covers our needs totally,

Patrick Good, Infrastructure Manager at Sensirion

Compact, Long-Lasting and Low Maintenance Solution

ABB’s PCS100 UPS-I also conforms to Sensirion’s energy saving policy for long-lasting energy storage. Instead of using lead acid batteries, ultracapacitors were used. Sensirion preferred the use of ultracapacitors because they offer seconds of coverage for even very short power quality problems, which happen to be the major issue at Sensirion.

ABB also provides customized battery options to provide autonomy for up to a number of minutes. On the other hand, ultracapacitors not only have high power density, but are also more durable, providing a compact, low maintenance solution.

Following the installation of the ABB 1500kVA PCS100 UPS-I power supply system, Sensirion has not encountered any power quality events when developing sensors, which marks a significant improvement.

During the past two months after installation of the PCS100 UPS-I, the system was recording 18 events, where a quarter would had affected our production (due to the length and depth of the sags). This means Sensirion could avoid four total outages during that time. This ultimately increased our productivity.

Patrick Good, Infrastructure Manager at Sensirion

About ABB Power Conditioning - Discrete Automation and Motion Division

ABB is a leading supplier of UPS and power conditioning products – ABB's PCS100 portfolio is a unique line up of low and medium voltage power conversion technology. The PCS100 power converters demonstrate highly reliable and cost-effective performance. With the PCS100 product portfolio, ABB offer efficient power conversion solutions that are specifically designed to solve power quality problems and stabilize networks. Covering applications from data centers through to complete industrial plant protection, microgrid systems and shore-to-ship supply, ABB have the power conversion technology for every need. Starting from a few kVA to many MVA and a wide range of supply voltages. ABB has installed more than 900 MW of power conditioning solutions worldwide. It’s business as usual with ABB Power Protection.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by ABB Power Conditioning - Discrete Automation and Motion Division.

For more information on this source, please visit ABB Power Conditioning - Discrete Automation and Motion Division.

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