- Cat's Perspective on Tier 4 Emission Solutions
Effective January 1, 2011 mobile engines greater than 130 bkW (175 bhp) and non-emergency stationary engines less than 10 liters per cylinder and greater than 130 bkW (175 bhp) are required to meet Tier 4 Interim emissions regulations. The Tier 4 regulations not only apply to new diesel engines used in power generation, but they also affect industrial applications, petroleum packages, and diesel-powered construction equipment used in non-road applications.
To provide electric power customers with the most economical and efficient solutions, Caterpillar has developed a full portfolio of engine-integrated technology packages which can be used, in combination, to address the various emission reduction levels required. To support this new line of mobile and stationary generator sets, Cat® dealers and technicians will offer:
- Design consultation on both federal and local regulations
- Installation support
- Maintenance training and/or services
- Non-Invasive Electrical Testing
Subject: On-line Partial Discharge Testing of Medium voltage Cable
Performance Contract: Independent 3rd Part (NETA) Testing Agency
Purpose: to proactively Test and Measure the structural integrity of the MV cable’s insulation.
Case Study: Hotel Casino in Las Vegas loses entire facility power.
First, it is essential to draw attention to the fact that there are situations that occur where facilities maintenance managers have to arbitrate between various types of equipment maintenance services, and often, their choices are stunted due to a famished monetary budget. Equally constricting for a facilities maintenance manager is the challenge of persuading their Chief Financial Officer(s) for funding of the critical maintenance requirements of a facility, which are imperative for preemptively safeguarding against downtime.
Sometimes, a facility may seem functional to the less than keen eye; however, as the following story purports, in certain circumstances, it may be less appealing for the company to swallow the maintenance bills rather than risk downtime, but the potentially disastrous and often times potentially dangerous outcomes are the even bigger pill to swallow!
An example of such a failure in what may be considered uptime roulette occurred in a renowned hotel located on the Las Vegas strip. While leaving the hotel anonymous, the cautionary tale proceeds as follows:
Hotel Anonymous, a state-of-the-art facility, implemented a multitude of redundancy and contingency efforts to fortify the facility from calamitous events: Two separate vaults fed the building along with the installation of generators, UPS Systems, and Paralleling Switchgear to protect the facility from downtime. The only flaw with the hotel’s layout dealt with the side-by-side location of the vaults and the 15kV Medium Voltage Cable.
A new concept was introduced to Hotel Anonymous based on electrical theory. The new concept called for placing a monitoring device on the MV cable to ‘scope’ downstream (approximately 200 feet) of the cable to check its condition. Note that IEEE and NEC prescribe ‘Over-Potential’ (Hi-POT) testing and then incrementally for routine maintenance tests; however, there is debate about this type of testing causing damage to the insulation of the electrical cable causing what the industry nicknamed ‘electrical trees’ or ‘bow-ties’ where the patterns are perceived to be what they are named. The idea was to perform the ‘On-line Partial Discharge Testing’ as a noninvasive way to determine if the testing activity was causing additional structural damage to the cable.
It is speculated that during construction the cable may have been ‘nicked’ by a backhoe or a forklift during the installation phase of the building project. We may want to highlight, though, that this is an additional reason why the bend radius is critical for designing pathways through geometric changes throughout the facility.
The ‘Scoping’ conducted during the On-Line Partial Discharge Testing is designed to detect anomalies which can be recognized by some proprietary software that illustrates the sinusoidal waves much like an oscilloscope. This testing is relatively expensive and may be considered too large a pill to swallow for most people responsible for managing the CAP-EX and OP-EX budgets. In retrospect, it would have been far less costly for the hotel to pay for the testing than the eventual catastrophic event that took place a few years after the building was commissioned.
There was a photograph taken at night from a bird’s eye view after the Hotel was downed from the catastrophe showing the beautifully lit Las Vegas strip. Everything was illuminated except for a huge dark square which was where the hotel resided.
Water transitions to steam when it reaches its boiling point of approximately 212 degrees Fahrenheit while expanding at approximately 200% volume. Copper on the other hand, which is the typical metal used as for conductors, expands at a mind-blowing rate of 32,000%! Needless to say, when the heavy manhole covers sailed into the air (anywhere from 10 to 30 feet high), and the explosion of the MV Cable took out the second vault which was laying in close proximity to the defective cable, it did not matter there were Generators and UPS Systems for protection as the event took place upstream between the gear and the transformer.
If one were to calculate the number of people on the property who needed to have their rooms ‘comped’, and the number of dollars the Hotel lost in downtime, safety issues, repairs, and possible lawsuits, it makes the initial fee of the testing seem like a worthwhile investment as opposed to an investment to avoid.
I would recommend taking a longer look at the preventative maintenance options before being too quick to say “No” to the service provider!
Below is a PDF further explaining Non-invasive Electrical Testing:
- Deciphering The Code: Part Four
National Electric Code (NEC): The national Fire Protection Association standard NFPA 70 for electric wiring and apparatus.
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA): A non-profit organization for the development of fire and safety standards.
Reserve Capacity (RC): A standard rating for lead acid batteries, established by BCI (Battery Council International). The Reserve Capacity is the time in minutes that a given battery can be discharged at a constant rate of 25 amperes, at a temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit before the battery terminal voltage falls to 1.75 volts per cell (10.5 volts for a 12 volt system, 21 volts for a 24 volt system). Batteries are generally specified in terms of CCA and Reserve Capacity.
Transformer, Potential (PT): An instrument transformer used to supply voltage to protective relays or metering.
Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS): A power supply which provides a source of electric power when the normal source is interrupted, without any voltage or frequency disturbance.
- Deciphering The Code: Part Three
I hope everyone has been enjoying ‘Deciphering The Code’! Since the last two articles contained acronyms primarily found within the Generator Industry, I thought it would be a nice change to dedicate an episode to acronyms found within the Data Center Industry. I found these acronyms in Eric Smalley’s blog, a writer for ‘Wired’. Eric has some very interesting and informative articles and I encourage the readers of this blog to check him out. Here is a link to his blog.
The article explores the data center Industry’s dilemma of finding an accurate and representative metric for calculating data center efficiency. The article discusses (PUE) Power Usage Effectiveness, which was the first metric used by the data center industry back in 2007. (PUE) is still used today, but Industry leaders are searching for a truer metric that is more representative of data center efficiency. Alternative metrics used; advantages and disadvantages of (PUE) as a staple metric, and the probabilities of engineering a metric for practical use are also discussed within the article.
The acronyms listed below are some of the more common, widely used metrics that have surfaced in recent years within the Industry.
Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE): A ratio of the amount of energy a data center consumes to the amount its IT equipment uses. If a data center’s power systems were 100 percent efficient and all of the electricity that entered the data center went to its servers, storage systems and networks, the data center’s PUE would be 1.0. Data center operators today generally claim PUEs of 1.1 to 1.6.
Corporate Average Data center Efficiency (CADE): A set of four metrics developed by the Uptime Institute and McKinsey & Company that measure facility asset utilization, facility energy efficiency, IT asset utilization and IT energy efficiency.
Power to Performance Effectiveness (PPE): developed by market research firm Gartner, measures server performance per kilowatt with the goal of helping IT raise server utilization levels.
PAR4: From Underwriters Laboratories and Power Assure, calculates transactions per second per watt.
To read the full article click here.
- Deciphering The Code: Part Two
Here is the second installment of ‘Deciphering The Code!’. Click here if you would like to view the first installment of ‘Deciphering the Code!’.
National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA): A nonprofit trade association supported by the manufacturers of electrical apparatus and supplies. NEMA is engaged in standardization to facilitate understanding between the manufacturers and users of electrical products.
Amperes: The unit of electric current flow. One ampere will flow when one volt is applied across a resistance of one ohm.
Ohm: A unit of electrical resistance. One volt will cause a current of one ampere to flow through a resistance of one ohm. A device used for measuring electrical resistance is called an ‘Ohmmeter’.
Cold Cranking Amperes (CCA): A standard rating for lead acid batteries; established by BCI (Battery Council International). The Cold Cranking Ampere rating is the current, in amperes, that a battery will deliver for 30 seconds, at 0 degrees F, before the battery will deliver for 30 seconds, at 0 degrees F, before the battery terminal voltage drops to 1.2 volts per cell (7.2 volts for a 12 volt system, and 14.4 volts for a 24 volt system). Lead-acid batteries are generally specified in terms of CCA and reserve capacity.
Program logic controller (PLC): A solid state device capable of storing instructions to implement control functions such as sequencing, timing, counting and data manipulation to control machines and processes.
More acronyms and definitions to follow!
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