Controls & Automation
Legend Power’s SmartGATE now controls for voltage sags and swells
“The most visible impact of voltage swells is elevator service interruptions, while less frequent than voltage sags, the inconvenience or potential danger to building occupants makes managing this a priority.”
January 9, 2020 By Energy Manager Canada
Legend Power Systems’ SmartGATE platform for managing of power quality issues now includes the ability to mitigate the effects of voltage sags and swells, issues which can lead to the damage to motors, computer system crashes and a general shortening of equipment life in a building.
Voltage sags and swells (defined as a short-term decrease or increase in voltage of more than 10% of nominal), momentary interruptions and other power quality issues have been a frustration with electric power systems for a hundred years. What has changed is that the loads customers connect to modern electric distribution systems include advanced and sensitive equipment coupled with the increasing integration of microcomputers in process control and for building automation. The result is that yesterday’s grid is causing unnecessary wear and tear, or breakdowns, in today’s buildings.
According to the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), voltage sags and swells combined account for 48% of power quality problems. Of the two, voltage sags are more frequent, with a typical facility experiencing 45 voltage sags per year in the U.S. according to the EPRI Distribution Power Quality study.
Capacitors used in all electronic systems have a specific recommended voltage at which they are designed to operate, and every voltage swell – or high-voltage event – shortens the useful life of costly and valuable equipment. Since all of these events appear to be random failures, costs are often absorbed by the business and are budgeted as an ongoing, recurring expense. In fact, as they are linked to poor power quality, these issues are manageable or even avoidable costs.
“The most visible impact of voltage swells is elevator service interruptions,” said Mark Petersen, vice president of engineering for Legend Power Systems, in a company release. “While less frequent than voltage sags, the inconvenience or potential danger to building occupants makes managing this a priority.”
Legend’s SmartGATE platform automatically visualizes, analyzes and corrects power as it enters a building. The platform includes two key components: SmartGATE Insights provides the metering and analytics that analyzes and displays power quality issues and waste (including energy and carbon) so the system knows exactly what to correct; and then the SmartGATE itself combines proprietary intelligence and control technology to then manage the actual corrections in real-time via electronic switching and an efficient auto-transformer.
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