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ABB – Latvia

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ABB Fixes Voltage Drop In Ultra-Remote & Hidden Villages

 

 

Case Study For ABB, Latvia

Home to over 1.9 million people and having most of its land covered with natural forests, one of Latvia’s essential economic activities in agriculture. 

 

Throughout the country, agriculture represents the predominant land use and a major component of the viability of rural areas. In certain regions, farming supports the vast majority of the population in employment.

 

Compared to other nations in Europe, the Baltic nation of Latvia has huge potential for development.

 

 

Voltage Drop In Rural Areas

Voltage drop on long cable runs has troubled locals in the rural villages of the Latvian capital, Riga. While the main cities largely enjoy a clean and stable power supply, the same cannot be said of suburban or rural areas. 

 

Latvians in rural villages are challenged by power quality issues, due to the voltage drop from long cable runs. This results in voltage levels drastically falling below the nominal rating, which disrupts farming operations and the daily lives of the locals. 

 

Local incoming voltage supply would drop to as low as 322V (3 Phase). 

This is where our client, ABB, comes into the picture. 

 

ABB is a global technology company that specializes in electrification, process automation, robotics, and motion. ABB is powered by a workforce of more than 105,000 employees and pursues its goal-driven mission of social and industrial transformation in more than 100 countries.

 

ABB recognized that excessive voltage drop is a crucial issue that troubles the Latvian villagers. The low voltage received by the residents can cause home appliances to malfunction or operate at a lower efficiency. As such, ABB sought out potential solutions that could end the woes of the villagers.

 

 

As Long As It Takes

Transforming electrical infrastructure for rural villages and townships is a delicate, long-term process. It requires deliberate planning, collaborating with the right partners, and well-planned execution to provide a sustainable electricity source to the residents. This is something that ABB well understands as it has undertaken similar challenges in other countries. 

 

Therefore, ABB decided that quality, reliability, and durability are non-negotiable factors as it sought out potential suppliers for voltage control solutions. 

 

ABB needs a committed and trustworthy solution provider to work closely on implementing the infrastructural changes for the villages. Few suppliers could live up to such challenges and even fewer have a solid track record as Ashley Edison (UK).

 

Voltage drop, Undervoltage, or voltage falling below the prerequisite level, is a common issue that troubles various electrical setups. Also known as brownout voltage, the phenomenon can lead to costly repercussions if not properly mitigated. 

 

For example:

Some equipment may draw higher currents to compensate for the voltage drop, thus leading to overheating and a decreased lifespan. 

 

 

The Ashley Edison Solution 

Ashley Edison is no stranger to dealing with voltage drop problems. With over 40 years of experience in voltage optimisation solutions, the technical team works hand-in-hand with clients in various industries to address their concerns on power quality. Ashley Edison offers a range of innovative solutions to deal with power irregularities, such as Undervoltage and voltage fluctuation.

 

In 2010, ABB awarded the job to Ashley Edison to provide clean and stable power for rural towns in Latvia. Based on detailed discussions with ABB, it’s evident that the underlying problem can be addressed with a series of automatic voltage stabilisers.

 

Ashley Edison’s AC automatic voltage stabilisers are built with precision, efficiency, durability, and responsiveness in mind. 

 

 

Product & Use Case 

Choosing the right voltage regulating solution for the Latvian village requires thorough considerations. As the installation is to be carried out in rural areas, accessibility is a challenge and this means maintenance-free voltage stabilisers are the preferred option. This rules out other designs with rotors and other moving parts.

 

The OPEN Series – Automatic Voltage Stabiliser offers extreme voltage protection for 3 Phase applications that demand highly precise output regulation and ultra-fast response speed. These units are based on Solid-State Design, which boasts reliability for critical applications.

 

This specified Voltage Regulating Solution includes:

  • Solid State Design
  • Tight Voltage Regulation, high output voltage accuracy
  • Forced-Air Cooling for improved operational efficiency
  • Inbuilt High Overload Capability (10x max current rating for 2 seconds)
  • Independent Phase Balancing & Control: Automatic voltage sensing & precise regulation to ensure individual phase voltages remain stable – regardless of load change or unbalance.
  • Wide voltage drop tolerance that compensates for low voltage values from 320V.
  • Transient Voltage Surge Protection (TVSS) protects critical loads against harmful high energy surges, transients and spikes.
  • Class II SPD – Lightning Surge Protection
  • Endurable Outdoor Enclosure – IP54 (BS / EN 60529) / NEMA 3 
  • AquaStop – Protective PCB coating against moisture ingress


The Complete Solution comprises the following:

  • Automatic Voltage Stabilisers (Model: OPEN Series)
    • 55 KVA x 14 units

 

Frequency Converter

 

Ashley Edison supplied 14 units of 3 Phase solid-state voltage stabilisers. Each of them handles up to 50 KVA of load. They are capable of ensuring tight regulation and a precise voltage level for a wide range of incoming voltage swings. Besides compensating for the voltage drop, the voltage stabilisers also prevent harmonics from affecting the loads.

 

Ashley Edison’s voltage regulating solutions answer the problems of voltage drop issues in the region. The next challenge is the deployment of the units in the rural area. Most of the installation points do not have road access, which is why we adopt a Plug-and-Forget” approach.

 

The automatic voltage stabilisers are mounted on the poles of the power transmission line. Necessary cabling works were carried out to commission these units. Once they are operational, they can be left in the remote settings while remaining operational.  

 

 

Results 

As with many past projects, Ashley Edison’s proposed units have proven to be a reliable solution for electrical grids bogged down by voltage drop issues.

 

The installed voltage stabilisers perform as expected and residents of Latvian villages now receive clean and uninterrupted voltage as per the nominal rating of 400V, no matter where they are.

 

This installation puts an end to complaints of failed electrical appliances. Long-distanced electrical cables, which contribute to the voltage drop, are no longer a concern for residents in rural villages. 

 

Having gained the trust of the community and contributing greatly to the modernization of Latvia’s electric transmission network ABB once again makes a mark in providing safe and smart electrification.

 

The success of this project propels the Technological Giant towards building yet another sustainable society for the Baltic State, and for the world.

 

Voltage drop is a common issue plaguing public infrastructure, commercial buildings, and industrial facilities.

 

To learn how you can ruthlessly eliminate voltage drop, email us at [email protected] to explore ways to achieve clean and stable voltage from the incoming grid.

 

For more case studies on how National Grid Operators are also adopting these industry techniques, read about their projects here.

client
ABB Ltd
PROJECT COMPLETION
2010
EQUIPMENT SIZE
AVR | Up to 50KVA, 14 units
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Stay Safe With Greater Protection

As safety is our utmost priority, Ashley Edison prepares for every scenario possible
—taking the puzzle out of your protection.

Designed And Engineered With Safety In Mind

We leave nothing to chance when it comes to larger capacity units (≥400KVA). By installing high-quality protective acrylic shields in front of live parts, we ensure the safety of your personnel at all times. For enhanced protection during installation, all distances between uninsulated metal parts, busbars, and cable sizes are compliant with IEC61439-1 and IEC 61439-2 guidelines.

Outfitted with fireproof cable trunking, this protective solution safeguards against long fire exposure even in hazardous areas and explosive atmospheres—providing maximum safety for mission critical applications.

Fuss-Free Installation. Seamless Operations.

To ensure ease of installation, Ashley Edison addresses the concerns of contractors and installers by keeping it simple.

Internal-AVR

ALL TERMINATION POINTS ARE MANUFACTURED FOR EASY ACCESS

We keep the installation process simple and streamlined by allowing sufficient working space for installers. Taking the nut and bolt intrusions into consideration, we ensure that the distance between the uninsulated metal parts, the busbars, and cable sizes are compliant with IEC61439-1 and IEC 61439-2 guidelines.

 

Even in units with larger capacities, all busbar terminals are clearly marked out, and well positioned in line for easy identification of individual input and output terminations. Installation of these terminations are similar to those practised in high voltage transformers.

Easy Maintenance

Annual Ocular Maintenance
Visual Inspection 230
#1

Conduct Visual Inspection On Voltmeter:

Ensure reading is set to your desired set output voltage value (e.g. 230V).

LED Status
#2

Ensure LED Status Indicators are at “Normal”.

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#3

Visual Observation Of Variable Transformer Surface:

Use airbrush for dusty environments if necessary.

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#4

Visual observation if carbon brush is not worn out.

Moving Motor
#5

Conduct visual inspection to check variable transformers are all regulating (moving).

AE-MBB-PCB-Card-dark

Accuracy. Beyond Imagination.

The digitally enhanced Ashley Edison MBB Card ensures pinpoint voltage stabilisation against the most erratic anomalies, allowing you to protect precious uptime, effortlessly. Harnessing ultra precision capabilities to produce some of the tightest output voltage tolerance available in the industry, the Ashley Edison MBB Card delivers ±0.5% voltage accuracy, enabling your load equipment to enjoy optimal voltage supplies, regardless of load change in your electrical system.

Expert Digital Control

Utilising the advantageous measurements of true RMS, the Ashley Edison MBB Card’s reads both perfect, sinusoidal waves, as well as complex, distorted non sinusoidal waves—up to 0.1V accuracy. Coupled with lightning fast response time of 1.5ms, this expert digital control feature equips your load with total voltage protection that is precise, continuous and ultra responsive.

AE Digital Control Display_230v

Universal Presettable Function

The Universal Presettable Function onboard the Ashley Edison MBB Card allows seamless control of your desired output voltage value on all 3 Phases—with just a touch of a button. This multifunctional feature enables each AVR to fully operate with just 1 card, instead of separate cards for each individual phase. Fitted LED Output Voltmeter Display and Alert Indicator better facilitates easy status monitoring while performing maintenance on your AVR.

AE MBB Card

Microcontroller Unit (MCU)

MicroController Unit (MCU) helps you to deliver high speed and reliable efficiency in the AVR’s operations with less heat generation and reduced power consumption. Used in Supercomputers, Surface Mount Technology (SMT) allows components in the Ashley Edison MBB Card to be aligned closer together, creating a more compact and lightweight end product. Additional safety wire-to-board feature establishes fail-proof connectivity between circuits—so you can work safely on your AVR.