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.
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
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.
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.