Helping Remote Generation get Connected – NOJA Power Unveils Synchrocheck in latest Recloser Controller Evolution

Press Release

August 2016
RC10 OS Product - OSM38

NOJA Power’s OSM 38kV Recloser equipped with ANSI 25 Synchro-check and auto-synchroniser relay functionality

Brisbane, Qld, Australia – August 16 – Australian Switchgear manufacturer NOJA Power today unveils the new implementation of ANSI 25 Synchro-Check and Auto-Synchroniser relay functionality for their RC10 Recloser Controller System. This update to the firmware of the controller of NOJA Power’s OSM series reclosers grants additional capability designed for safe integration of renewable and distributed energy into the utility and private consumers’ grids. With complete compliance to the ANSI 25 protection code, the NOJA Power RC10 controlled OSM reclosers are now a complete solution for the connection of islanded loads and generation sources. This functionality upgrade is available to all users of the NOJA Power RC10 controller system designed for the OSM series reclosers, contained within the Relay firmware upgrade.

Building on the core capacity of high resolution voltage measurement on all bushings within the NOJA Power recloser, further enhancements to the digital signal processing and algorithm design within the NOJA Power RC10 controllers has unlocked the latest of NOJA Powers technology offering. The Synchrocheck functionality implemented within the NOJA Power Recloser allows for the evaluation of the phase difference between the Voltages present on either side of the open Recloser. Upon the satisfied conditions of a small variation between both sides, the recloser can either remove a blocking interlock or execute an automatic close to connect the synchronised elements together.

Traditionally, most renewable energy sources connection points have been met with the standard substation switchgear fare with regards to connection into the grid. Designing conventional high capacity ring main units with additional sensors and protective relays rapidly becomes an expensive and inefficient endeavour when the energy requirements of modern distributed generation is considered. Conventional large scale generation supply justifies the large capital investment required for an RMU as the fault currents and load constraints require higher rated specialised large scale equipment with capability to handle exceptionally high fault currents. Modern co-generation however is characterized by a significant network penetration of smaller generating centres. As each individual distributed generation unit does not have the capacity to generate fault energy, there is no need for utilities today to implement costly substation style switchgear solutions for safe integration of their distributed generation assets into the grid. When combined with NOJA Power’s recently achieved advances in fault current rating to 16kA for all their OSM Recloser voltage classes up to 38kV, the NOJA Power OSM series recloser becomes the standard workhorse for network connection of distributed generation assets.

When constructing a renewable generation connection, it would be counterproductive to connect a renewable energy source through an environmentally unsound switchgear such as an oil filled or SF6 insulated switchgear. The NOJA Power OSM employs patented Solid Dielectric insulation technology to remove the need for SF6 gas in the connection process. Not only does this reduce the environmental impact of maintenance of the switchgear – it removes a failure mode of a loss of gas event and removes the disposal cost at the decommissioning of the equipment in future decades.

Traditionally, NOJA Power’s standard recloser product has been provided to customers in the form of a pole top mount switch. This recloser style presents the optimum solution for 99% of cases, as the unit integrates the majority of protection and communication requirements within the standard offering. Whilst there is elegance in using the standard offering, occasionally there arises requirements for further customisation of the switchgear, primarily for integration of multiple project demands into a single switchgear package. This need is answered with the NOJA Power OSM Ground Mount Kiosk variant, where additional project requirements can be built into a single NOJA Power switchgear solution, such as additional metering and earth switches. This custom design provides a full turnkey solution for network connection of distributed generation assets. This kiosk variant allows for extensive customisation to be developed as customers are granted with sufficient workspace to implement additional project requirements, from further current transformers for differential protection through to the installation of metering class equipment for revenue purposes. This level of integration of project requirements provides substantial design benefits for project engineers.

Utilising an electronic controlled automatic circuit recloser as a disconnection switch provides additional intrinsic benefits from an installation simplicity standpoint. The RC10 recloser controller is supplied with an inbuilt SCADA RTU, providing the industry standard SCADA protocols and communications platforms to an installation. By incorporating all facets of the design challenge into a single piece of equipment, contractors and private users can simplify their installation and support. Protocols such as DNP3, IEC61850, IEC60870 and even IEC61499 are standard in supply with a NOJA Power Recloser. All standard synchro-check functionality can be implemented for control via SCADA, adding a safe distance barrier for risk mitigation in the operation of remote generation. Additionally, remote panel options are available for substation environment installations, allowing a fibre link between the recloser and the control room offering unprecedented control in an insulated safe environment.

The Synchro-check functionality is the latest complement in capability addressed by the NOJA Power RC10 recloser control. As a follow up, this controller already offers Power Quality Monitoring and load profiling. This level of information is available for utilities to tap into for understanding a better scope of their network status. The familiarity associated with use of a traditional recloser as a connection switch also ensures that utility operators are completely familiar and comfortable with operating their equipment. In an era of great change in distribution network management it is a great comfort to network operators, technicians and linespeople that some assets can be a constant during this period. The familiarity and confidence that the OSM recloser has inspired assists in driving change management through the utility business.

“Our View is the distribution network will continue to evolve to have significant renewable energy generation connected at the distribution level,” says NOJA Power Group Managing Director Neil O’Sullivan. “Our reclosers are continuing to evolve to provide economical renewable energy generation grid interface connections and the implementation of the synchro-check functionality is an important step for customers to use our reclosers in these applications.”

With NOJA Power’s latest effort in developing ANSI 25 Synchro-check functionality, the RC10 controller has reasserted why it is clearly the most advanced recloser controller available on the market today. With NOJA Power’s vision to be the leader in medium voltage pole mounted switchgear, this latest functionality which has been made available to all of the users of the RC10 controller will certainly assist NOJA Power in achieving that goal. Together with the RC10’s inbuilt Power Quality, Load Profiling and SCADA RTU, network connection information will not only be accessible, but be abundant for end users. When combined with the flexibility of the OSM Recloser Ground Mount Kiosk versatility, it is clear that the simplest solution for addressing remote and distributed generation requirements will be the OSM Recloser solution.