24. Apr 2023

Inspection of capacitor bank with SafeMon NSO

The transmission system operator Midtnett AS supplies electricity to twenty thousand customers, including several large industrial enterprises with considerable energy needs. One of these customers is Svene Crushing Plant, which sought to increase its output – at the same time, Midtnett experienced overheating in the substation that supplies the crushing plant. They found the solution with SafeBase and Micro Matic.

They had replaced the low-voltage cable from the transformer to the switchboard. They had carried out several adjustments and expensive upgrades at Svene Crushing Plant. Nevertheless, the transmission system operator struggled with unexplained overheating in the substation.

“It was so bad that it harmed the lifespan of the entire plant,” says Helge Erik Solum, Operations Manager at Midtnett AS.

Reactive power was the culprit

In the end, one of Solum’s colleagues suggested that the overheating might be due to reactive power. Solum then contacted Micro Matic, from whom they had purchased several of the instruments for the substation. Micro Matic performed a “health check” of the substation, which determined that the colleague was correct: The problem was reactive power.

“Reactive power is mainly a problem in the customers’ facilities, and therefore the customers themselves often have to foot the bill for the improvements. However, they can also save large sums by not paying for reactive power,” explains Solum, who continues:

“Svene Crushing Plant had also asked to increase the power output, and there was basically a need for a larger substation. We found the solution to both the power requirement and the overheating in the substation by installing capacitor batteries on the main switchboard of the crushing plant”.

Saves 100,000 a year

Since the capacitor batteries were installed, the overheating has completely disappeared – and Svene Crushing Plant has a stable electrical system that utilises the full capacity of the main switchboards. To inspect that the battery actually works as it should, Midtnett uses SafeMon NSO.

“We have installed SafeBase’s SensorHub in the substation that feeds the crushing plant. It sends data that allows us to monitor that the customer’s battery is in fact working as it should. If the battery stops compensating, we are immediately notified through this solution,” explains Solum.

The solution has freed up 40 per cent of the power that can supply other customers, without affecting the actual capacity of the network or the transformer.

“This is a win-win situation. In total, we and the customer save NOK 100,000 a year through this measure,” concludes Solum.

Read more about SafeMon NSO and Advanced Network Station Monitoring here: