21 January 2017, Hatfield Pennsylvania - On a frosty cold morning in Hatfield Pennsylvania, a group of engineers and technicians gather at the base of a NOJA Power OSM Recloser installation. Among them are representatives of the local municipality, the local engineering consultants, the local contractors and delegates from recloser manufacturer NOJA Power. Their task here today is to commission the very first NOJA Power reclosers in the state of Pennsylvania.
As the very first installation for this utility, NOJA Power is dedicated to providing its service to the new members of the NOJA Power user group. The Hatfield installation is no exception, as Vice President of NOJA Power LLC Rick Campanalie is in attendance. Joining Rick is Martin van der Linde, Sales Engineer who has been flown in from the head office in Brisbane Australia to provide the technical support and commissioning. With the help of the local contractors and engineers, the team were well equipped to get the job done.
On arrival to the site, the teams are greeted with three NOJA Power OSM recloser systems, already professionally installed up the poles by the local teams. Despite never seeing the equipment in the past, the installation process is easily accomplished by the local US utility expertise. With no further installation to do, the teams put on their safety equipment and get to work, eager to get these reclosers into service.
The local Hatfield municipality had installed these reclosers to replace aging assets. This scenario is a common case throughout the United States, as the spiritual home of the original reclosing circuit breaker. With the aged equipment well past its best years, it was certainly time to upgrade the equipment to capitalise on the safety, reliability and precision of modern day semiconductor controlled reclosers such as the OSM system. The retired assets most certainly had protection settings from many years ago, and with the vast amount of protection curves and customisation available in the NOJA Power RC10 Controller, it is possible to replicate these settings just as they were designed in the past. This simplicity of transferring previously deduced protection and automation settings makes the upgrade to the NOJA Power OSM system exceptionally simple. Furthermore, as the NOJA Power OSM Recloser system is an integrated solution, it is simply a case of entering the old settings into the controller. There is no need to configure in CT ratios or any other consideration.
As the NOJA Power team began the commissioning process, the team demonstrated the simplicity of implementing settings and loading them into the controller. With the onboard simulation capability, it was even possible to verify settings without a secondary injection set. Of course if this was desired, all that was required was a NOJA Power ITS Interface Test Set and the power system simulator of the end user's choice. After progressing through the standard protection capabilities, the local teams were eager to see some of the more advanced functionality in action.
NOJA Power's Martin van der Linde - Sales Engineer conducting commissioning.
NOJA Power’s OSM Recloser system is shipped standard with Power Quality monitoring and protection capabilities. This advanced functionality allows for Oscillography Capture, Sag/Swell Monitoring, Interruptions monitoring, Harmonic Logging and Harmonic protection. With the worldwide proliferation of Non-Linear loads, conventional protection methods are no longer sufficient to address the challenges posed by complex loads. The NOJA Power RC10 controller for the OSM system provides the capability for end users to log and act upon Power Quality issues, from simply tracking harmonics through to protection operations on specific harmonics. With all these functions available as standard, it is little surprise that end users are beginning to explore the more niche functions available in this equipment.
“It is clear from the ease of which this installation was completed changing brands is something that utilities in the USA should consider doing more often to create a competitive procurement process,” reports NOJA Power Group Managing Director Neil O’Sullivan. “The highly skilled USA linesmen are capable of embracing new technology which will improve network performance and operating cost.”
A couple of hours later, the commissioning was over for all three reclosers. The settings were loaded, tested and recorded, with the installations inspected and current/voltage measures checked. To the members of the Hatfield community, there were three modern day reclosers newly in service, and for the local contractors and teams there was new expertise acquired. NOJA Power is dedicated to providing field support and service, building the industry knowledge that keeps people energised all over the world.