From network balance to circularity, how Piller solutions directly benefit big power users

A 2020 study titled ‘Energy Intensive Industries, Challenges and Opportunities in Energy Transition’, produced for the European Parliament, states that many of the technologies that will guide Europe’s economy to carbon neutrality by 2050 exist today and are mostly mature.

These include those that ‘replace fossil fuels for production: by electrification, biomass, low-carbon hydrogen or other synthetic fuels.’ (1)

For the electrification element of this transition Piller is a leader in the design and development of power chain components that directly benefit large users as they seek alternatives to reliance on existing power sources.

Depending on their chosen strategic direction this can be through continuity in engagement with large generators and distribution system operators, setting up as standalone independent energy generators or engaging with microgrid consortia.

Piller has recognised the changing nature of the energy sector. Its technologies provide multiple benefits including the balancing of networks by offering flexibility to users and grid operators.

Piller’s long term view is that transition to a carbon neutral circular economy will be based around maintaining maximum lifetime and afterlife value. The components of circularity being responsible material sourcing and manufacturing, long term efficient operation, low maintenance and eventual re-use and recycling.

Protection at Scale
Piller rotary UPS technologies are deployed at scale across every type of large energy user.

Large production facilities benefit from multiple megawatt UPS modules – the next generation UB-V series provides up to 3.2 MW of UPS protection in one single-module. Unlike all other UPS technologies, the UB-V Series can compensate for voltage dips of up to -50% without recourse to stored energy or diesel generators and offers many other benefits.

UB-V can be paired with battery back-up or  kinetic flywheel energy storage units[HF1]  that can be paralleled to support many tens of MWs of power, scaling to 200MW and beyond.

For those large industrial users who choose to build or connect to different types of microgrid Piller has focused on innovations to provide vital frequency, voltage stabilisation and grid gate technology that protects against disturbances and outages.

Grid forming technology creates stable frequency, voltage and amplitude to aid operation whether integrated or in island mode. Constant Short Circuit Ratio (SCR) system strength is increased and system perturbations and disturbances are reduced through reliable fault management.

Piller’s latest Integrated Power Conditioning and Switch Technology (IPCT) is a power stabilisation and voltage regulation module coupled to the power generation module (or renewables source).

The IPCT module comprises 4 x Piller 2.5MW UB-V Series UPS modules electrically coupled to the power module via a single 10MW choke.

Conditioned power is then distributed as required up to 10MW per IPCT module.

The implementation of a choke allows utility independent high quality voltage regulation in the load network. Apart from protection against voltage fluctuations and mains failures the system enables the load network to both draw energy from the grid and to export superfluous energy to the grid. In the event of a mains failure, the stabilization system immediately isolates the load network from the grid and, depending on whether power was previously exported or imported, can then take up or deliver active power until the power generation in the now isolated network is adjusted accordingly.

Microgrids must also include a control strategy to maintain, on an instantaneous basis, real and reactive power balance. In all Microgrid types the ‘electrical momentum’ is inevitably far less than through traditional large grids. The ability to deliver significant overcurrent for fault clearing is much reduced by the substitution (in part or whole) of spinning generation with Variable Renewable Energy Resources (VRERs).

The Microgrid has to be capable of managing faults and changes in network characteristics with a much faster reaction time.

Also, some of the electrical features seen in the larger grids, necessary for secure operation have to be simulated or recreated at Microgrid scale.

Stability at Scale – Globally
Ultimately for energy intensive industries it is Piller’s ability to provide stability to the load at scale that defines its approach and that has seen Piller equipment operate for decades – in some cases providing conditioned power and protection years beyond their original design life.

Around the world the largest energy intensive manufacturers in life sciences, pharmaceuticals, semiconductors , renewable energy photovoltaic manufacture as well as sectors such as mining, and digital infrastructure benefit from Piller’s forward looking design philosophy coupled with its dedication to world class engineering.

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