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Italian centre will test MV drives and motors

10 February, 2011

ABB has commissioned a facility in Italy for testing the load capacity and reliability of large motors and medium-voltage drives, particularly for oil and gas applications. The facilities are located at the Milan headquarters of CESI – the Italian Electrotechnical Experimental Centre – which worked with ABB on the project.

The facilities will help to meet the increasing demand from OEMs and end-users that cannot perform acceptance testing at their own sites because of geographic or environmental constraints. The test centre will deliver certified equipment that meets the stringent requirements of the oil and gas industry, where full-load testing of electrical equipment is demanded.

While developing the centre, ABB and CESI performed a harmonics study to avoid affecting the local electricity network during testing. A detailed mechanical analysis was also carried out to determine the correct sizing of the iron and concrete needed to compensate for motor vibrations and to isolate the tests.

The 1,900m2 facilities include an inertial testbed for back-to-back testing of electrical machines weighing up to 70 tonnes, with up to two poles, and a maximum rated power of 70MVA at 33kV. Tests have already been conducted on a back-to-back configuration of two 13.58MW variable speed drive (VSD) systems, and two 18.2MW systems.

VSD-controlled compressor and pump systems are increasingly replacing gas turbines in oil and gas applications, especially for transportation, gas liquefaction and injection. These systems are more flexible and efficient, cost less to maintain and have a lower environmental impact.

The facilities will also allow complete line-ups of MV VSD systems (including switchgear, transformers, converters, motors and filters) to be tested. Full-load, no-load, heat-run, vibration and noise tests will also be performed in accordance with IEC standards and oil and gas industry standards.

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