Going around installing a surge protection device for every piece of equipment in your house is no small feat. Think for a moment. You would probably come up with your computer and your audio video devices but there are several appliances that are connected to a power outlet, from your washer and dryer to the microwave to the vacuum cleaner, I can go on and on. All these devices are vulnerable in case of a power surge. The answer is a complete whole house surge protection strategy. BESST Engineering, Queensland recommends a 3-stage surge protection for your precious home.
Direct Strike Lightning Protection
Lightning conductors or lightning rods are installed on the top of a house or building. In the event of a strike, the conductor would send the excess energy to the ground. As part of residential lightning protection system, BESST Engineering provides Prevection lightning terminals that are fully capable of mitigating the hazards of a lightning surge.
Surge Protection Level 1
These devices protect against externals power surges such as those caused by lightning or when your local power grid switches loads. They can be installed at the point where power enters your house from the utility supply. BESST gives you Gatekeeper surge diverters for installation at the service entrance of your building, in the main switchboard. There are heavy duty versions available depending on your power supply and requirements. Experienced electrical contractors at BESST Engineering, Brisbane can advise you on choosing the one that is right for your house.
Surge Protection Level 2
The protective devices at level 2 are installed where the main line branches out into various circuits inside your house. The advantage with this level of protection is that they protect your house from internal surges which can be caused by devices that switch power on and off such as a thermostat. Gatekeeper LITE surge diverters and surge Filters from BESST Engineering, Queensland are ideal for protection from transients for your sensitive electronic equipment. The modular design, internal fusing and long service life makes them ideal for Class I and II Cat B & C applications.
Surge Protection Level 3
These protection devices most of you would be familiar with. Examples are power strips that are used at point of use, where a device is plugged into a power outlet. Most people only use these and think they have protected their house but the reality is actually the opposite. As you can see, we have put them at level 3. These devices only work as part of a comprehensive protection plan and not as stand-alone devices.
Hire An Expert
Handling electrical equipment is no child’s play. Only skilled electrical contractors such as Batterham’s Electrical Switchboard Services and Trading, BESST at Queensland should be called upon to install whole house surge protection equipment to ensure peace of mind.
We all own expensive electronic devices these days. Computers, printers, scanners, audio visual devices, modems, routers and LAN, expensive stuff is hooked directly to power all the time. Power surges can not only be external (as in a direct lightning strike) but also internal (when a heavy appliance switches power on and off). In the light of this, surge protection for your electronic devices becomes paramount. BESST Electrical Engineering services in Queensland share a few expert tips to protect your equipment.
LAN SURGE PROTECTORS LAN surge protectors provide protection to the database servers and local area network against power surges. The Gatekeeper GKLAN-UTP range from BESST electrical engineers, Brisbane has been designed to provide high energy surge protection for LAN/UTP applications. Being all mode devices, the protectors have been designed for mounting either in-line or in a network rack system. Surge Protection devices can protect LAN hubs, servers and routers from surges coming from coaxial cables.
POE (POWER OVER ETHERNET) SURGE PROTECTORS GKLAN POE (Power over Ethernet) protectors provide full multimode and multistage protection. The Gatekeeper GKLAN – UTP POE rack mount POE surge protector from BESST electrical engineering services is available in a 24-port configuration for 5, 12, 24 and 48 volt applications. These are specially designed to protect sensitive rack mounted electronics and the Ethernet port from electrical and lightning induced surges. The rack mount POE protectors provide dependable safety from a wide range of surges yet only use a little rack space. Easy to install and use, GKLAN POE surge protector is only truefully tested CAT 6 SPD available today.
WHOLE HOUSE SURGE PROTECTION To ensure 100 per cent protection of your equipment, you must also take care to protect to protect your entire house or building from surge as well. Whole house protection includes:
Operator panels, also known as Human Machine Interfaces (HMI) allow interaction between people (humans) and industrial control systems (machines) such as PLC – programmable logic controllers. They can be in various forms - text panels or graphical displays with touch screens. BESST Engineering at Queensland provides MECT Operator Panel with PLC that can help you monitor process critical information. The panel also enables operators to input instructions to check or change the commands to the machine being operated.
The MECT operating panels available with BESST Engineering are equipped with Modbus RTU over RS485 or CANopen, Modbus TCP, or TCPRTU on Ethernet interface. There is a micro USB port that is used for data logging and software update, or as a device for mass storage. For programs and data, an SD memory card can be installed on the operating panels. The panels come with their own software to configure the system and create PLC and HMI graphics applications without the need to write the code. Panels are available in portrait as well as landscape format.
The operator panel with PLC and touch screen can be used for a wide range of applications. Assembly lines, transportation, water treatment, food processing are only a few examples where operating panels with PLC can be used to automate processes. Operating panels with in-built input/output ports can help to monitor process critical variables and control systems by issuing commands to the system. Panels can link directly with a series of sensors and actuators, number of connections vary according to the model.
Lightning rods are enough to protect my building and my equipment
True and False. Electrical contractors, Batterham’s Electrical Switchboard Services and Trading, BESST Engineering, Queensland say that it is true that lightning rods do protect buildings in case fires are caused by a lightning strike. But they do not provide any protection against voltage surge caused due to massive amounts of energy generated during lightning. The electrical systems installation is generally below the ground. The lightning rod conducts current into the ground. Some of it may flow back into your circuits and damage your equipment. For protecting your equipment and appliances, you need surge diverters. BESST provides Gatekeeper surge diverters provides protection against surge voltages and surge currents caused by lightning.
No lightning, no surge, right?
False. Any power disturbances can create transients or spikes. While lightning does cause massive surges, a voltage surge can also be caused by devices that switch power on and off, like an appliance’s thermostat switch. Your area’s grid switching electrical loads can also cause a surge that is enough to kill your sensitive equipment since most of it is designed to operate only at a specified voltage.
My devices are plugged into a power strip. That is good.
False. Power strips are only a way to increase power points on a single outlet. They may save you from a fight about who gets to charge their phone first but they offer no real protection from a power surge. They are as good as plugging directly into the outlet. Only surge protection devices can protect your appliances and equipment against a voltage surge.
i have a surge protector. I am 100 percent safe now.
Depends. Choosing the right surge protection device and correct installation is paramount. Residential and industrial electrical contractors, BESST at Queensland advise that you get expert help to install a surge diverter or arrester. Length of the cable that connects the surge protection device to the mains is a critical parameter among many others like where the building is located, what is the risk level, what is the earthing mechanism and so on. Only experienced engineers and electrical contractors have the necessary knowhow to judge which surge device is right for you and how it should be installed.
Every time there is a surge, the surge diverter is destroyed and needs to be replaced.
False. Surge arresters discharge the excess energy to the ground each time it happens. And they can do it repeatedly. The life of a SPD (surge protection device) is as good as any other protection device. Gatekeeper surge diverters from electrical contractors, BESST Engineering, Brisbane are suitable for installation at the entrance of a building, in the main switchboard or a distribution board. Multiple surge diverters may be used to provide coordinated protection.
If your business depends on smooth running of machinery, it is essential that you invest in a great oil sampling kit to check the quality of fuel, lube and hydraulic oils. This will ensure that your engines run properly and the lubrication is effective in protecting the machinery. Obviously, all this has to be cost effective and convenient to handle. Our testing experts at BESST Engineering, Queensland explain why it is a must to invest in a good oil sampling and testing kit:
An amendment has been issued by Australian Standards for AS NZS 5601.1:2013 Gas Installations Part 1: General Installations. The amendment was published on 27 August 2015. A summary of the amendments is given below.
Consumer Piping – Gas Venting 2.4.11
If the pressure is greater than the 200 kPa the user is referred to AS NZS 60079.10.1. This is the standard for the classification of hazardous areas for explosive gas mixtures.
Consumer Piping Materials – Table 4.1
There are two references to DVGW VP614 which have been deleted.
Installing Gas Equipment - Vent Terminal Location 18.104.22.168
The diagram and some text for the vent terminal exclusion zone for gas discharge in cases where there is an object have been amended. Figure 5.3 has been replaced with new figures 5.3(a) and 5.3(b). Figure 5.3(a) shows the vent terminal exclusion zone with no object in the discharge direction. Figure 5.3(b) shows the zone with an object in the discharge direction (e.g. wall, ground, etc.).
BESST Pty Ltd is the Queensland representative for LDU surge diverters and lightning protection. LDU have released a new range of power surge filters, the Gatekeeper GKSF. This series of compact DIN rail mounted filter is ideal for either single or three phase applications. It is available in 4 different amperages with the top rating of 32A. It goes hand in hand with the broader range of Gatekeeper surge diverters.
To launch the new range of Gatekeeper GKSF power surge filters in Queensland, BESST is offering special discounts for a limited time. The offers are across the complete range of LDU products, including power surge protection, data surge protection and lightning protection.
To get the best quotation for surge protection equipment for your next project, please contact Nancy directly.
Gas Field Design – Well Pads with a Single Well In the coal seam gas (CSG) industry, natural gas is extracted from underground coal seams via wells drilled from the surface down into the coal seam. To maximise the potential volume of gas for extraction, the wells are drilled in a grid-like pattern across the well field. The location of individual wells may be adjusted to suit the local topography.
The gas from the wells is collected in a gathering network. The network gathers both gas and water from each well. It brings the gas and water to central processing plants. The gathering network consists of separate pipe lines for gas and water. The network may include an electrical distribution system where the well field is electrically powered.
Typically a single well is drilled on an individual well pad. The preparation for gas production involves many different activities:
Advances in Drilling Technology – Well Pads with Multiple Wells Advances in drilling technologies have made viable the directional drilling of the well. The application of directional drilling allows multiple wells to be located in a cluster on a single well pad, with financial and operational benefits.
Automatic Power Management One benefit is that the instead of providing a dedicated power generator for each well, two generators may be used to power up multiple wells on the single well pad.
To maximise availability and to increase gas production, the generators may be configured for automatic power management, including automatic run-hours equalisation.
The automatic power management has one generator online at all times, with the second unit being dispatched if the power requirements of the well pad become too high for a single generator. Automatic run-hours equalisation changes which generator is online so that the total running hours on each generator is approximately equal, or the difference in running hours does not exceed a configurable set point.
BESST Services BESST has the experience to be able to provide the design, configuration and commissioning services for the electrical and control systems for generators to allow automatic power management and run hours equalisation.
The packaged generators are assembled as an integral unit. Generally they comprise the generator (engine with alternator) and the auxiliary systems. These systems include radiators, ventilation, battery charging, controls and fire systems.
As regards the generator controls, the control system is usually an integration of several control systems, such as:
Traditionally there are two locations from where the operator can observe the generator status.
The first is a local HMI which is located in the generator control panel. This is convenient from a control systems point of view because it will be close to the unit controller (PLC) and easy to manufacture. It is also convenient for the operator if the generator control panel is located in the generator enclosure and if the panel is accessible.
The second location is the SCADA HMI. This may be located in a control room which is separate to the generators. This is convenient if all of the generator status information which is available locally is also presented on the SCADA.
With a setup such as this, the operator needs to physically go to one of these locations in order to monitor the status of the generator. Unfortunately there can be operational problems with this situation.
For example, the Caterpillar generators have an engine mounted, engine control unit (ECU or ECM) and a separate generator controller which is an EMCP panel. Both are connected via an on-board CAN bus. The EMCP panel is usually fitted on the outlet box of the alternator. It is factory fitted and wired. It has a local display which shows engine values, generator values, engine warning events and engine shutdown events. Depending on the model of the EMCP, there is usually a Modbus port which is available for remote monitoring of the EMCP data.
The EMCP display may not be accessible while the generator is running if the EMCP panel is fitted on the generator and if the generator is inside the generator enclosure. Furthermore, not all of the EMCP data may be remotely monitored.
In this situation the operators may be blind to engine warning events while the generator running. This may have a negative affect the operational availability of both the unit generator and of the system to which it is connected e.g. power station. It may not be possible for the operators do diagnose an engine alarm. The generator may shutdown without warning and the result could be an unplanned outage of the power station.
In order to solve this problem, BESST has developed a CAN1 Viewer. The CAN1 Viewer will read J1939 engine values and events from the engine CAN1 network. It presents the information simultaneously on a local display and on a smart phone application. It includes a data logger and it provides scheduled emails with logged engine data.
The CAN1 Viewer makes use of mobile technology to allow the operator to monitor the engine without having to be either at the generator enclosure or at the SCADA HMI.
By using mobile technology, the CAN1 Viewer is independent of the Caterpillar controls and the SCADA. The smart phone application may be made available to the personnel who need the engine information, such as operators, technicians, vendors and the owner’s asset management personnel.
The main features of the CAN1 Viewer are that it is easily deployed, it provides real-time visibility of the engine status and that is can be accessed via a smart phone application.
There are financial benefits from improved operational efficiencies and improved availability of the generation unit.
A similar system has been developed which connects to the Modbus port on the EMCP. This is an EMCP Viewer. It does not include a local display.
BESST is able to provide the following:
I remember designing generator control systems with control relays and pneumatic timers. The number of control relays was in proportion to the complexity of the functionality required for the system. In some applications, just to house the control system, there was a suite of full height control panels. If you opened the panel doors in the dark, it used to look like Christmas with all the little flashes from the relay contacts. It took considerable effort to test and commission the systems and this was regarded as normal. Any modification of the control system required re-wiring circuits and either adding or deleting control relays and timers.
A few of the sequences were automatic but the functions were initiated by an operator. This meant that the systems required operators to be in attendance. Many operators were distrustful of the control system, with its maze of circuits, relays and timers. Consequently, some sort of manual “over-ride” switch had to be provided, which could be used by the operator in an “emergency” if the control system failed.
There had to be a better way to design and build a control system! This happened one day when PLCs came on the market. The number of control relays and timers could be reduced because the logic functions were performed in the PLC. We used PLCs with 256 addresses of memory and learnt new terms like “input” and “output”. The size of the control panels was reduced in proportion to the number of relays and timers that were replaced by the PLC. The functionality of the systems and the number of sequences which could be automated increased. Gradually, the system automation meant that many tasks no longer needed an operator.
Design drawings were done on computers instead of tracing paper and ink. New design tools were developed such as AutoCAD. We started to use photocopier and facsimile machines. Everyone was worried about losing their job because of computers.
But some things did not change, it was still required to provide some sort of manual “over-ride”. I saw one site which used PLCs to operate the entire plant. The PLCs were neatly housed in a suite of control panels. However, the wall behind the operator’s control desk was full of manual / auto switches from the roof to the floor. There would have been over one hundred switches.
You could see the look of fear in the operator’s eyes. They were terrified of ever having to manually control the plant! The fear was for a number of reasons. Firstly they didn’t have the in-depth understanding of the plant processes to be confident in manually operating equipment. Secondly, even if they did have the knowledge, they were worried that they may have forgotten some aspects because they did not use the knowledge very often. This got worse over time as new operators came on board. Thirdly, it was possible they would be held responsible if they switched the wrong device and caused an outage in the plant or maybe damaged some equipment.
The challenge for the operator was to have good training. The solution was to automate more of the systems and processes. This happened with the advent of SCADA and HMIs. At the same time there was a massive change in devices from electro-mechanical to solid state types. The systems communicated data over “buses”.
Then came a new communication tool called the “InterNet” and the world wide web. We started to use Emails.
Again we learnt new terms like “ModBus”, “FieldBus”, “DNP”, “Wifi” and “EtherNet”. We had to learn about interfacing different protocols. Testing and commissioning were now more about the software and less about the hardware. However, some things did not change. There was the same requirement for a manual “over-ride”.
Now we find ourselves in the midst of another evolution. This time it is in robotics, the “InterNet of Things” (IoT), or the “Industrial InterNet of Things” (IIoT) and “Industrie 4.0”. We again have new terms such as “apps”, “IEC 61850”, “storage”, “renewables”, “PV” and “fuzzy logic”. We now have something which is called “The Cloud”.
These technologies will allow us to automate and visualise to an extent that has not been possible previously. The devices and software are already on the market and the applications for the technologies are growing daily. I now do a reasonable proportion of my daily work on my phone and I am not alone in this!
BESST can help you to leverage the operational benefits to be gained from these technologies. Your CAPEX and OPEX should be reduced by implementing the technologies into either your legacy plant or into your next project.
We at BESST show you how to implement the InterNet of Things. We are already busy producing designs and collaborating with partners.