ABB completes testing facilities for oil and gas drive systems

15 February 2011

ABB has completed its electromechanical equipment test facilities at CESI’s headquarters in Milan, Italy. The facilities will be used to test the load capacity and reliability of large motors and medium voltage drives used in a range of oil and gas applications, from offshore platforms to remote production sites.

ABB worked in close cooperation with Centro Elettrotecnico Sperimentale Italiano (CESI) – an Italian Electro-technical Experimental Center – to develop the test facilities, which will help the company to meet increasing demands from OEMs and end-users who are unable to perform acceptance testing at their own sites because of geographic or environmental constraints. The new facilities will enable ABB to deliver certified equipment that meets the requirements of the oil and gas industry, where full load testing of electrical equipment is required.

The use of adjustable speed drive system (ASDS) driven compressors and pumps instead of gas turbines is increasing in oil and sas applications, especially for transportation, gas liquefaction and injection, says ABB. These systems assure higher flexibility, higher efficiency, reduced maintenance cost and a lower environmental impact.

While designing and developing the test facilities, ABB and CESI performed a specific study of harmonics in order to avoid impact on the national electricity grid during all tests. Emphasis was also placed on safety procedures and to prevent any environmental impact during the testing process.

The new facilities include an inertial test bed designed for back-to-back testing of electrical machines up to 70 tons each, up to two poles, with a maximum rated power of 70 megavoltampere (MVA) at 33 kilovolt (kV). Two test sessions, consisting of a back-to-back configuration of two 13.58 megawatt variable speed drive systems and a second test involving two 18.2 Megawatt systems have been completed.

The facilities will also allow testing of new equipment such as variable speed drives and a complete range of adjustable speed drive systems (the medium voltage ensemble of switchgear, transformer, converter, electrical motor and filters). Full load, no load, heat run, vibration and noise tests will also be performed in accordance with International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards and vendor’s requirements, including the strictest standards driving the oil and gas industry.

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