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In power plants, very large motors such as BFW pumps or FGD booster fans may be fed from a separate, higher voltage (13,800V) bus.
Voltage drops at motor terminals during startup may be down to as low as 80% of the normal levels for large motors with long motor leads, far from the main auxiliary bus. (Black & Veatch 1996). Motors which are designed for reduced voltage starting may be specified, but these motors have lower operating energy efficiency. A better strategy is to specify auxiliary power system with a higher capacity supply, at least during plant start-up conditions. This will improve bus voltage regulation, but will increase the short-circuit duty of the switchgear (Black & Veatch 1996).
For power generation stations, a startup analysis should also include a ‘reacceleration’ study that investigates the consequences of a system trip followed by a quick resumption of power. In such cases several large motors must restart and re-accelerate at the same time. A similar study is recommended to investigate the amount and consequences of the in-rush power peak that occurs immediately after unit synchronization. Another opportunity for energy saving is to alter the excitation method during turbine startup. A static frequency converter may allow the elimination of much energy-intensive compressed air during turbine startup.
Harmonic Analysis A formal harmonic analysis helps to predict the harmonic content, based on the ratio between non-linear loads (like VFDs) and linear loads (like DOL motors) revealed from the Load List. The VFD vendor can help with a first order analysis, but some rules of thumb are provided here, adapted from (CSELive, P.Lynch, 3/1/2008). An industry rule of thumb is that when these loads represent more than 20% of the total loading, then specific power solutions hardware should be considered. This assumes that the drives to be installed have at least 3% ac line reactance or dc link reactance as a part of their standard designs.
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