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Eaton Installs Power Xpert UX Switchgear at Tata Steel

Eaton Installs Power Xpert UX Switchgear at Tata SteelEaton has installed its Power Xpert UX Medium Voltage (MV) switchgear system at Tata Steel, Europe’s second largest steel producer.  The system has been installed as part of an upgrade to Tata Steel’s hot rolling steel mill in IJmuiden, the Netherlands, and will offer reliable, efficient operation and low cost of ownership over a long service life.

In order to meet growing market demand for high strength steel, Tata Steel upgraded one of its reels in the hot rolling steel mill no 2 at its Dutch steel plant.  However, the production of high strength steel requires more power than standard steel and so the new reel also needed 120% more electrical power.

Tata Steel’s engineering centre, Projects & Training Consultancy (PTC), is responsible for all internal electrical installations at the company’s various facilities, ensuring that energy is delivered safely where required. Denis Kramer, Electrical Project Engineer at PTC explains: “We ensure that the various Tata Steel factories have the energy they require in the right place. Our work involves transforming 150kV to 50, 33, 24, 10, 6 and 3 kV and ensuring that users can work safely with it.” Dennis’ colleague, At Keet, Senior Electrical Product Engineer, explains what was needed to provide the additional power for the new reel: “In reel 3 the DC Motors have been replaced by AC Motors and a new 10kV substation has been installed. Our existing MV switchgear substations were at the end of their service life.”

After a detailed analysis and comparison, Tata Steel choose Eaton’s Power Xpert UX MV switchgear system.  The steel manufacturer is familiar with Eaton’s products, having installed many switchgear products throughout its premises.  The quality of Eaton’s after sales care was also important to Tata Steel and it wanted to work with a company that it could trust to deliver an effective solution while providing excellent support.  “The Power Xpert UX switchgear stood out because of its pure appeal, safe structure and the use of tried and tested elements.” says At Keet.

Other key benefits of Eaton’s Power Xpert UX are its compact structure, the use of SF6-free vacuum circuit breakers, the moulded resin technology used for the solid state insulation and the bus-bar system with high quality copper bars. Additionally, the switchgear system is withdrawable and the structure is completely modular.

The compact design of the Power Xpert UX switchgear is based on Eaton’s leading vacuum technology and is available in three panel widths (600, 800, 1000mm) and 12, 17.5, and 24kV system voltages.  Eaton's latest vacuum circuit breaker, the W-VACi, sits at the heart of the Power Xpert UX switchgear and with its advanced vacuum interrupter contact design, offers longer life.

By eliminating the high maintenance requirements of SF6 gas charged switchgear, as well as the environmental issues associated with use and ultimate disposal of SF6, Eaton’s Power Xpert switchgear offer significantly reduced life-time costs and are reliable and efficient in operation, with an expected life of 30 years.

With a focus on planned conversion work over the next three years, Tata Steel chose to have five panels installed, consisting of one incomer complete with bus-bar side, truck mounted voltage transformers and four feeder panels, incorporating withdrawable vacuum circuit breakers.  The complete system is housed in 60cm wide panels and can be easily extended if necessary.

Before Eaton’s specialists started building, the PTC workers carried out an acceptance test in the factory in Hengelo, Netherlands.  The components were placed under test and performance was checked.  The switchgear was then installed at the facility in IJmuiden and Eaton also provided the technical teams with training prior to commissioning.

“The reactions were extremely positive,” says Dennis.  “People think the system is clearly structured.  The LED indication means it is very easy to see and follow what you are doing and see how everything works.

“It is solid and reliable.  During work you can really make a physical separation and lock the extended truck and everything is also more than adequately protected and insulated. And don’t forget, that a pile of steel is used – that is an extra advantage for a steel producer!”

Tags: Eaton, Switchgear, The Panel Builder

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