Reduced electricity costs via power quality improvements in a sortation center

Segment background

Sortation centers, pivotal in today’s logistics chains, rely heavily on automation and sophisticated equipment to ensure timely and accurate package sorting. At the heart of their operations is the need for consistent and high-quality power. Poor power quality can disrupt these centers’ functionality, leading to delays, equipment malfunctions, and increased operational costs. One of the primary symptoms of inadequate power quality is voltage sags and swells, which can cause sensitive equipment to trip or malfunction. Additionally, harmonics, which are distortions in the electrical waveform, can lead to overheating of equipment, reducing their lifespan and efficiency.

Among the various culprits causing poor power quality in sortation centers, Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) stand out. These devices, crucial for controlling the speed and torque of electric motors, can inadvertently introduce harmonics into the electrical system. While VFDs offer immense benefits, such as energy savings and precise motor control, their operation can distort the sinusoidal power waveform. This distortion is a significant contributor to the overall poor power quality observed. Furthermore, when numerous VFDs operate concurrently, the cumulative effect can exacerbate the problem.

Challenges at the customer’s facility

Our customer’s facility was experiencing significant issues with its electrical infrastructure. One major problem was the presence of extremely high harmonic currents. These harmonic currents were not only detrimental in themselves but also contributed to polluting the facility’s grid.

Consequently, the stability and efficiency of the grid were compromised. Additionally, there was a noticeable increase in reactive power. This surge in reactive power led to thermal and power losses, adversely affecting the facility’s overall energy efficiency. Moreover, these electrical challenges translated into higher maintenance costs, putting further financial strain on the facility’s operations.

Our Merus® Solution

The electrical disturbances at the customer’s facility needed a comprehensive solution. To address this, Merus® A2-Active Harmonic Filters were selected due to their effectiveness in combating such issues. They were strategically positioned right at the very sources of the problematic harmonic and reactive currents. This strategic placement ensured maximum efficacy in mitigating the disturbances.

Merus Power’s local partner, SEMAN, renowned for its engineering expertise, took the lead in the assessment process. SEMAN engineers employed portable power quality analyzers to capture a comprehensive range of data such as power, current, voltage, THDi, THDv, and voltage and current harmonic content extending up to the 35th order. The engineers also monitored transients and assessed load balancing. After a thorough assessment, the installment and commissioning of the filters began, ensuring optimal performance for the facility’s electrical systems.

Segment / Application

Sortation center with several Variable Frequency Drives

Location

United Kingdom

Power quality issue

  • High current harmonic distortion
  • Low power factor

Merus® Solution

Customer Benefits

  • Reduced electricity costs
  • Improved power factor
  • Reduced harmonic currents
  • Reduced maintenance costs

Results after installation

Upon completing the evaluations, the results were immediately promising. Measurements highlighted considerable improvements in harmonics and power factor values, which are pivotal for electrical efficiency.

To substantiate these findings, a comprehensive mathematical predictive model was put to use. It projected a significant 9% drop in electricity consumption. Importantly, this forecast was rooted in the EVO protocol, a well-respected standard for energy-saving project verification.

By the end of three months post-installation and commissioning, these predictions were validated, marking the efficacy of the implemented changes.


Do you have any questions?

Please contact one of our salespeople with questions and inquiries.

Riku Kalliomaa

Senior Sales Manager,
Products, North America

+358 50 3323 020 riku.kalliomaa@meruspower.com

Jaakko Poutamo

Sales Manager,
Central & Southern Europe

+358 50 918 0012 jaakko.poutamo@meruspower.com

Mikko Zavertkin

Sales Manager,
Northern Europe

+358 40 5908 858 mikko.zavertkin@meruspower.com

Viktoria Mansikkala

Sales Manager,
Baltics & Eastern and Southern Europe

+358 44 9 735 737 viktoria.mansikkala@meruspower.com

Juhani Jaatinen

Senior Sales Manager,
DACH, Benelux, France

+49 160 762 4909 (DE) juhani.jaatinen@meruspower.com

Pedro Esteban

Director,
Asia-Pacific

+65 9155 4225 pedro.esteban@meruspower.com

Venkatesh Ramachandra

Regional Sales Manager,
Middle East

+971 50 55 38 465 venkatesh.ramachandra@meruspower.com
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