Automatic Circuit Reclosers Deployed in Congo

Sept. 6, 2016
OSM38 Automatic Circuit Reclosers are deployed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to achieve full transformer primary protection

NOJA Power's distributors RWW Engineering has installed two OSM Automatic Circuit Reclosers as part of a compact mobile substation deployed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) around 1.2 billion people on the planet did not have access to electricity in 2013 and of these 95% are in Sub-Saharan Africa and developing countries in Asia.  There is therefore an incredibly challenging task ahead for many governments, multilateral development banks and electrical utilities in these parts of the world to ramp up their efforts to provide access to reliable and safe electricity to these underprivileged communities.

Efficient diesel and gas portable generation sets, that today can range from a few kilowatts to well over a megawatt along with low scale renewable energy generation farms, offer a temporary solution that can, to some extent, alleviate the situation. All whilst some more permanent solutions, like large-scale micro-grids, are built and commissioned, something that can take time depending on the nature, complexity and size of the project.

In addition to the issue of lack of generation capacity there is also a real need to design and build a reliable and safe medium voltage distribution network that can reach in many cases very remote areas in some of these vast lands where most of the population live with very few means.

One solution on which a number of electrical utilities in these developing economies are relying on, are portable medium voltage substations as they have proved to be reliable, compact, modern and what is key, transportable.

These substations can be mounted on skids, wheels or the back of a large truck but the switchgear they feature needs to provide the latest functionality in protection, power quality and communications to be able to co-exist and seamlessly interoperate with electrical switchgear, RTUs and protection relays, among others, in the network’s outdoor and indoor substations as well as the existing pole mounted switchgear.

NOJA Power’s OSM reclosing circuit breaker complete with its RC10 control is currently being used for such applications in a number of countries around the world.  For instance NOJA Power’s exclusive distributor for the industrial market in South Africa, RWW Engineering, has recently commissioned two portable substations rated 5MVA and 1.25MVA using a 38kV OSM recloser for the primary transformer protection, for a mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

“NOJA Power’s OSM, complete with its RC10 control, provides as very light weight and extremely compact solution that is packed with the most advanced power quality, protection and communication features required to interface the mobile substation to the medium voltage grid. Full transformer protection is achieved including Bucholtz and Temperature inputs via the RC10's I/O module.” says Jeremy Wood, Director and co-founder of RWW Engineering.

RWW Engineering has been designing and manufacturing products for two decades. The company prides itself in being able to tackle complex projects and custom solutions with very specific customer requirements.

“The OSM product is also a very cost effective all-in-one solution and unlike other solid dielectric vacuum interrupt products on the market today by providing a unique fully type tested arc fault contained and vented tank design NOJA Power’s OSM recloser protects the lives of linesmen and the public at large in the case of a catastrophic internal arc fault.” adds Wood.  RWW Engineering have recently moved to their new and expanded premises located in 1047 Schooner Avenue Laser Park, Johannesburg, where they continue to design and build a wide range of mobile substations that feature NOJA Power’s OSM recloser complete with its RC10 control.

“We strongly believe that as a result of our large and ongoing investment in R&D we have now developed not only what is the most advanced and safest product in the world but also the most flexible and versatile of all medium voltage SF6-free and solid dielectric smart reclosers on the market” says Neil O’Sullivan, Group Managing Director of NOJA Power. O’Sullivan adds “we expect our OSM product complete with its RC10 control to become the reclosing circuit breaker of choice for many OEMs, electrical utilities and mining companies requiring a reliable and complete packaged substation that can be quickly deployed in a remote location as our OSM product clearly provides them with the best value for their money.”

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