Southern States LLC, a provider of switching, automation and protection solutions to utilities for more than 100 years, announced that long-term customer Salt River Project (SRP) has expanded its use of the Southern States CapSwitcher solution.
One of the largest public power companies in the U.S., SRP is a not-for-profit water and energy company that provides reliable, affordable water and power to more than two million people living in central Arizona. SRP cited Southern States' long-term record of reliable performance and cost-effectiveness as factors in its decision to expand its deployment.
"Using circuit breakers for frequent switching of capacitor and reactor banks causes excessive wear and tear on equipment, resulting in high maintenance costs and mechanical equipment failures due to restrike or pre-strike," said Andy Keels, Salt River Project's senior electrical apparatus engineer. "We've deployed the Southern States CapSwitcher solution at many locations across our 69-kilovolt system with very positive results, and we're expanding to higher voltage applications where we expect to see our maintenance and operational savings continue to grow."
Additionally, Keels explained that SRP has found switching devices that attempt to predict the current zero and switch at that instant to work inconsistently, thereby raising reliability concerns. "Playing roulette with shunt capacitor banks near a hospital or critical manufacturing business can have disastrous consequences. The Southern States CapSwitcher design provides us with a switching solution that delivers consistent results every time it switches," Keels concluded.
The CapSwitcher's patented interrupter design uses a closing resistor to significantly reduce inrush current, thereby eliminating the need for inrush current reactors that are needed for use with breakers and other switching devices. In combination with a nozzle design that essentially eliminates restrikes on opening, the CapSwitcher minimizes both voltage and current transients. The minimalistic design results in a device that is both reliable and economical.
Tom Speas, Southern State's vice president of marketing, remarked, "SRP is a leader in transmission innovation. After more than a decade in service to SRP, we're excited to expand our solution deployment to help ensure reliable and cost-effective power to their growing customer base for years to come."