Ice-Proof Solution for the Largest Hydroelectric Project in North America
Successfully combined pollution and ice testing to face harsh environmental strains
PPC Insulators announced that our insulators have been successfully installed at both substations Lower Churchill Project in the first phase. Still in the process of finalization, the Lower Churchill Project is one of the biggest hydroelectric engineering projects in North America in the last years. The project aims to develop the remaining 35 percent of the Churchill River, combining two installations at Muskrat Falls (Phase 1 – completed in 2017) and Gull Island (Phase 2). Their joint capacity will be over 3,000 MW providing 16.7 Terawatt hours of electricity per year, which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking 3.2 million vehicles off the road each year!
Due to the harsh environment with low temperature and icy conditions and other pollution challenges, very rigorous requirements were put in place by Nalcor Energy. To eliminate all potential issues with an insulator, a special design with respect to pollution and ice in deployed area post insulators for 350kV DC converter were supplied to Muskrat Falls as well as Soldiers Pond. Prior to delivery, insulator was subjected to freezing test by GE Grid, the test was performed at STRI laboratory in Ludvika (Sweden).
Pollution and freezing test underwent a three-unit above 2550 kV BIL post insulator of a minimum 27,292 mm creepage distance. Insulator with artificial pollution layer began to show ice accretion at a temperature of -10°C. When ice reached 1-2 mm target thickness, the testing object was energized at 370kVDC negative polarity, until the ice thickness of 42 mm was reached. The same voltage withstand tests were performed when the temperature was raised from -10°C to +3-5°C by hot steam.
“The test confirmed that no leakage current value below 2mA was measured, which is great reassurance and confirmation of the quality of our products,” said Johannes Gebhart, Regional Sales Manager. “PPC Insulators are recognized by quality-conscious customers that look reliable solution in demanding conditions.”
To avoid possible disturbances and interruptions of electrical power systems, special design and material consideration is to be employed to withstand the environmental stresses and prevent mechanical damage as a result. PPC Insulators have extensive experience in delivering salt, wind and ice loads proof solutions, with applications in many northern countries being the favoured supplier for the highly adverse environment.
About PPC Insulators Group
With over 130 years of experience, PPC Insulators is a leading manufacturer of porcelain, hybrid and composite insulators for the overhead lines, substations and precipitator applications. We invest our efforts to offer quick, easy and effective solutions to our customers. Our extensive knowledge, expertise and production technology enables us to produce the best insulator designs to cater up to 1200kV AC and 1100kV DC system voltages, that positions us at the forefront of techno-industrial achievements. We supply over 40,000 standard insulators from our stock to meet the demands of our customers. Learn more at www.ppcinsulators.com
Natasa Skuk, M.A.
Marketing Communications Manager