Ziehl-Abegg, a manufacturer of efficient fans and motors, recently replaced the fans that cool the BritNed converter station near Rotterdam in the Netherlands. BritNed is the operator of the high-voltage direct-current (HDVC) subsea power cable connecting the country with the United Kingdom. The new fans help BritNed lower energy consumption and reduce its carbon footprint.
BritNed (a joint venture between British National Grid and Dutch TenneT) is responsible for the transport of electricity between the Netherlands to the United Kingdom. The subsea power cable connects the Isle of Grain in Kent with the Maasvlakte in the area of Rotterdam, a distance of 256 kilometers, and has a capacity of 1,000 MW.
In order to convert the high-voltage direct-current (HDvc) to the widely used alternating current (ac), converter stations are located at each end of the power cable. These heavy-duty converter stations, of approximately 5 hectares each, are permanently working and produce a significant amount of heat.
Reliable cooling is a continuous requirement, but cooling fans running without interruption consume a lot of energy. With the product series ZAplus, Ziehl-Abegg was able to offer several improvements to the existing system. The newly placed cooling fans have Electronically Commutated (EC) motors, which are proven to be highly energy efficient and environmentally friendly. The practical design of the fan allows easy maintenance and improves uptime guarantee.
The use of EC-Technology will result in a significant reduction of the energy use and the bionic profile of the blades—inspired by owls—minimizes noise pollution to the surrounding area. Altogether, the new fans will help BritNed to lower its energy consumption by 450.000 kWh per year and reduces its carbon footprint by 51 tons per year.
Improved efficiency is not the only benefit that the ZAplus fans bring to the energy operator. To improve uptime, the fans are equipped with a special service ring which enables easy access for maintenance and repair. The whole cooling unit no longer needs to be turned off for maintenance, so expensive outages will be reduced. Before the replacement, cleaning took two weeks—now it takes one day.
The replacement of the 40 fans took place in two batches during planned outages. What’s more, the old cooling fans will actually be recycled.
Filed Under: Green engineering