American Superconductor SVC Solutions Gaining in Popularity

Published on July 2, 2008 at 1:00 AM

American Superconductor Corporation, a leading energy technologies company, today announced multiple orders for the company’s Static VAR Compensator (SVC) solution. AMSC added the SVC solution to its suite of advanced electrical products through the acquisition of Pennsylvania-based Power Quality Systems, Inc. (PQS) in 2007. This latest series of orders includes the addition of five new customers, representing a diverse range of industrial applications.

Combining PQS’s proprietary thyristor switch technology with AMSC’s advanced controls technology created a highly scalable SVC system that is being utilized at both transmission and distribution voltages. The scalability of this product allows AMSC to provide large, 100-plus megaVAR (MVAR), transmission-level SVC solutions tailored for enhancing power grid reliability. It also allows AMSC to offer smaller scale solutions that enhance the quality of electric power in industrial environments.

“Our advanced SVC system holds voltages steady in a wide variety of situations,” said Timothy Poor, AMSC’s Vice President of Global Sales and Business Development. “Electric utilities can turn to SVCs to eliminate voltage sags and flicker, enabling them to connect large, problematic electrical loads to the local power grid while maintaining high reliability. In addition, industrial companies can utilize our SVC solution to eliminate power disturbances, increase their productivity and improve their product quality.”

SVC solutions solve a variety of utility grid reliability problems, helping to maintain stable system operation. SVCs also provide a more stable voltage supply to large industrial facilities that routinely operate large motors, metal shredders, crushers, pumps and pipelines. The solution also cures challenging arc furnace and welding flicker, and addresses voltage problems stemming from sawmills, shipyards, mines, feed plants and similar industrial operations.

Two AMSC distribution-voltage-class SVC systems were recently purchased by a large North Carolina-based investor-owned electric utility for installation at its customers’ industrial sites. These purchases were the result of the utility’s ongoing practice of routinely considering the use of SVCs to maintain the high reliability of its transmission and distribution grid.

Additional recent customers include:

  • A Texas-based natural gas utility is using an AMSC SVC solution to increase natural gas collection in a remote, rural area, eliminating the need to build a new transmission line to service a single customer.
  • A recycler in the Western U.S. purchased an AMSC SVC system to increase its capacity to recycle metals profitably. Application of SVCs in shredding applications is becoming increasingly common.
  • A distributed independent electrical generator selected an AMSC SVC to allow it to meet utility connection standards while operating at full output. Advanced SVCs from AMSC are an effective way for distributed energy generators to meet grid voltage stability requirements.
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