Tag Archives: variable speed drives

ABB to deliver drives and motors to Fortescue’s Iron Bridge Magnetite project

ABB has won a $26 million order from Fortescue Metals Group to deliver water-cooled variable speed drives and high voltage induction motors to FMG’s majority-owned Iron Bridge Magnetite project in Western Australia.

The project, operated under an unincorporated joint venture between Fortescue subsidiary, FMG Magnetite Pty Ltd, and Formosa Steel IB, covers the development of a new magnetite mine, including processing and transport facilities. The $2.6 billion development is expected to produce 22 Mt/y (wet) of high grade, magnetite concentrate, with first ore in 2022.

As part of the project, the Iron Bridge Joint Venture required a cost-effective energy efficient variable speed drive solution, according to ABB. These drives, to be installed in eight switch rooms, operate with a separate transformer that is located outside the room. This reduces the heat generated inside, resulting in less energy required to maintain the 25°C room temperature.

ABB’s water-cooled drives also directly support a higher voltage 33 kV network, it said. “This eliminates the need for a lower voltage intermediate switchboard and additional components, which ultimately reduces the total cost of the project,” the company explained.

Iron Bridge also selected ABB high voltage induction motors to power high pressure grinding rolls, grinding mills and baghouse fans used to separate the ore from the dust at Iron Bridge. Engineered to withstand harsh conditions, the motors offer high power efficiency, but in a frame size smaller than competitive alternatives, it said.

Mike Briggs, Business Manager for ABB Motion, Australia, said: “We have worked closely with the Iron Bridge team to ensure that we delivered an energy efficient, reliable and innovative solution. We are especially pleased to have won both the drive and the motor business, and look forward to continuing our strong relationship with Fortescue beyond the delivery of this project and supporting them throughout the mine’s lifecycle.”

New WEG VSDs to help ventilate underground gold mine in Ghana

Two units of the newly developed WEG 11 kV Variable Speed Drive (VSD) have been commissioned at an underground gold mine in Ghana by WEG Automation Africa, a member of the Zest WEG Group, the company says.

According to Kirk Moss, Senior Manager: Projects and Engineering at WEG Automation Africa, the new WEG MVW3000 VSD is a valuable addition to its medium voltage VSD portfolio, and brings a range of benefits to customers.

“It gives WEG Automation Africa even greater flexibility in our market offering, further enhancing our capability to provide customised solutions,” he said.

The first two 11 kV units produced are for 850 kW ventilation fan motors in the underground gold mine in Ghana, according to the company.

The design is based on the cascaded H-bridge topology, using multiple low voltage power cells in combination to achieve the desired voltage output, the company said. The input switch, phase-shifting transformer and VSD are fully integrated in a single MV panel.

Moss said: “The WEG MVW3000 is particularly suited to applications where there are standard motors with no special insulation or where existing motors are being modified for VSD control.”

This VSD delivers high quality input power using low harmonic multi-pulse transformers. Users benefit from a high efficiency of over 96.5% throughout the entire load range, and a power factor of more than 0.95 throughout the entire speed range, according to the company.

“The design includes power cells with long-life plastic capacitors, which are more reliable and last longer than dry type capacitors,” Moss says. “They also have the advantage of not needing to be reformed after long periods of storage.”

In standard configuration, the 11 kV VSD is available from 40 A to 400 A – or 640 kW to 6,500 kW – although larger sizes are also available if required, the company said.

Among the options on the WEG MVW3000 is an automatic cell bypass solution. This ensures minimal reduction in the output-rated torque so normal operations can continue. Redundant power cells can also be added to the design to ensure 100% torque can be maintained.

Prior to delivery, all VSDs are fully load-tested in WEG’s facility in Brazil.

Bearings International accelerates with new variable speed drives

Bearings International (BI), through its relationship with Hudaco Group company Varispeed, is launching the VDrivePlus and AlphaDrive-Micro variable speed drives in the South Africa market.

Being part of the broader Hudaco Group allows BI to leverage synergies across a broad range of companies, meaning it can offer a complete product basket at its extensive branch network countrywide. One of these areas is electronic motor control solutions from Varispeed.

BI Marketing Manager, Victor Strobel, said: “For BI, it is all about the breadth of our product offering, which extends far beyond our customers’ core focus. This is because we look at customer requirements holistically. It is also a great way to introduce our customer base to the larger Hudaco Group.

“While the customer bases are different, there are definite synergies that we can tap into. It is all about positioning ourselves as a total solutions provider that is a single point of contact for all of our customer needs, as well as making them aware of everything else we are able to offer them.”

The AlphaDrive-Micro VSD (pictured) from Varispeed is a compact frequency inverter ranging from 0.2 kW to 5.5 kW, and available in 240 V and 400 V. Together with the VDrivePlus, these VSDs offer the best performance-to-cost ratio on the market, without compromising on quality and reliability, according to BI.

Certified in accordance with the latest European standards and regulations, the Alpha Drive Micro and Micro Plus are ideally suited to most applications in the South Africa market, including mining, food and beverage, manufacturing, and agriculture, BI says.

The compact design of the AlphaDrive-Micro VSD means it can be easily integrated into an electrical panel, as it mounts directly onto a DIN rail. A built-in software menu caters for optimised parameters for basic functions and applications such as fans, belts, conveyors, and pumps. Applications range from mining plants to water reticulation, HVAC, food and beverage, canning and bottling plants, and injection moulding plants, BI said.

The AlphaDrive-Micro VSD is based on the MODBUS protocol for open networking, with an EMC filter as standard.

One of the features of both drives BI highlighted was a parameter copy stick that allows for an automatic back-up of parameter settings in the event of load shedding. It also means that the same set of parameters can be transferred to many drives and even multiple sites.

The VDrivePlus from Varispeed is a much larger drive, ranging from 0.4 kW to 400 kW, available in 240 V and 400 V. This more advanced VSD features advanced motor control based on DSP technology, together with ‘smart’ auto-tuning, BI said. Additional features include flexible inverter control, dual high-resolution analogue inputs, and free mappable I/O channels.

BI said: “A universal function set is available for a range of industrial and residential applications, including integrated PID/pump controller routines. ‘Smart’ PC tools allow for quick inverter control, parametrisation, and troubleshooting. Here the size and range of the VSD makes it ideal for harsh operating environments from mining to industrial and even agricultural.”

Looking at future scope for synergy, Strobel pointed out that the VSDs can be easily supplemented with the Bauer electric motor range from BI.

These aluminium three-phase 380 V motors are made for industrial applications such as fans, compressors, pumps, sanding machines, and pedestal drilling machines, among others. The main benefit is that the motors are far lighter than their cast-iron equivalents due to the aluminium casing and end shield, according to the company.

The multi-mount design has the added benefit of being able to change the feet on-site. This gives customers the option of having the terminal box on the top or on the left- or right-hand side, depending on the specific requirements. In addition, Bauer motors can be fitted with an external brake of either an AC or DC type.