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GE Fanuc supplies process gear for SmartGrid application

GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms has announced that PowerSecure in the United States has selected GE Fanuc’s PLC families to be a part of its solution to meet utilities’ stringent requirements for the protection and control of distributed generation systems.

Mission-critical facilities such as hospitals, wastewater plants, data centers, process-intensive, high-value manufacturing, large commercial buildings, government installations and other CI&I Utility loads typically require full-rated or near full-rated emergency power systems for life safety or economic loss prevention, said GE Fanuc.

“These systems often involve redundant generators, buses and feeders for loads — providing power to the facility to maintain operations in the event of a utility outage,” said a press release from GE Fanuc.

“Meeting emergency power requirements is a large expense, for which power is used only during utility outages.

“The majority of these power systems that have been or are being installed use transfer switches to separate loads from the utility during an outage, and connect the emergency generation.

“The transfer switches are not designed to facilitate parallel operation of the utility and emergency generation plant, nor are the controls and protection schemes. Parallel operation of an onsite facility owned generation and the utility grid could offer operational and economic benefit to both the facility and the utility.”

PowerSecure sought to provide a solution that would meet utilities’ stringent requirements for the protection and control of such DG systems.

“We selected GE Fanuc’s PLCs as they are easily able to customize the I/O and programming to meet the scalable needs of a particular installation’s electrical topology,” said PowerSecure business unit NexGear president, Brian Kisner.

“It is also extremely survivable, and that was a key attribute when PowerSecure selected the GE Fanuc line.”

PowerSecure had used hundreds of GE Fanuc PLCs in its power system solutions, including those for mission critical facilities. For its integrated, advanced switchgear and control system called NexGear, it decided again to leverage the flexibility and power of GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms’ PLC as a critical part of the NexGear system, said GE Fanuc.

It was imperative for the system to have the ability to perform protection, control and automation tasks to make the distributed generation system operate. The tight integration and open architecture of GE Fanuc’s PLC enables high-level control, including orchestration of other digital control equipment operations, I/O interface, operator interface and SCADA interface.

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