ABB completes new testing facilities for oil and gas drive systems

Developed with and certified by international electromechanical testing body CESI

Houston, Texas, Feb. 10, 2011 – ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, announced today the completion of its new, world-class electromechanical equipment test facilities at CESI’s headquarters in Milan, Italy. These facilities will be used to test the load capacity and reliability of large motors and medium voltage drives used in a range of oil and gas applications, from offshore platforms to remote production sites.

ABB worked in close cooperation with CESI -Italian Electro-technical Experimental Center - to develop the test facilities, which will help ABB meet the increasing demand from OEMs and end-users that are unable to perform acceptance testing at their own sites because of geographic or environmental constraints. The new facilities enable ABB to deliver certified equipment that meets the stringent requirements of the oil and gas industry, where full load testing of electrical equipment is required.

While designing and developing the test facilities, ABB and CESI performed a specific study of harmonics in order to avoid impact on the national electricity grid during all tests. Great emphasis was also placed on safety procedures and to prevent any environmental impact during the testing process.

A detailed mechanical analysis and study was carried out by Politecnico di Milano to determine correct sizing of iron and concrete necessary to compensate for motor vibrations, providing a perfectly isolated area for all tests.

With a total surface of 1,900 square meters, the facilities include a new inertial test bed designed for back-to-back testing of electrical machines up to 70 tons each, up to two poles, with a maximum rated power of 70 megavoltampere (MVA) at 33 kilovolt (kV). Two test sessions, consisting of a back-to-back configuration of two 13.58 megawatt variable speed drive systems and a second test involving two 18.2 Megawatt systems were completed.

The use of Adjustable Speed Drive System (ASDS) driven compressors and pumps instead of gas turbines is increasing in the Oil and Gas applications, especially for transportation, gas liquefaction and injection. These systems assure higher flexibility, higher efficiency, reduced maintenance cost and a lower environmental impact.

“These new test facilities are a major success, underscoring ABB’s commitment to provide world class expertise, services and technology to the oil and gas industry,” said Veli-Matti Reinikkala, head of ABB’s Process Automation division. “Our capacity to combine ABB products with our deep application knowledge will help our customers establish the reliable power and process infrastructure they need to achieve new production targets.”

The facilities will also allow testing of new equipment such as variable speed drives and a complete lineup of adjustable speed drive systems (the medium voltage ensemble of switchgear, transformer, converter, electrical motor and filters). Full load, no load, heat run, vibration and noise tests will also be performed in accordance with International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards and vendor’s requirements, including the strictest standards driving the oil and gas industry.

CESI has been operating for more than 50 years in the electro-energetic and environmental sectors in more than 35 countries all over the world. CESI is recognized as market leader in testing and certification of electromechanical equipment and power systems, as well as in studies and consultancy activities, with competencies covering all stages of power system life cycles.

ABB is currently partnered with CESI in several certification areas involving medium and high voltage products. CESI is also a reputable certification body for dynamic vibration and products according to the ATEX standard.

ABB’s Process Automation division delivers integrated automation solutions for control, plant optimization, and industry-specific application knowledge and services to help process industry customers worldwide improve their energy efficiency and meet their critical business needs in the areas of operational profitability, capital productivity, risk management and global responsibility. These industries include oil and gas, power, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, pulp and paper, metals, minerals, cement, marine and turbocharging.

ABB (www.abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 124,000 people.

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