HITEC Power Protection recently introduced the PowerKEM. In this blog post, I will explain what PowerKEM is and how it fits in the HITEC product portfolio.
- What is PowerKEM?
- About HITEC PowerPRO
- How does PowerKEM fit in this portfolio?
- Smart protection of industrial plants
- Renewable energy application
- The verdict
What is PowerKEM?
PowerKEM is a rotary UPS system. It stabilizes the mains voltage and continues to power the load when the mains fails. It uses a flywheel to store enough energy to bridge mains interruptions of around 10 seconds. PowerKEM is available from 400 kVA up to 2000 kVA modules.
Now let’s have a look at what PowerKEM adds to the HITEC product range.
About HITEC PowerPRO
HITEC is well known for its PowerPRO diesel rotary UPS systems. These systems feature an integrated diesel engine. The main purpose of the flywheel on the PowerPRO is to provide bridging time to start this diesel engine. This has two benefits:
- The flywheel can be small,
- The system can cope with any mains interruptions, from small dips to outages of many hours.
The PowerPRO thus offers high power density. The integrated system design makes it reliable. And it is completely tested before it leaves the factory.
How does PowerKEM fit in this portfolio?
PowerKEM fits well in the HITEC product range. It shares good characteristics with the PowerPRO range:
- It uses rotary technology for energy storage. This makes it rugged, reliable and suitable for demanding industrial applications.
- It uses the same line-interactive design. This makes it highly efficient without compromising the security of the critical load.
PowerKEM has a larger flywheel that stores more energy to give it a longer autonomy. It has no integrated diesel engine though. For long-term outage protection, it relies on external sources. This may be gensets, but more options are available. Think of CHP or a separate transmission feed. This makes PowerKEM foremost a flexible component rather than a stand-alone solution.
This does make sense if you realize that long-term outages are rare in many power grids. Most disturbances such as spikes, surges, and dips rarely exceed 1 second. PowerKEM’s flywheel can cover such dips with ease.
Smart protection of industrial plants
In many applications, not all processes are critical. Consider for example a factory that produces PET bottles. The machine that produces the bottles is critical. An unscheduled power interruption will not only stop the production process. It will also mess up the machine. Re-starting the process takes a lot of time. For sure it pays off to protect the power supply to this machine.
This is not the case for other parts of the production process. For example packaging, raw material supply or factory lighting are not that critical. The factory can manage interruptions of these processes without incurring major cost.
PowerKEM is a cost-effective solution for this kind of applications. It protects the critical machinery against the most frequent mains disturbances. This ensures continuous production. The less critical parts of the plant can work on the utility supply.
Regular diesel generators may protect the plant against long-term outages if needed. A transfer to a second transmission line feed can work as well.
Renewable energy application
A second application area relates to renewable energy. Solar and wind are rapidly growing sources of energy. That is good news for our planet, but it does cause some headaches for utilities. Generated energy from local renewable sources may destabilize the grid. Wind and sun-generated power are variable by nature as it depends on the weather.
PowerKEM maintains a stable supply voltage for critical loads. The kinetic energy stored in the PowerKEM dampens load surges. This helps to stabilize the grid. Also, PowerKEM transfers the load between the available power sources without interruption.
It is tempting to look at PowerKEM as a low-cost alternative for PowerPRO. That would be a mistake. PowerKEM is a flexible building block in a continuous power infrastructure. It has its own sweet spot of applications, different from those for PowerPRO. As such it indeed complements the HITEC rotary UPS product range well.
Do you see interesting applications for PowerKEM? Share your thoughts with us in a comment!