HITEC Power Protection recently introduced the PowerKEM. In this post, I will explain what PowerKEM is and how it fits into the HITEC product portfolio.
- What is PowerKEM?
- About HITEC PowerPRO
- How Does PowerKEM Fit into 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, using a flywheel to store enough energy to bridge mains interruptions of around 10 seconds. PowerKEM is available in modules from 400 kVA up to 2000 kVA.
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, which feature an integrated diesel engine. The main purpose of the flywheel on the PowerPRO is to provide bridging time in which 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 into This Portfolio?
PowerKEM fits well in the HITEC product range. It shares valuable characteristics with the PowerPRO portfolio:
- 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, making 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 time. It has no integrated diesel engine however. For long-term outage protection, it relies on an external source. This may be a genset, but more options are available – think of CHP or a separate transmission feed. This feature makes PowerKEM primarily a flexible component rather than a stand-alone solution.
This makes sense when you realize that long-term outages are rare in many power grids. Most disturbances such as spikes, surges and dips rarely exceed one second. PowerKEM’s flywheel can cover such interruptions 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 but also mess up the machine. Re-starting the process is time consuming, so it surely pays to protect the power supply to this machine.
This is not the case for other parts of the production process. Packaging, factory lighting and raw-material supply, for example, are not as critical. The factory can manage interruptions to these processes without incurring major costs.
PowerKEM is a cost-effective solution for this kind of application. It protects the critical machinery against the most frequent mains disturbances, which ensures continuous production. The less critical parts of the plant can work on the utility supply and 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. Energy generated from local renewable sources may destabilize the grid. Wind- and sun-generated power are by nature variable, as they depend on the weather.
PowerKEM maintains a stable supply voltage for critical loads. The kinetic energy stored in the PowerKEM dampens load surges, helping 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 to PowerPRO. That would be a mistake. PowerKEM is a flexible building block in an integrated power infrastructure. It has its own sweet spot of applications, different from those of PowerPRO. As such, it indeed ably complements the HITEC rotary UPS product range.
Do you see interesting applications for PowerKEM? Share your thoughts with us in a comment!