Beside satisfying environmental concerns, the future concept of power generation and distribution (so called smart grids), shall offer sufficient capacity, reliability, efficiency and sustainability.
Thus the implementation of smart grid shall involve at any time among others sophisticated electrical and electronic components and solutions to improve operational performance, increase safety aspects and contribute to both, economical and environmental benefits.
Today, the further development of such smart grids is considered to be a worldwide mega trend. Revealed available data¹ indicate, among others, an annual
growth rate of 26.6 percent. On regional and national level, governments have implemented short- to midterm strategies to follow the international developments. For instance in the Middle East region and according to the aforementioned data¹, the GCC countries (Gulf Cooperation Council) are expected to notably invest to boost the power generation capacity and enhance the infrastructure for transmission and distribution, dedicating part of it for smart grid solutions.
On a domestic level and in accordance with the long-term initiative "Green Economy for Sustainable Development", Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has driven its future vision towards smart grids for increasing the electrical delivery system’s output and reducing energy consumption.
Weidmüller Group, an international acting German company is not only the market leader in Electrical and Industrial Connectivity but offers as well customized innovative and unique solutions, among others, for the power and energy sectors and thus Weidmüller is a reliable partner for the smart grid providers as well.
Committed to contribute towards a green economy, Weidmüller Group had already been officially acclaimed by several bodies and lately by the German government as a climate protection company. Our solutions for energy management and power monitoring can be incorporated in the smart grids and form an integral part for safety, reliability and performance.
On the component side, our wide product portfolio contributes strongly to the safety of the main and crucial devices and provided solutions such as modern power meter and smart reader.
Accordingly and in order to maintain precise control, particularly against the backdrop of increasingly intelligent smart grids, the Spanish government has instructed all power distribution companies to fit, by 2018, all energy measuring devices with a connection value of less than 15 kW (Fig. 1) with modern power meters which feed their readings into a communication network and so enable central evaluation.
Hence, two major leaders companies in the energy sector drew up a key project in which a modular design for the new meters was specified and the assessment procedure of the devices' supplier was defined.
The companies were looking not only for a supplier who could deliver all the necessary electrical connectivity devices (e.g. modular terminal blocks, modular disconnect terminals, markers as well as surge protection devices) but also for a know-how partner to support the several on-going phases of this national governmental project.
Besides power monitoring devices, also surge protection devices are in most residential distribution facilities mandatory. After the issue of the latest regulation IEC/EN 61643-11, only devices that comply with that regulation are to be chosen. They work with a pulse current of 25 kA and grant a protection level of 1.6 kV. Weidmueller’s VARITECTOR PU product series of surge protection devices (Fig. 2) are proven to comply to this international regulation and this is since its launching in 2011.
Alongside the power meters, other pieces of electrical equipment are also protected. Showing the same device met both specifications and would make the project simpler for the installation companies.
Figure 3 shows an example about the typical configuration of a Spanish low voltage distribution with the usage of some Weidmüller components:
1. Distributor module equipped with WDU 10 or WDU 35 terminals in blue and grey.
2. Energy meter module
3. Busbar module dimensioned for 250 A (20 x 4 mm) and fuses in quadrant with the respective power meter.
4. Main switch module dimensioned for 160 up to 250 A with a rotary switch which switches off the conductor first then the neutral conductor.
5. Surge protection module equipped with VPU I 3+1 LCF 280V/25 kA surge protection devices for fusing the power meters.
1) Sm.middleeast.siemens.com art Grid key to boosting power efficiency in GCC as peak demand grows: Frost & Sullivan