After nearly 20 years in Operation and over 64,000 reclosers in service worldwide, Switchgear Manufacturer NOJA Power has released a new Recloser Controller. The oldest of NOJA Power OSM Reclosers, the 200 series devices with RC01 controllers, have been loyally in service since the earliest installations in 2002, but the firms’ flagship feature development has been allocated to their latest generation of controller, the RC10/15.
Now, NOJA Power have released a variant of the current RC10 or RC15 controller that is compatible with the legacy 200 series OSM Reclosers. This upgrade allows users to upgrade their old RC01 controllers to the current generation, offering an extensive feature list upgrade and a new warranty on the controller.
The upgrade process for RC01’s to RC10-200s can be executed as an LV only installation, where the existing control cable is used, and an adaptor is connected on the RC10-200. LV only upgrades save a fortune on installation costs, as no line outages or live-line crews are required to conduct the upgrade.
“The RC10 and RC15 200 Series controller was developed to provide an upgrade path for customers with 200 Series tanks and RC01 controls,” reports NOJA Power Group Managing Director Neil O’Sullivan. “Our latest generation electronics provides more advanced features and functionality, communication protocols and embedded communication capability combined with a new warranty. Customers can upgrade their control cubicles only and enjoy the benefits of the latest functionality available. ”
Key benefits of upgrading RC01’s to RC10’s include:
- Extensive new Protection and Power Quality Features
- Extending the life of pole top assets
- Standardising on Configuration Software
- Saving money through proactive maintenanc
Extensive new Protection and Power Quality Features
NOJA Power maintains an active development program on their RC10/15 platform, integrating many new features into the controller. Some of the latest additions include ROCOF, VVS and Synchrocheck to handle renewable energy integration, Wattmetric SEF for resonant earthed networks and Negative Phase Sequence protection for detecting broken conductors and fault locator functionality.
Figure 1 – RC01 features (Grey) vs RC10/15 Features (Grey+Green)
Previously, this functionality was confined to users who purchased 300 series reclosers with RC10 or RC15 controls. With the release of the RC10-200, it is now possible to apply these features to the earliest 200 series reclosers. Figure 1 showcases the feature comparison between these units.
Furthermore, the RC10-200 includes the power quality capabilities of the RC10 platform, unlocking oscillography, harmonics data and voltage profiling capabilities through legacy 200 series tanks.
Extending the life of Pole Top Assets
Early in 2020, NOJA Power announced the last spares orders for the RC01 controllers. As the electronics approach 20 years old, continued sourcing of components becomes challenging and the demand for RC01 spares increased.
NOJA Power’s RC10-200 now allows for a full replacement of the entire controller system, rather than piecewise module upgrades, and each new RC10-200 comes with a complete factory warranty.
Some proactive utilities have adopted upgrade programs for 50% of their RC01 fleet. By retiring 50% of active RC01 units from service and replacing them with new RC10-200s, these retired units can be used as spares to maintain the remaining 50% active service RC01s.
Site selection for this upgrade program is based on regions that would benefit most from feature upgrades, such as renewable generation sites, areas where oscillography or power quality would be important, or even simply sites which could benefit from improved battery reliability of the RC10.
Standardisation of configuration software
New generations of controllers with NOJA Power used to imply that new configuration software platforms were required. With the addition of the RC10-200, utilities that upgrade RC01’s to the new generation of controller can standardize on a single application software, NOJA Power’s Configuration Management Software (CMS).
This reduces IT integration requirements and training for utility operation of a recloser fleet.
Saving money through proactive maintenance
Whilst NOJA Power’s product MTBF is an admirable 850 years, the reality of network life is that aged electronics are less resilient to network surges. Reactive replacement of failed components can be up to 4 times more expensive than proactive condition-based maintenance. Emergency failure works often necessitate overtime callouts for field crews, increasing costs far beyond a standard routine maintenance activity.
Implementing an RC10-200 upgrade plan saves significant cost against the run-to-failure method.
If you have a fleet of RC01 controllers and are looking to improve your network reliability, you can download a brochure on the RC10-200 here. For any further information, visit www.nojapower.com.au or contact your local NOJA Power Distributor.