Quartzelec enhances support and operational performance for critical Excitation Control Systems

25 September 2017

Quartzelec enhances support and operational performance for critical Excitation Control Systems


Quartzelec, one of the UK’s largest independent electrical engineering service providers and a globally recognised expert in rotating electrical machines, can now provide greater design flexibility than most ‘traditional’ OEMs, extending its service and support for the associated excitation control, protection and synchronising equipment.

Obsolete and failing control equipment is increasingly putting vital rotating plant at risk. The number of skilled companies now supporting these assets is dwindling, leaving Quartzelec perfectly placed, with its long heritage and skilled engineering workforce, to identify, customise and implement a control system upgrade path with the benefit of a 24-hour service and spares support.

In many instances the solutions delivered by Quartzelec would not have been available via a traditional ‘Protection and Control’ OEM and often a completely new and sometimes ‘unconventional’ design and fabrication approach is taken to achieve the required solution. For one recent customer, the building had literally been constructed around the original installation, severely restricting access, so when elements needed replacing, physically getting them in situ was a real challenge. In this instance Quartzelec’s solution was to design equipment mounted and wired on new back-plates and doors that could then be delivered as individual elements, put together on-site allowing easier incorporation into the existing equipment.

“Our heritage stretches back over 100 years and includes some of the most respected names in electrical engineering; AEI, BTH, English Electric, GEC, GEC Alsthom, ALSTOM as well as other major OEM’s,” stated Peter Stuchbury, Sales Manager at Quartzelec. “This inherent machine knowledge, combined with our international presence allows us to strategically advise clients in managing obsolescence and operational issues as well as recommending suitable upgrades. And, as an independent, being able to specify and incorporate products from a wide choice of suppliers’ means we are not restricted by standard product or solution offerings. A unique advantage for our worldwide client base.”

As a leading independent service provider, Quartzelec will initially qualify what equipment is already in use before designing a replacement component or upgrade path that suits individual applications based on modern ‘commercial-off -the-shelf’ (COTS) parts with other bespoke elements being manufactured, as required. These are supplied in a configuration to suit site specific requirements and can incorporate: individual components; back-plate mounted equipment; and a new generator control panel that includes protection and synchronising equipment. These systems are typically pre configured and tested before delivery; ready for installation and commissioning by the Quartzelec site team.

Suitable for single and dual channel redundant applications, a range of system architectures are available to satisfy all customer requirements. Each new compact, modern excitation system offers many benefits including communication and data logging facilities and compatibility with current standards. Quartzelec’s engineering and site support expertise can also be tailored to meet customer requirements and is supported by the appropriate certification. This flexibility of design also ensures minimum site disruption, limits machine downtime, significantly extends the operational effectiveness of the existing equipment, plus is really cost effective.

Peter Stuchbury concluded: “Being able to develop and implement critical excitation control systems and retro-fit them to applications means that we are able to provide our worldwide customers with enhanced performance, protection and life extension across a broad range of generator sizes and manufacturers. We typically offer significantly more than a traditional OEM - our system configurations are flexible whilst remaining competitive within the market and customers are benefiting from the through life and life extension capabilities and system architectures that Quartzelec makes available.”

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