A power failure is a nightmare scenario! If package sorting equipment, storage and retrieval systems, conveying units and order picking stations in the logistics centre of an online mail order business come to a standstill, the cause of it could be an arc flash in switchgear. Elektro Vieweg has contained this risk at one of its customers.
- Elektro Vieweg GmbH & Co. KG
- Chemnitz, Germany
Power supply systems in two logistics centres operated by a large online mail order business with high energy demand
VX25 Ri4Power, DEHNshort System
An arc fault accident in low-voltage switchgear can have dire consequences. The switchgear can be damaged – or even destroyed – by temperatures of over 10,000 degrees and the resulting high pressures. People located in the vicinity are also at acute risk. In many cases, the cause of such an incident is trivial: A tool that’s been left behind or a screw is all it takes to trigger an arc flash in switchgear, with serious consequences. No wonder, then, that the demand for arc fault protection has been growing strongly for many years, particularly among companies whose systems have to be available around the clock and have high energy requirements.
Elektro Vieweg, a control and switchgear manufacturer, planned and implemented the power supply for one of Germany’s largest online mail-order businesses. Two logistics centres are each supplied with four low-voltage main distribution boards (LVDBs), via two separate medium-voltage transformers. Together, these installations have a total rated current of 17,000 A. One of the key requirements when planning the LVDBs was Class C active arc fault protection. This highest class calls for either an appropriate design that confines the arc flash to its point of origin or a suitable device that extinguishes the arc flash before it can cause any damage.
Active accidental arcing protection with a tested solution
If an active arc fault protection system is installed, an LVDB can quickly be taken back into operation after an arc fault accident. Elektro Vieweg used the VX25 Ri4Power system from Rittal to provide such equipment in the logistics centres of its customer. The company achieved Class C arc fault protection by installing a DEHNshort system. This system’s sensors can identify the switchgear panel where the fault occurred. The system can also be installed in such a way that the switchgear is split into several protected areas, meaning the fault can be located very quickly and rectified immediately. The power supply can be restored in no time at all, and operations can continue.