The quantity and complexity of the electrical and electronic equipment in use at aggregate plant facilities continues to grow as more and more new technology products become available. Equipment such as control instrumentation, computers, telephone and radio systems, remote-controlled valves and bins, load cells and scales or weighing equipment, VFD and PLC controls, are all susceptible to damage from induced voltages, whether they are constant-speed or controlled by a Variable Frequency Drive system.
This equipment represents a very significant investment, regardless of the size of the operation, and many times the ability to operate is adversely affected or even stopped when equipment is damaged from lightning. The protection of these valuable assets from lightning damage has presented new challenges due to the common use of extremely sensitive microelectronic components in just about everything that has a power cord, telephone line or coax cable connected to it. Rabun Labs responded to this challenge and need by developing technology that provides the level of protection these sensitive new technology products/assets require.
The Rabun Labs’ AI-1800 Equipment Protection System is an active system that interfaces with all types of equipment and provides the proper type of protection each requires. The system reacts to the threat of equipment damage by detecting lightning while it’s one to two miles away, and does something about it — automatically — with no human intervention.
When the system detects lightning, it automatically performs the following functions simultaneously:
- For equipment/systems that must remain operational during an electrical storm, the system initiates the start-up of a stand-by generator and/or switches equipment to UPS operation. This mode of operation remains in effect for a minimum of six minutes after the last detected lightning strike, then equipment operation is automatically switched back to normal operation.
- Disconnects/isolates circuits providing power to the AC outlets where selected non-critical, but sensitive, electrical or electronic equipment is plugged in from the AC power source, and grounds those outlets for a minimum of six minutes or until the storm moves a safe distance away, then automatically restores all connections and normal equipment operation resumes.
- Disconnects/isolates/grounds the control wiring to remote located/operated equipment (i.e. valves/hopper controls, load cells, flow meters, etc.) that connects the remote equipment to a control location. This action can be as short as five seconds to a complete equipment shutdown for 20 minutes or until the storm moves a safe distance away.
- Intercom and paging systems, telephones and telephone equipment, modems and fax machines: Each time a lightning strike is detected, the system performs a five-second interrupt action, which automatically “shunts” the telephone and/or intercom line to ground then restores.
- For radio equipment, the system has a coax switching relay that isolates the antenna from the radio transceiver equipment. The system can either disconnect the equipment (isolate and ground the antenna) or, if operation of the radio can’t be interrupted, the system can place the equipment on a stand-by power source, such as a UPS or generator, then isolate and switch the antenna to ground for five seconds each time a lightning strike is detected.
- For motors, the system has a Power Quality Monitoring function built-in. When the line voltage exceeds +/- 10 percent, the system can provide an audible and visual operator alert and/or an automatic disconnect/shut-down of the motor to protect it, and automatic restart when the line voltage is within the +/- nominal limits.
Riveer Cyclonator DCX