Cactus Flats Synchronous Condenser

In the fall of 2017, Olsson Industrial Electric (Olsson) was contracted by WEG Electric Corporation (WEG) to oversee the start-to-finish production and installation of the main control system and excitation system for a synchronous condenser regulating power for the Cactus Flats wind facility in Eden, Texas. This ten-month process entailed initial design, fabrication, configuration, programming, factory-testing, furnishing, and commissioning.


Our team designed a main control system featuring components for controlling, monitoring, and powering the 450-hp pony motor and motors in the lubricating oil system. This Allen-Bradley CompactLogix control platform includes an Inductive Automation Ignition local display, as well as the feature of remote communication for the purpose of integrating with external supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems. The excitation system is comprised of a Basler DECS-400N exciter with a 271-kVA power potential transformer.


Supporting a 150-MW wind farm, this 20-MVAr synchronous condenser provides uninterrupted, dynamic reactive power within milliseconds—transitioning between capacitive during system voltage drops and inductive during voltage surges.


The OS Engineering team designed the power and control modules, a 3D model of a modified 40-ft-high shipping container for the equipment, and a control narrative describing the system and its modes of operation. In addition, the team specified the protective relay settings and programmed the programmable logic controller (PLC), human-machine interface (HMI), and relays. Our manufacturing team fabricated the control system to UL 508A standards in the Olsson UL 508A certified panel shop.  


Among the modifications installed in the shipping container were a 50-ton HVAC unit, insulation, personnel doors with panic hardware, interior power distribution, stairs with handrails, metal flooring with non-slip coating, and LED interior and exterior lighting. After manufacturing and installation were complete, our team developed testing procedures for the newly adapted system and performed factory acceptance tests.


We delivered the system and provided personnel to receive the equipment on site. Upon receipt, our team performed an initial inspection. After passing inspection, our team conducted the commissioning and start-up testing of the equipment.


We were pleased to successfully complete the design, fabrication, remote installation and commission of this synchronous condenser control and excitation system within the budget and timeframe required by our client. The project has enabled the Texas wind farm the ability to effortlessly regulate the power behind their machinery. Our engineering, programming, controls, and fabrication departments seamlessly integrated their respective elements of expertise to produce a quality system of equipment, empowering Cactus Flats to streamline their process and pave the way to actualization of their large-scale ambitions.


Across all divisions — construction, engineering and controls — Olsson strives to produce superior quality results, while adhering to strict timelines and budgets.

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By |2019-10-04T23:14:14+00:00May 28th, 2019|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Cactus Flats Synchronous Condenser