EC fans cut cooling costs on undersea power cable project

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Published: 25 January 2018


Fan and motor specialist Ziehl-Abegg has replaced the fans cooling the converter station of BritNed in Rotterdam. BritNed is the operator of the high-voltage direct-current (HDVC) subsea power cable connecting the UK and the Netherlands.
 
BritNed, a joint venture between the National Grid and TenneT in the Netherlands, is responsible for the transport of electricity between the two countries. The cable connects the Isle of Grain in Kent with Rotterdam, a distance of 256km, and has a capacity of 1,000 MW.
In order to convert the high-voltage direct-current (HDVC) to the widely used alternating current (AC), converter stations are located at each end of the cable. The stations, of approximately 5 hectares each, are permanently working and produce a significant amount of heat.
 
Reliable cooling is a continuous requirement but fans running without interruption consume a lot of energy. With the product series ZAplus, Ziehl-Abegg was able to offer several improvements to the existing system. The newly placed cooling fans have Electronically Commutated (EC) motors which are proven to be highly energy efficient and environmentally friendly. The practical design of the fan allows easy maintenance and improves uptime guarantee.
 
The use of EC-Technology will result in a significant reduction of the energy use and the bionic profile of the blades (inspired by the owl) minimizes noise pollution to the surrounding area. Altogether, the new fans will help BritNed to lower its energy consumption by 450.000 kWh per year and reduces its carbon footprint by 51 tonnes per year.
 
The replacement of the 40 fans took place in two batches during planned outages. Kevin Rendell, BritNed’s Operations Director, praised Ziehl-Abegg’s swift and user-friendly installation of the new fans. The old cooling fans will be recycled.