Captech Tackle Energy Efficiency with New Technology Partnership

Ampcontrol Member Company Captech, a leading supplier of power quality solutions, has delivered its first voltage optimiser system, designed to deliver financial, energy and carbon emission savings, as part of a new partnership with European energy technology company, ORTEA.

As ORTEA’s exclusive distributor for Australia and New Zealand, Ampcontrol recently installed an ORTEA OPTInet voltage optimiser system into a major Australian supermarket, marking the beginning of a partnership that aims to deliver energy savings to customers through innovative energy efficiency products.

For over 40 years, ORTEA has led the European market in assisting heavy energy users and alternative energy suppliers to optimise their electrical networks with quality voltage optimisers and stabilisers.

Captech is a trusted and longstanding supplier of power quality and power factor systems to many of Australia’s largest supermarket chains, commercial and industrial operations. Australia’s major supermarket chains are typically early adopters of energy efficiency equipment, given their focus on reducing the high energy costs associated with running large refrigeration and air conditioning systems.

ORTEA’s voltage optimisers can be supplied stand-alone or alongside a power factor correction system as a full power quality package. Units are installed in series with the main electricity supply to rapidly regulate and stabilise the incoming voltage to the desired level, especially useful when the supply voltage is subject to fluctuations or out of balance.

ORTEA’s solutions will complement Captech’s current offering, including power factor correction systems and components, giving them the ability to provide full power quality packages for heavy energy users with power quality problems.

“This partnership allows us to integrate our existing products with ORTEA’s innovative and proven technology. These packages will allow our customers to take their energy optimisation to another level and directly benefit from reduced energy bills. The voltage optimisers also lessen the stress on operating equipment therefore lowering maintenance costs and extending the life of expensive assets,” said Captech Managing Director, Yury Brodsky.

“Working with ORTEA, Captech will be Australia’s single source supplier of power quality solutions and services,” Yury said.

Find out more about voltage optimisation and if it is right for you.

Australia’s First Emergency Response Mobile Substation

Ampcontrol delivers Australia’s first 132/11kV 25MVA Emergency Response Mobile Substation.

This trailer mounted substation is designed to restore power following catastrophic failure of on-site equipment such as transformers, switchgear or electrical cables following overloading, bushfires, lightning strikes or other causes of equipment failure. It may also be used during substation maintenance, in new housing developments before bricks and mortar substations are completed or to share load in periods of high demand, providing ongoing electricity supply to businesses.

The substation is quick to set up, considers and minimises possible environmental impacts and is registered as a Special Purpose Vehicle with the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) to enable safe transport on New South Wales roads.

The challenge

Ampcontrol was commissioned by Ausgrid to develop an solution to provide temporary load support to Energy Authority zone substations.

As specified by the client the mobile substation had to be safe to use, quick to set up in an emergency, consider environmental impacts and be suitably maneuverable to negotiate the various access ways and layouts of the variety of fixed substations throughout the Ausgrid network. The challenge for Ampcontrol engineers was to provide a typical Ausgrid fixed substation with the required high voltage and power ratings on a trailer, whist maintaining strict Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) Special Purpose Vehicle size restrictions of 3.5m wide and axle weight restrictions.

The solution

Ampcontrol designed and manufactured Australia’s first 132/11kV 25MVA Emergency Response Mobile Substation. In order to meet the RTA size and weight requirements the 132/11kV Emergency Response Mobile Substation was designed across two trailers, a custom designed trailer mounted switchroom with a GVM of 30 tonne and a custom designed trailer mounted transformer with a GVM of 188 tonne. These trailers were registered as Special Purpose Vehicles with the RTA so they could travel on New South Wales roads. To reduce the risks associated with oil spillage during both transport and use, Ausgrid requested that environmentally friendly vegetable oil be used in the design.

Envirotemp FR3™ ester dielectric fluid was chosen; it is produced from soybean and sunflowers and is a viable natural alternative to traditional mineral oil in transformers. With a high flash point of 330°C this vegetable oil provides a high level of fire safety compared to a flash point of 145°C for petroleum-based mineral oil. The dynamic nature of the load during transport also was taken into consideration. Belleville spring washers were used to reduce rigidity of the unit allowing for movement, flexible bellows were installed to minimise the possibility of stress and cracking of pipes during transport and anti vibration pads were placed between the transformer and the trailer.

This project, designed an manufactured by Ampcontrol in the Hunter Valley, was Australia’s first 132/11kV 25MVA Emergency Response Mobile Substation and provided a number of technical challenges which resulted in an original and complex solution that was completed to the customer’s budget and specifications.


Mobile Substation

Transportable substation

Transportable substation

Emergency response mobile substation

What is a Neutral Earthing Resistor?

Earthing systems play an important role in an electrical network. For network operators and end users, avoiding damage to equipment, providing a safe operating environment for personnel and continuity of supply are major drivers behind implementing reliable fault mitigation schemes.

What is a Neutral Earthing Resistor (NER)?

A widely utilised approach to managing fault currents is the installation of neutral earthing resistors (NERs). NERs, sometimes called Neutral Grounding Resistors, are used in an AC distribution networks to limit transient overvoltages that flow through the neutral point of a transformer or generator to a safe value during a fault event.

Generally connected between ground and neutral of transformers, NERs reduce the fault currents to a maximum pre-determined value that avoids a network shutdown and damage to equipment, yet allows sufficient flow of fault current to activate protection devices to locate and clear the fault.

NERs must absorb and dissipate a huge amount of energy for the duration of the fault event without exceeding temperature limitations as defined in IEEE32 standards. Therefore the design and selection of an NER is highly important to ensure equipment and personnel safety as well as continuity of supply.

The Importance of Neutral Grounding

Fault current and transient over-voltage events can be costly in terms of network availability, equipment costs and compromised safety.

Interruption of electricity supply, considerable damage to equipment at the fault point, premature ageing of equipment at other points on the system and a heightened safety risk to personnel are all possible consequences of fault situations. By installing NERs on the distribution system and controlling fault currents and transient overvoltages, the following benefits can be realised: „

  • Elimination or reduction of physical damage to equipment „
  • Extended life of connected distribution equipment such as transformers „
  • Reduced operation and maintenance expenses „
  • Simplification and fast isolation and clearing of the original fault „
  • Improvement in network security and reduction in unplanned shutdowns

Find out more about the methods of neutral earthing and what to consider when specifying an NER in our quick guide to NERs.