Artificial sun to heat substations

11 December 2012

IDGC of Centre is implementing a pilot project using infrared heaters for main substations.

One way of saving for the grid company is to reduce technical losses for their substation utilities, more than half of which goes to indoor and outdoor lighting and heating of the premises. The new equipment will reduce the consumption of electricity for the utility needs of substations up to 30%.

Power engineers replaced traditional convector and oil heaters with infrared ones. The principle of operation is similar to the sun: thermal rays heat the walls, furniture and interior design, which then give heat to the air. As a result, the surface gets warm faster than conventional heaters, which means less energy is used. Infrared heaters can control the temperature and maintain its optimal level, therefore, can reduce heating costs. For example, for heating a control building of a 35 kV substation of 30 m2 in a winter month with conventional electric heaters it need to consume about four thousand kWh, with the use of infrared heaters energy consumption for heating can be reduced down to 1.5 thousand kWh.

In the Belgorod region power engineers of IDGC of Centre installed infrared heaters at 13 main substations in the region. Prior to that, the heaters were used in garages and other industrial premises. In 2011, these devices were installed at two reconstructed 110 kV substations — “Chemical Plant” and “Belgorod”. This year, for the installation of new heating systems substations with the highest consumption of electricity for their utility needs were selected, such as the 110 kV “Food industry” and “Krapivenskaya” and several substations of 35 kV.

The question of the need and feasibility of infrared heaters installation in the operational control centres and enclosed switchgear substations of the branches of IDGC of Centre will be decided after the operation through the peak load of 2012 — 2013, based on the analysis of kilowatt-hours saved.

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