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Success story: North Sea Offshore Platform (USA)

Offshore oil drilling platforms flicker, mechanical resonance, poor power factor, high harmonic current, excessive voltage distortion, reduced production capacity solution




Key customer benefits:

  • Payback < 3 months, increase pump speed 2 Hz ==> increase production


Customer profile (*):

  • A worldwide group of energy and petrochemicals companies. With more than 100,000 employees in more than 110 countries.

Customer objective and constraints (*):

  • A gas production platform in the North Sea had developed production limitations due to the interaction of several large variable frequency drives (VFD) that control down hole pumps with the high impedance generators that provide for the entire platform.
  • Additional problems included flicker in the platform lighting system and mechanical resonance throughout the platform when the two largest VFD operated. The mechanical resonance was caused when the generators strained during heavy VFD loading.


Implementation methodology (main phases) (*):

1. A detailed power system analysis was performed with site measurement data recorded
2. The following solutions examined:
  • Segregation of VSD
  • Passive filters on VSD
  • Active harmonic filter on VSD

3. Advantage of Active Harmonic Filter. Owner considerations:
  • Standard design
  • Apply anywhere/anything
  • Simple parallel installation
  • Future use after decommissioning

Solution overview (services, products, systems, architectures…) (*):



How did we estimate the energy savings (methodology, tools, ...)

  • Applied a 300 Amp rated AHF on each Pump
    K8 VSD/pump:
     - Lowered THD(I) from 29% to 7%
     - Lowered THD(V) from 9% to 4%
     - Raised DPF from 0.86 to 0.94
    K4 VSD/pump:
     - Lowered THD(I) from 32% to 7%
     - Lowered THD(V) from 11% to 5%
     - Raised DPF from .85 to .96


Customer benefits (*):

  • Payback 80 days ($2000/day in 2002)
  • Stopped generator voltage oscillation
  • Stopped flicker
  • Met cost and reuse objectives
  • Increased pump speed 2 Hz = income objective

Schneider Electric differentiating values VS competitors:

  • Complete solutions, from investigation to implementation
     - Segregation of VSD
     - Passive filters on VSD
     - Active harmonic filter on VSD
  • Capacity to investigate