National Grid, owner and operator of the gas National Transmission System (NTS) for Great Britain, is installing Alcad Vantex rechargeable nickel-based batteries in a programme to upgrade the DC power backup systems at some of its gas compressor stations. The Vantex batteries, developed specifically to ensure maximum reliability and optimum TCO (total cost of ownership) in stationary industrial installations, will support vital control and safety functions at the compressor stations in the event of a loss of mains power.
National Grid has 25 compressor stations in Great Britain that boost gas pressure up to 85 bar to increase transmission capacity and move gas through the pipelines. They are driven either by industrial gas turbines fuelled by gas taken from the pipeline or by electrical compressors.
The programme to upgrade the DC backup power systems at the compressor stations is focussing on three main types of battery systems: fire and gas detection; switchgear control; emergency power. The first two systems are supported by 24 V batteries, while a 110 V battery provides the emergency power.
One of the main contractors for the upgrade programme is PE Systems. Explaining the reasons why Alcad Vantex batteries have been selected, Mark Wilson Project Manager for PE Systems said: “National Grid had received excellent service from nickel-based batteries in previous compressor installations, where in some cases they were still going strong when replaced after 30 years. So the customer was keen to use them again for the current programme.
“By making the change to the latest Vantex design we have been able to provide a very low-maintenance solution. At the same time, the wide range of capacity steps available in the Vantex range offers greater flexibility that enables us to optimise the battery system for each site.”
The first compressor station to have been fitted with the Alcad Vantex batteries is in Scotland. The next site to be upgraded will be in the east of England. Alcad is supplying and installing the Vantex batteries complete with battery stands.