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Process Interlocking Used within Wind Energy

Case Study:
Process Interlocking Used within Wind Energy

The demand for renewable energy continues to develop at speed, and so does the need for reliable and safe energy production methods. The importance of Process safety in renewable energy projects cannot be understated. So, as the world transitions towards more sustainable energy sources, it is also essential to ensure that these technologies are not only environmentally friendly, but also safe for front line workers, Infrastructure & Environment. By leveraging our expertise in process safety and applying it towards renewable energy projects, Alcatraz Interlocks is contributing to the overall goal of creating a more sustainable and safer energy future.

Expertise in Process & Technology: Alcatraz brings expertise in process & technology, valuable in developing secure and efficient green energy applications.

Experience in Creating Solutions: Alcatraz's experience in creating process solutions can be applied to the challenges of green energy, as in developing new innovative technologies to improve their operations.

Global EPC and Energy Support: Partnering with global EPC and energy companies for our specialty products.

Alignment with Global Trends: Green energy is a growing sector, collaborating in this area aligns us to develop new tools, thus, supporting this and other sectors.

Potential to Innovate: Collaboration again between different sectors for innovative ideas.

That is why Alcatraz together with our various partners as in global EPC and Energy companies are being asked to support in this new developing sector, as we have the skill sets, from our history working within the Process safety environment.

Wind & Turbines:

Wind turbines have various areas which require process safety solutions.

Such as ;

-Turbine roof & access hatches
- Ladders & Lifts.
- Convertors & Transformers.
- HV / MV / LV Switchgear.
- Rotor access.
- Pitch Box.
- De-energizing turbine or auxiliary equipment
.- General LoTo Isolation protocol.

The mentioned points are often conducted during a turbine maintenance cycle, also known as a shutdown. This is one part where Alcatraz Interlocks supports with our wide range of products.

But when we have the actual conversion of this wind energy into electricity, and its further transportation from its power source into the network. This is when the HVDC (High-Voltage Direct Current) units appear.

Depending on location, a HVDC unit can be a large ground-based facility, or they can be installed.

One hundred kms offshore, upon specially constructed jackets, just like our current hydrocarbon platforms are within our surrounding seas.

These HVDC (High-Voltage Direct Current) units are the hub of the offshore wind farms, its a point where all the Wind turbines send its energy source. Then the HVDC strengthens our transmission network. High-voltage direct current transmission systems are becoming increasingly important within our new energy landscape, which is also characterized by increasing digitalization, decarbonization, and distribution generation.

The HVDC technology offers an efficient means of transmitting large amount of power, over a long distance, and then it connects directly into our power network grid and supports by stabilizing three-phase-grids.

However, these HVDC units are more complex than just a simple transformer, they use a vast array of process / piping & valves / cooling and process safety systems, thus, to ensure they operate 24/7 in a safe and a controlled manner.

The systems within these HVDC units include but are not limited too are; oil cooling, Deionized closed circuit cooling, glycol & Nitrogen mediums, expansion vessels, PSV / RV safety valves, process isolation valves and various process & switch gear protection skids

You can find Alcatraz equipment installed upon similar Process Safety equipment within the more known energy and chemical producing sector

You can find Alcatraz equipment installed upon similar Process Safety equipment within the more known energy and chemical producing sector.

That is where Alcatraz Interlocks gained our 25+ years of setting the Global standard in Service excellence, ensuring industrial processes and applications are implemented. Protecting the environmental, infrastructure & humans.

As European / Dutch design we engineer a solution.

Safety by Design

Alcatraz is currently working with several Wind, Bio, Geothermal customers, all catering towards the renewable energy sector, and these projects require Process Safety applications.

Our experience supports in creating the correct product applications and solutions, ensuring their processes are protected.

As per the Alcatraz moto, Safety by design, we have a wide range of standard solutions, and due to our short lines of communication from customer to engineer, we quickly create bespoke requirements.

Process Safety Protection

Whenever a process is operational, it creates an energy form. Wind is no different.

So, there is always many process layers which are required to control or disperse the heat or pressure source.

A HVDC unit when in operation, shall create a lot of heat. It also requires to be cooled, with any excess heat,  energy or thermal expansion pressures being controlled safely.

This control is done by transferring processes using piping, vessels, coolants, heat exchangers etc.

Ensuring these critical control valves and processes are not isolated or misaligned, is where Alcatraz interlocks is used as a simple add-on application, as shown in the two schematic drawings.

Accidently isolating the incorrect valve or electrical system, while having no signal nor notification, may it be mechanical or via a digital feedback to the CCR, could compromise a system.

Any of those two mentioned examples left unseen, could cause a catastrophic process failure, or inflict personal injuries. Either way, the knock-on effect can quickly grow.

Alcatraz Interlocks have created while working with all the global EPC and End-users. A system which simply prevents human error.

A step by step trapped key or keyless interlock solution, which confirms the correct isolation, and that each sequential valve is operated in the correct process order.

Safety By Design

Contact: to growth.

Published by Alcatraz Interlocks on 23/02/24