Plant safety in the chemical and petrochemical industries must satisfy high demands – reliability and availability are crucial factors for continuous production processes. Signal interfaces are at far greater risk of surge voltages than power supply systems. This is a result of the numerous cables laid in parallel and the more sensitive input and output interfaces. Based on the risk potential and safety level required for the interface, a variety of surge protective devices are used. These are installed directly before the signal inputs to be protected. The circuits of these protective devices are adapted to the relevant signal types.
Have you thought of what would have happened in the event when any existing non-pluggable surge protective devices (SPDs) are overloaded without any sign of status indication?
Critical signals installed with these SPDs will have to be shutdown causing potentially millions of dollars loss.
What use is a high-performance arrester if it is not monitored? When an arrester fails, the user is not informed that the plant is no longer being protected. The SPDs should at least have a status display so that plant availability can be increased in this regard. In order to further increase plant safety, SPDs should remotely signal when a fault occurred so that users can immediately respond.
Yet even a brief failure is not acceptable for plants where an extremely high availability is mandatory. The demands placed on surge voltage protection are very high in these types of applications. For plants in this category, devices from the intelligent Plugtrab PT-IQ family from Phoenix Contact can provide a preventive assessment regarding their state. These devices have a three-stage display as well as a remote signal. ‘Red’ signals that the arrester has failed and must be replaced. ‘Yellow’ indicates that the arrester has reached its performance limit.
Although the arrester still protects the plant in this state, it is recommended to replace it. When the arrester is replaced in this state, the plant is permanently protected, therefore complying with the high demands placed on availability and safety.
This means that you are always kept informed of the state of arresters – whether directly on site or by means of user-friendly remote signalling, so that you can schedule servicing and thereby increase system availability which is especially important in the mission-critical platform controls, drives and other equipment in both the power and motor control panels at the oil & gas plants. Moreover, the push-in connection technology enables significantly faster wiring of the individual protection modules for quick and simple installation or maintenance.
The intelligent PLUGTRAB PT-IQ surge protection can be used in a variety of applications thanks to the different switching and voltage variants. Depending on the application, you can choose between a direct and indirect ground connection. PLUGTRAB PT-IQ is available with push-in connection technology, which is quick to wire, or with the classic screw connection. Regardless of the connection technology, the protective devices make contact when snapped on to the DIN rail in a way that is resistant to surge currents.