On the 2nd and 3rd of July, we will be holding an open day in Corsham. Find out more by clicking here



On the 2nd and 3rd of July, we will be holding an open day in Corsham. Find out more by clicking here

Oil & Gas

[tabby title=”Reliance upgrade to more robust Relays for critical applications”]

Reliance Industries, Jamnagar

Jamnagar is the largest petrochemical complex in the world, processing imported crude to multiple derivatives for the entire Indian sub-continent.

The summer ambient conditions in Jamnagar’s sub-stations proved to be the most challenging environment modern P&B relays have ever faced.

At the end of the 90’s when ‘Vision’ was first introduced, Jamnagar’s electrical system required almost 4000 protection relays. Unlike the electromechanical Golds relays which would be quite comfortable in all manner of harsh environments, a high ambient temperature and additional heat rising through the motor control tier meant uncomfortable conditions for the sensitive electronics of P&B’s new relay.

As a result of Jamnagar the mk1 relay design was replaced with the mk2 which has further evolved into today’s production. The relay now incorporates a host of heat dissipation and anti-heat generating measures within the relay design, at a hardware level and aided within the product software. These defensive measures have benefitted our entire platform design, not only improving the relays tolerance to heat but to improve the electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), making the relay more robust and suitable for a wider variety of critical applications.
Accumulating return statistics now measure the product’s mean time between failure (MTBF) well in excess of 100 years.

[tabby title=”P&B provides primary protection for Total’s Elgin & Franklin north sea platforms”]

The Elgin PUQ (process, utilities and quarters) and the Franklin satellite are jack-up platforms in the North Sea producing gas and condensate from one of the world’s highest pressure and highest temperature well fields.

The Elgin and Franklin are 5 kilometres from one another and connected via a sub-sea cable. P&B was selected for the primary protection system on the 13.8KV, 6.6KV and 415V switchgear.

The automatic transfer system, or automatic changeover, was required for each of Elgin’s switchboards equipped with two incomers and a bus coupler. P&B achieve ATS or ACO with the use of Advanced Feedervision Relays for overcurrent, earth fault, under and overvoltage protection as well as check sync with in-built logic for full automatic transfer on loss of an incomer and automatic restoration upon the upstream supply becoming available again. This transfer system – redundancy approach helps maintain the availability of the power supply to the process boards and those responsible for utility feeds – even under a faulted condition, or allowing maintenance to be performed without reducing the capacity of the plants production. This is particularly useful in a platform situation where the electrical system is islanded and reliant entirely upon its own power generation.

In addition to the ATS standard scheme P&B also implemented special changeover systems for the main generator auxiliaries’ switchboard and at the incoming end of the Franklin sub-sea feed which was additionally equipped with a back-up diesel generator. This would auto-start on loss of the Elgin link, powering the platform, then reclose and auto-stop the generator once the subsea feed was re-energised.

[tabby title=”Intelligent, flexible Motor Protection for Petroleum Development Oman”]

Petroleum Development Oman is the state owned exploration and production of the Sultanate of Oman. The onshore wells are dispersed across the interior of the Sultanate.

The ability for intelligent motor reacceleration controlled by the motor protection relay was a key part of the electrical specification within PDO. Although motor reacceleration in its basic form simply means the motor will automatically restart following a short power outage, there are in reality many scenarios to consider.

Normally within a motor control duty, the auxiliary power supply to the relay is derived from the bus bar voltage, hence losing power no just to the motor but also the controlling device. So the relay must be equipped to cope with ride through in the shortest of dips and storage and retained memory in the event of longer outages. Equally when power is restored a sudden attempt to restart all motors would create another overload on the system with the potential to cause wider instability and prolonging a temporary outage into a major plant wide shutdown, with significant economic effects.

Within the Motorvision software, the flexibility of the re-acceleration settings allows the relay to be easily programmed to perform precisely against the requirements of any particular client.

[tabby title=”Tailored Protection Relays solutions for Phllips66 and Humber refinery”]

Humber Refinery is one of the largest refineries in the UK. Originally built in the late 1960’s it has changed owners and has been extended and modernised over its long history.

As a result Phillips66 must maintain a whole host of differing equipment from all manner of manufacturers on its plant.

As an extension to having previously used our new relays for retrofitting of older P&B relays at this particular site we were asked to undertake a feasibility of replacing another manufacturer who has recently withdrawn support of an older relay used extensively.

The existing protection relay was housed and integrally fitted within the manufacturers’ withdrawable switchgear cubicle, the available space was already limited and the opportunity to alter the design substantially would have proven too costly.

P&B rehoused their standard protection relay parts within a shallower case more similar to the oems. The integral CTs were tested for linearity and an input attenuator circuit was designed to interface to the oem CTs which would remain fitted in the starter tray. A very simple adaptor plate was designed to carry the new display. The existing wiring loom and terminal positions differed greatly from a standard P&B relay. An interface pcb was needed to translate the P&B terminals into the same format as the original relay so that there would be no wiring changes need.

The solution was created, a pin for pin, mechanically similar protection relay, which was of a present day design (by virtue of standardised P&B relay modules) from the ‘Vision’ range with the benefit of onward support and serviceability for the client.

[tabby title=”Simple, efficient Retrofit solutions keep Schiehallion & Andrew assets operational”]

As a global operator BP has a huge number of assets of varying ages and origins. In the UK many of those assets are offshore in the North Sea. And as is the case with many large scale capital assets they are still required to operate fully despite reaching and being beyond the original anticipated life time.

The Schiehallion and Andrew assets, amongst others, were first commissioned many years ago with much earlier vintage P&B protection relays. As the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) P&B were approached and asked to help upgrade the electrical system to a more modern and maintainable standard. This involved replacing the older equipment with new, allowing the client to inherit newer features such as communications.

Of course the newer relays were in no way similar in size or shape to the original devices. However, having retrofitted systems previously and understanding the complexity and time scales required to do so, the available shutdown period of a North Sea oil rig did not allow sufficient time in a single trip to undertake the entire workscope.

P&B thus created electrically and mechanically compatible devices using the Vision relay technology, effectively a new relay packaged in a format to suit the retrofit requirement. This made the actual process of retrofitting much simpler and faster.

The interaction with BP was largely responsible for creating the P&B range of retrofits for legacy and previous generation protection relays.

Transmission & Distribution

[tabby title=”P&B Switchgear breaks into DNOs”]

P&B Switchgear was the first company to offer replacement 12kV vacuum circuit breakers, commonly referred to as “retrofits”, for conformance and acceptance by the Electricity Networks Association (ENA) Switchgear Assessment panel against ENA Technical Specification 41-36 for use on the UK DNO networks. After completing the detailed technical assessment process and achieving the certificate of conformity, UK DNOs began ordering new P&B circuit breakers on short lead times to refresh and update their systems.

From the initial ENA assessment the range of breakers required grew very quickly. The DNOs have a plethora of designs from many British manufacturers, installed over the last 4 or 5 decades and P&B Switchgear had to demonstrate factors such as flexibility, responsiveness and capability to satisfy the customer demand.

Those of you familiar with older designs of switchgear will be aware of their variety and variability. Our engineers made visits to many substations across England and Scotland to inspect and assess the original equipment. Detailed measurements had to be taken, not only to check the original design but also to identify any variances in ostensibly the same designs which had been built by the original manufacturer over a period of years.

New designs or variations of designs and different ratings had to be completed in short lead times and the technical performance assessed to ensure it did not veer from that included in the conformity certificates. Then, the new designs had to be added to the production system, then built, tested and installed. Over 20 different types, variations and ratings of breaker were introduced and more than 300 breakers supplied onto the UK system.

With such a wide range of designs introduced in a short time, the projects were not without difficulties but with co-operation from our customers and assistance from our partners, ABB for the DNO contracts, these were quickly addressed. The result for the customers has been added functionality, increased system reliability and in many cases pay back on the investment for the new breakers in record time.



[tabby title=”BOC (Linde Group) increases plant uptime and reduces maintenance costs”]

Linde Group company BOC, manufactures chemicals and gases for a multitude of other industries. P&B motor protection relays have long been used by BOC at several of their sites across the UK and Ireland.

P&B MPR3000 motor protection relays and pin for pin retrofits for previously supplied N11 relays have been an important part of BOC’s recent program of replacement for some of their early relay products. This was fully supported by P&B engineers’ product training and commissioning services for the BOC site staff.

In Switchgear, BOC has a wide range of ageing MV switchgear in service across its UK manufacturing sites, some of this manufactured by suppliers who are no longer in business. Although much of this has given long and good service it is becoming less reliable and much more costly to maintain. P&B has been able to offer new vacuum circuit breakers from the VOR range to replace Brush VSI, SWS C4X and HG12 equipment, to increase reliability and plant uptime and to reduce ongoing maintenance costs.

[tabby title=”Calachem replaces ageing Reyrolle switchgear”]

Calachem, one of the UK’s leading fine chemical manufacturers based in Scotland, embarked on a programme to replace some of its ageing Reyrolle LMT oil circuit breaker population. Having successfully installed four P&B VOR-M circuit breakers, an additional order of a further six breakers was subsequently made.

[tabby title=”Air Products relies on P&B state-of-the-art protection devices”]

Air Products is an international corporation whose principal business is supplying gases and chemicals for industrial users in technology, energy, healthcare and industrial markets worldwide.

To ensure its continued success in servicing its global client base, Air Products has relied extensively on P&B’s state-of-the-art-protection devices to update and replace ageing equipment throughout the operation of its manufacturing sites.



[tabby title=”Essex and Suffolk Water prefer long life of VOR-M vacuum circuit breaker”]

With frequent operations on site, Essex and Suffolk Water found they were wearing out their traditional spring operated vacuum circuit breakers. Replacement or repair by the original supplier was found to give only a temporary respite, so they turned to P&B to supply our VOR-M vacuum circuit breaker as a replacement. With its low energy magnetic actuator drive, that is good for many tens of thousands of operations, the long life VOR-M breaker is ideal for this type of application.


[tabby title=”Retrofit Switchgear and Protection Relays for Eli Lilly”]

As one of the world’s largest independent pharmaceutical companies, Eli Lilly has several manufacturing sites across the UK. P&B has been involved in several projects at its Liverpool site, designing custom solutions specifically for the client’s site as well as supplying products from the existing product range.

The client needed to replace two types of ageing 415V circuit breakers originally supplied by Ellison and GEC. P&B designed retrofits for these products and, prior to installation, performed short circuit type tests in the presence of the client’s engineers at a Laboratory in Italy to confirm the ratings of the new products. The tests revealed weakening of the original isolating contacts. These were changed to new, proven P&B contacts on several circuit breakers, which were retained as well as the new retrofits supplied by P&B Switchgear.

Some of Eli Lilly’s 3.3kV E3 switchgear supplied by English Electric and their 11kV BVP17 from GEC was also in need of upgrade. P&B has supplied several hundred air break retrofits in many UK installations and were able to retrofit the E3s and install in an arranged outage. Several BVP17 oil circuit breakers were replaced by modern P&B vacuum circuit breakers modified to cover the client’s operational requirements. The breakers were installed by P&B to the programme requested by the site management team.

Having completed the switchgear project Eli Lilly came back to P&B to request replacement of some of the motor protection relays on site. After an evaluation of requirements on site, P&B supplied, installed and commissioned MPR 3000 relays and provided tailored training to Eli Lilly staff on their use.



[tabby title=”Replacement of GEC Alsthom VMX vacuum circuit breakers”]

P&B VOR-M circuit breakers have recently been specified on a large project to replace ageing and problematic GEC Alsthom VMX vacuum circuit breakers on a large UK defence establishment in the south of England.

Due to the sensitive nature of the project, the tender and approval process was extensive, involving thorough scrutiny of type tests performed and confirmation of successful product acceptance by the UK Energy Networks Association. Detailed assessment of P&B’s quality procedures to ensure full adherence to ISO 9001 was also key to the process.

P&B was awarded a large contract to provide almost 50 state-of-the-art magnetic actuator operated VOR-M vacuum circuit breakers.