ABB improves reliability in industrial applications with battery charger

15th October 2020
Lanna Deamer

In industrial and utility applications, up time is often one of the most critical aspects of operations - right after safety. ABB is helping to ensure reliable, efficient power in these mission critical industries with its new Integritas industrial battery charger. The wall-mounted system features switch-mode rectifier technology that provides transformer-less, efficient power conversion in a compact footprint - providing true N+1 or N+N redundancy in a single battery charger.

“Ensuring reliable, efficient AC-to-DC power and battery backup is essential in applications such as utility power, oil and gas, and process control - to name a few - where down time can be critical,” said Mark Lloyd, Senior Product Manager with ABB. “Having reliable, efficient backup power in a single charger with high power density helps ensure these critical applications remain up-and-running while also reducing the footprint of the power equipment needed - freeing up valuable floor space.”

ABB’s versatile industrial battery charger supports the critical DC power and battery charging needs of various rigorous industrial applications - from utilities and manufacturing to pharmaceuticals and petrochemicals. It provides up to 18kW of output power at 125 volts DC (VDC) from a direct, three-phase, 480-volt AC (VAC) input feed.

Improved Battery Charger Management with New Nebula Controller

The industrial battery charger is the first ABB solution to implement the company’s new Nebula controller, which takes system monitoring, maintenance, and security to a new level compared to previous controllers. The Nebula controller makes accessing and reviewing critical information simple; both locally and remote.

Located on the front of the battery charger is a seven-inch colour touchscreen that can display information including, but not limited to, active performance information, alarms, and status updates on the input and output.

In addition, the Nebula controller utilises Distributed Network Protocol 3 (DNP3)-based communications, allowing the battery status to be networked with plant-wide Distributed Control Systems (DCS) or Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems.

Key Features of the Integritas Industrial Battery Charger

The Integritas industrial battery charger presents several key features and performance benefits, including:

  • Replacing two redundant silicon-controlled rectifier-based chargers with a one multiple-rectifier unit to provide 'single-charger' redundancy.  
  • Switch-mode rectifier technology for improved power efficiencies of up to 95.7% at 50 to 100% load.
  • A compact, wall-mount design that is up to 40% smaller than comparable 40A silicon-controlled rectifier chargers.
  • Accommodating a wide input voltage range of between 85-530 VAC.
  • Robust operating temperature range between -40 and +75°C

Enhanced Charger Capability and Redundancy with ABB’s Switch-Mode Rectifiers

The Integritas industrial battery charger features another new product specifically designed for industrial applications - the IP040H3R125ATEZ switch-mode rectifier. The new industrial rectifier can convert 480 VAC directly to 125 VDC without the need for a step-down transformer. In addition, when installed in a 19" cabinet frame, the IP040 industrial rectifiers can provide 150A of output current in a 14-by-17-by-28" space – offering significant size savings for power system designers.

Utilising switch-mode rectifier technology helps the industrial battery charger unleash even more performance and design benefits. The rectifiers operate at a higher switching frequency (90-270KHz) than conventional silicon-controlled rectifiers, which typically operate in the 45-65 Hz range.

This technology also helps to reduce the size and weight of the power conversion components when compared to comparable silicon-controlled rectifier-based battery chargers. AC-to-DC conversion is also more efficient with switch-mode rectifiers, creating a lower thermal impact, higher power efficiency of up to 95.7%, and improving the life cycle of the unit.

“Employing a modular, expandable rectifier design into a single charger allows for power to be scaled as needed,” Lloyd continued. “Using multiple power modules, the charger can be configured for N+1 redundancy to maintain full power output if one power unit fails. The battery charger also can be configured for full N+N redundancy by using multiple mirrored power supplies - enabling even greater reliability.”

The modular design of the Integritas industrial battery charger allows for critical components to be 'hot swapped' for easier repair or replacement, keeping the charging load up during maintenance or replacements and reducing overall maintenance costs.

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