AKOTRACE: The structure of an optimal electrical heat tracing solution for CSP Plants
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AKOTRACE: The structure of an optimal electrical heat tracing solution for CSP Plants

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After considering all factors involved in the decision making process when choosing an electrical heat tracing solution, it is time to describe how the system works. In our case, we want to share......

After considering all factors involved in the decision making process when choosing an electrical heat tracing solution, it is time to describe how the system works. In our case, we want to share with you the structure of our DCS AKOTRACE® solution, a framework that holds three levels of performance areas designed to fulfill the needs of any CSP plant.

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  • 1. AKOTRACE ®The structure of an optimal heat tracing solution More on: www.akotrace.com www.akotrace.com/blog/
  • 2. www.akotrace.com AKOTRACE ® The structure of an optimal heat tracing solutionAfter considering all factors involved in the decision making process when choosing an electrical heat tracing solution, it is time todescribe how the system works. In our case, we want to share with you the structure of our DCS AKOTRACE® solution, aframework that holds three levels of performance areas designed to fulfill the needs of any CSP plant. Field and installation From the base up, Level 3 is made up of all the heat cables and heaters, probes, accessories, lagging, and, in general, of any element necessary for the installation of the tracing system. Control and Power Level 2 distributes the necessary power to the tracing system, regulating and controlling its delivery according to the information received (thermal probes and electrical supply; safety indicators, etc)
  • 3. www.akotrace.com AKOTRACE ® The structure of an optimal heat tracing solutionSupervision and ConnectivityFinally, Level 1 monitors and supervises the tracing system connecting it to both the plant’s DCS system and to possibletelemanagement pointsAll three levels of our AKOTRACE® structure are supported by a layer of services that include maintenance (reactive,proactive and preventive), engineering, project management, installation and implementation.In our next post we´ll do a more detailed analysis of the role each one of the levels play in the structure ofour AKOTRACE® electrical heat tracing system.The goal of any electrical heat tracing system is to maintain the temperature, avoiding the freezing of either water or heattransfer fluids.How AKO does it? Let us explain in detail the three-level structure of our AKOTRACE® electrical heat tracing systemField and Installation (level 3)It´s made up of all the elements in the system´s control and is where the electrical heat tracing circuit is placed. Itincludes all the necessary field components, and depending on the process needs each control can have:• Either standardized or custom made heating elements, depending on the tracing needs, including MI Cable, SelfRegulating Cable, heaters and all accessories required for a full installation• Up until 4 thermal probes with different redundancy options, this guarantees data reliability.• Current probes that constantly monitor the system´s control energy self-consumption, warning of any drop below certainvalues, allowing us to identify possible failures in those cases when several tracing sections are integrated into the samesystem´s control.
  • 4. www.akotrace.com AKOTRACE ®The structure of an optimal heat tracing solution
  • 5. www.akotrace.com AKOTRACE ® The structure of an optimal heat tracing solutionControl and Power (level 2)In this level our PROTrace® cabinets are in charge of monitoring and distributing the power from the connection point tosystem´s control. They can have differentmechanism of redundancy to avoid malfunction in case of failure or duringmaintenance. They are fully adaptable. Based on the application, our PROTrace® cabinets can be concentrated in differentlocations or distributed throughout the field. Their final placement depends on the technical and economical needs of theproject.Our system´s control is based on our DUOControl Trace, founded on a PLC Platform,and integratedinto PROTrace® cabinets. It receives data from the thermal probes and power supply, protection conditions, configurationvariables, etc, and it acts accordingly, regulating the output power to reach and maintain the desirable temperature, thanksto our advanced control algorithms.Inside our PROTrace® cabinets there is the possibility to include the kind of control, via contactor or SSR; the airconditioning or distribution elements and the automatic transfer switch.It also accommodates safety and protection elements such as magneto-thermal circuit breaker, differential circuit breakersprotection and a contactor´s security system in each control, adding an extra safety component in case of switcher´sfailure.
  • 6. www.akotrace.com AKOTRACE ®The structure of an optimal heat tracing solution
  • 7. www.akotrace.com AKOTRACE ® The structure of an optimal heat tracing solutionSupervision and Connectivity (level 1)Our ProTrace® cabinets are stick to each other with optical fiber connectors. Their ring configuration allows for non-stopcommunication in case of malfunction in one of the links.In this ring configuration we have our DUOWarm Trace, supervising key variables such as power distribution and theenvironment conditions in the cabinet. It also functions as agateway with the plant´s DCS system and with the firewall thatallows the internet connection to manage the installation remotely. It has a redundancy system to avoid communicationbreakdowns and to facilitate maintenance work.The local operator panel, made up of a PC Panel with our control software AKONet Trace, only needs an Ethernet link tothe network control DUOControl Trace, allowing for the total control and supervision of the tracing installation.We have just share with you the electrical heat tracing system that makes us worldwide leaders in the sector. We haveinstalled this architecture solution in more than 25 plants, but we are constantly looking to innovate and find new ways tooptimize our system and at the same time, the productivity of any CSP plant.
  • 8. www.akotrace.com AKOTRACE ®The structure of an optimal heat tracing solution
  • 9. MANY THANKS More on: www.akotrace.comwww.akotrace.com/blog/