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Considerations from your Partner in Power – Excitation Upgrades and NERC PRC-019

Are you considering installing or upgrading your facility’s excitation system or do you have plans for an AVR upgrade in your budget? Just like older relays or meters, excitation systems become obsolete and need replaced. An upgraded excitation system allows for all the modern microprocessor benefits such as event records, flexible logic and monitoring and control options over multiple communication protocols. Additionally, newer excitation systems have more readily available parts than older, discontinued models. This allows for quicker replacement should specific parts fail.

If your facility is a generating unit greater than 20 MVA, individual synchronous condenser unit greater than 20MWA, or a generating facility that is 75MWA or greater (gross) you will need to take NERC PRC-019 into consideration when  upgrading your excitation or AVR. NERC PRC-019 regulates the coordination of generating unit facility of synchronous condenser voltage regulating controls, limit functions, equipment capabilities and Protection System settings. In order to remain compliant with NERC, you will need to update your NERC PRC-019 report with the commissioning report completed for any upgrade or new installation.

For applicable facilities, NERC PRC-019 reports must be revisited every five calendar years, from your facility’s specific audit date, to ensure the excitation limiters and protection are coordinated. These audits are extremely technical depending on the technology and topology of your system. A Professional Engineer can ensure your studies are complete, reports are up-to-date, and your technology is protected and used to its full capacity. A Professional Engineer can also conduct the programming and testing of equipment involved and prepare recommendations on your existing system.

Qualus Power Services has specialized technical expertise to get your system into complete compliance and keep you there. We provide auditing, compliance support, and training for your personnel. We have in-house technical capabilities required by specific NERC standards. While other companies may specialize in one or two areas, Qualus Power Services is here to cover all technical requirements from start to finish. We are your partner, committed to your long-term success.