Arcteq arc flash protection system with AQ-1000 arc quenching device to ‘Island Innovator’

Arcteq supplies the Norwegian Island Drilling Company through our new partner Mongstad TavleTeknikk with an AQ 100 arc flash protection system, including a high-end re-usable arc quenching device on an offshore drilling rig.

The oil rig is constantly positioned by propellers during drilling, so the importance of an uninterrupted power supply can’t be overestimated.

Island Drilling Company selected Arcteq’s arc protection system with the AQ-1000 arc quenching device for their existing switchboards on the drilling rig ‘Island Innovator’. This is a retrofit installation to an existing switchgear originally installed ten years ago. The purpose of the installation is to reduce the arc energy level in case of a short circuit and an arc failure in the switchgear. The calculated arc energy in the switchgear onboard the rig clearly exceeded the set safety norms. By introducing the arc protection system, the level of potential arc flash energy and corresponding PPE level was dramatically reduced to a level significantly below the minimum requirement, ensuring the best safety both for personnel and continued power supply.

The AQ 100 arc protection system is engineered, supplied, and installed by the new Arcteq partner company in Norway, MTT (Mongstad TavleTeknikk AS). MTT joined the Arcteq Relays network only a couple of months back, so this project is a great start for this cooperation “This is the first Arcteq arc flash protection system supply from us, we see an increasing demand for systems like this in the Norwegian on- and offshore industry in the future”, commented Geir-Håkon Gotaas from MTT.

The personnel on offshore drilling rigs are working under some of the most extreme conditions present in the world, and the importance of safe working conditions is huge. Mikko Manninen, Arcteq’s Product Manager for the AQ 100 series, quoted a phrase he heard on the rig while visiting it: “Marine and offshore people are not that afraid of water, they are more afraid of fire or electrical fire”.

The system supply consists of seven nearly identical installations that consist of the following devices:

  • AQ-110PLV: a main unit that detects an overcurrent in the incoming feeder and a light signal from a sub-unit or from a light sensor connected directly to the unit.
  • AQ-102LV: a sub-unit that can connect a maximum of three fiber sensors for detecting light anywhere in the switchgear.
  • AQ-1000 re-usable arc quenching device: if an arc fault occurs, it gets the signal through a fiber connection from the AQ-110PLV device, extinguishing the fault in less than 4 ms, while keeping the arc energy under 1 cal/cm2 and the damage to equipment non-existent.
The AQ-1000 arc quenching device installed in the switchgear.
Arc light and current detecting AQ-110P (left) and arc light-detecting AQ-101 (right).