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This article has been accepted for publication in a future issue of this journal, but has not been

fully edited. Content may change prior to final publication. Citation information: DOI 10.1109/TIA.2017.2727999, IEEE
Transactions on Industry Applications

Energy Saving Project of 5500HP 13KV Wound Rotor Induction Motor(WRIM) on a


Kiln ID Fan using a Low Voltage Slip Power Recovery (SPR) Drive A Case Study

Doug Phares Tim Ruegg Kelly Fishel


Senior Member IEEE Member IEEE Member IEEE
TMEIC Corporation Onsite Energy CalPortland Cement Company
Douglas.Phares@tmeic.com truegg@onsiteenergy.com kfishel@calportland.com

Abstract - Once upon a time there was a cement kiln with a 5500HP Induced Draft (ID) fan powered by a wound rotor induction
motor. The process controlled the airflow with an inlet damper operating in the 35% open range. The plant wished for a more
energy efficient means of controlling the airflow and power demand for this fan. The paper will review the options and decision
processes that made this wish come true. A novel method was used to reduce the power consumed and control the fans speed based
on a lower airflow demand. The solution was implemented with participation from; the utility, the energy savings consultants, and
the equipment suppliers. This paper also covers the challenges presented by the ID Fan wound rotor motor design, the plant
operational situation, and the technology selected to solve the problem. Details of the wound-rotor motor speed control will be
discussed and its application reviewed. The significant energy savings and process improvements will be covered as well.

Index Terms Drives, Slip Power Recovery (SPR), WRIM control, and ID Fan motor control.
I. INTRODUCTION
The cement plant was designed using a 5500HP wound rotor induction motor (WRIM) to power the main ID fan. The
motor has a 13kV stator voltage and an open circuit rotor voltage of 1974 Volts at standstill. The motor was started using a
liquid rheostat soft start (LRS) and then connected across the line to run at a constant, full speed of 1200 rpm.
The WRIM and LRS was and still is used to start the high inertia fan without subjecting the power system to the large
current inrush of a standard induction motor. The LRS added resistance into the WRIM rotor circuit, enabling it to produce
high starting torque while limiting the inrush current. The external resistance in the LRS absorbed the heat that a standard
induction motor would have to withstand. The flow control for the ID fan was done by use of an inlet damper. This type of
flow control, while effective for process control, can be very inefficient in the use of electricity.
Fig. 1 below shows how the WRIM torque and current can be controlled by applying different percentages of rotor resistance
to the motors rotor. The rotor resistance decreases as the motor accelerates from standstill to running speed.

650

600 Amps
@ 0%R
550
Torque
Percent Full Load Current

500 250 @ 10%R


Percent Full Load Torque

450 Amps
225
@ 10%R
400 200

350 175

300 150

250 125
Torque Full Load
200 100 @ 100%R
Torque Level
150 75

100 50 Amps@ 100%R

50 25 Typical Pump
0 0
Load

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

Percent of Synchronous Speed

Fig. 1. Wound rotor motor starting performance


The use of an inlet damper is not an efficient method of flow control. Fig. 2 below shows that the power required to reduce
the airflow does not decrease very quickly when inlet dampers are used to reduce flow. In the typical VFD power versus flow
curve shown for comparison, power consumed falls quickly with flow.

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This article has been accepted for publication in a future issue of this journal, but has not been fully edited. Content may change prior to final publication. Citation information: DOI 10.1109/TIA.2017.2727999, IEEE
Transactions on Industry Applications

Fig. 2. Damper versus speed control efficiency

However, since the industry was at a high point when the plant was designed, the fan and damper design was a simple choice
because it was expected that the plant would run at high operating output rates and be able to handle possible future needs to
increase production. Based on all indicators, there was not an expectation to ever need a large reduction in ID fan air flow.
II. CHALLENGE
However, changes in market conditions caused the plant to have to reduce its operating conditions. The new operating
conditions forced the plant to run the 5500 HP ID fan with its flow greatly restricted. In fact, the actual operation levels called
for operating the ID fan with the inlet damper at only about 35% open. The plants process controls were all capable of
operating at these levels without a problem but the fan ran very inefficiently.
During a plant power usage evaluation, it was noted that the 5500HP ID fan motor represented a large power usage to the
plant and if the power this motor was using could be reduced by some other means of flow control, a significant energy savings
would result with associated savings in plant electrical bills.
This plant is located in Southern California so high electric rates in the region made the potential energy savings into a
valuable cost savings. Also, the local utility was offering incentives to users who installed energy saving equipment.
A. Options Investigated
The plants desire to find a different method of flow control for this 5500 HP ID fan led them to investigate a number of
possible solutions as listed below:
1. Increase the size of the liquid rheostat to allow constant operation of the rheostat to reduce motor speed.
Although a different method of flow control than dampers, the energy that would have to be dissipated in the
larger liquid rheostat would amount to approximately the same amount of wasted energy at the damper.
Therefore, this solution would not help save any energy and only cost additional money to implement.
2. Different vane or fan design
This would have required a new fan design and significant cost also if the fan were changed to work efficiently
at the plants reduced operating conditions, then when conditions improved, the fan would not have been able to
support the higher production levels. To take advantage of an improved fan design in terms of efficiency, the
plant would still have had to be able to slow the existing motor speed or replace the motor with a lower power
motor.
3. Application of a VFD on the motor stator to allow variable speed operation of the motor.
Although the energy savings that could be gained by using a VFD for speed control are well documented, the
difficulty in this approach for this cement plant was that the existing fan motor had a 13kV stator voltage. This
meant that a VFD used to power this motor would have to have an output voltage of 13kV, or have an output
transformer to step the voltage up to 13kV. There was only one manufacture that had made a 13kV output VFD

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This article has been accepted for publication in a future issue of this journal, but has not been fully edited. Content may change prior to final publication. Citation information: DOI 10.1109/TIA.2017.2727999, IEEE
Transactions on Industry Applications

and they had taken it off the market due to technical difficulties. The only real solution was one of using a more
standard VFD output voltage and a step-up transformer.
This solution would mean that all the stator current would go through the VFD so the losses in the VFD and its
input transformer would be approximately 3%. Since an output transformer to step up the voltage was also
required, an additional loss of 1% in the output transformer would be incurred. Although this would still have
resulted in a net energy savings, when balanced with the up-front cost of the new VFD and transformer, this
solution had a very long pay back.
4. Another alternative was to replace the existing WRIM with a more standard 4kV induction motor and VFD.
First, the existing WRIM was only a few years old and in excellent condition. Second, although this solution was
a simple alternative, it was a very expensive one. Although the plants operation was costing them significant
electrical bills, this solution of a new motor and VFD would have had a projected pay back of multiple years and
required significant plant down time (also very costly).
5. The last alternative studied was the application of an SPR (Slip Power Recovery) drive on the existing motor rotor to
provide variable speed operation of the motor.
This alternative used a low voltage VFD on the rotor in addition to the existing liquid rheostat starting means.
Only the rotor power was sent through the SPR drive so it was much more efficient than a full rated stator drive
(as described in 4 above). Also, all the existing starting means and operational controls could be left in place for
this solution. That meant that if the SPR had a problem, the plant did not have to shut down, it could simply
return to its previous mode of operation. This feature proved to be a key point for giving the plant the confidence
to proceed with the project. This feature will be discussed in more detail later in the paper.
III. TECHNOLOGY SELECTED AND DETAILS
Based on the plants evaluation of cost, reliability, uptime, and risk, they selected the SPR system as described in the above
option 5. The details of this solution are discussed below.
The SPR equipment selected is able to save energy by regenerating the power from the rotor of a WRIM when the motor is
run slower than full speed. The PWM SPR drive can directly control the rotor current and voltage of the motor. This means
the drive can control the wound rotor motor as precisely as a PWM drive supplying power to the stator of a squirrel cage
motor.[1]
Since the SPR uses a low voltage VFD power bridge (600V), the full rotor voltage cannot be applied the SPR circuit.
Therefore, the existing liquid rheostat is applied to the rotor during the first stage of the start process. Once the motor rotor
voltage falls to a safe SPR operating range, at about 66% speed, the SPR is connected and the liquid rheostat is disconnected.
The Fig. 3 diagram showing the motor rotor voltage versus speed during the start process is shown below for clarity.

Voltage

Voc

Starting Circuit Typical SPR


Operation Operating
Speed Range

SPR
Maximum
Voltage

Speed

0 50% 100%
Fig 3. WRIM rotor voltage-speed characteristic [2]

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Transactions on Industry Applications

Fig. 4 below shows the one-line of a typical PWM SPR system:

SPR drive
Feedback Regenerative PWM drive
transformer Line
reactor 575V

crowbar

Input
breaker
SPR drive
contactor

Starting
liquid
Rheostat Start
contactor -
Motor line open to run
breaker on SPR drive

Wound Rotor rotor


Induction Motor
stator

Fig. 4. Typical PWM SPR one-line

Sequence of Operation:
1) The set of Start Contactors above are closed and the SPR contactors are open
2) The Motor line breaker is closed and the ID Fan motor will start to accelerate as the resistance in the Liquid
Rheostat is reduced.
3) When the rotor voltage falls below the SPR maximum voltage (at approximately 66% speed), the SPR contactor
will close and the SPR drive will begin conducting the rotor current.
4) The Start contactor will open and the liquid rheostat will be removed from the rotor circuit.
5) The SPR drive will conduct an appropriate amount of current from the motor rotor to allow the motor to be
operated at a speed commanded by the plant DCS control.
IV. PROJECT RESULTS
A. Process Improvement
It was expected that the new SPR control system would allow the fan motor speed to be varied smoothly and this would
make for better process control. However, process control improvement was never a goal of this project as the existing vane
system had performed well for the plant and there was not a justification to replace it. The SPR system does allow smooth
process control but as will be discussed later in Section V.B, since the SPR range of operation is not sufficient to allow removal
of the vane system, no real process control improvements have been noted.
B. Resulting Energy Saving
To determine the effectiveness of the project for energy savings, measurements were taken before the SPR installation and
after the SPR was in operation.
For the Kiln ID fan only raw averages (not weighted for production rates):
Pre SPR Baseline: 3,451.78 kW
Post SPR Measurement: 2,013.27 kW
Approximately 1400 kW in savings, - representing over a 40% savings

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The calculated energy cost savings was based on the plants energy cost at the time of the installation of $0.09 kWh. It was
determined that the fan hours of operation were estimated at 6500 hours per year.
Based on this data, the estimated savings for the plant was:
1400 kW * 0.09 kWh * 6500 hr = $ 820,000.00 per year
This cost savings was easily enough to justify the project and make the return on the investment less than one year. Added
to this, since the utility was promoting energy saving projects and willing to help fund part of the project, the return on
investment was even quicker.

V. LESSONS LEARNED FROM PROJECT

A. Installation Issues
As with any existing plant site, in order to add new equipment a space plan had to be developed. In addition, since some
of the existing equipment was to be reused with the new system, a plan for new cabling had to be made. Based on the plant
electrical room layout, only a limited area was available for the SPR equipment. In order to make the equipment fit the
allowable space, it was manufactured in a horseshoe arrangement, as shown in Fig. 5.

Fig. 5. Equipment arrangement

The motor cables going from the existing starting liquid rheostat were not long enough to reach to the new SPR equipment
so a new cabinet (that was essentially a connection point) was added to the scope. This cabinet, called Existing Motor Cable
Re-use cabinet (in Fig. 6 below), was used to allow the best re-use of the existing cables.
The new system uses Start and SPR contactors. With the contactors in the Start position, all of the original equipment
stayed in place and so there was an inherent back-up system in place in case there were problems with the SPR drive.

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The one-line in Fig. 6 below shows the details of how the new PWM SPR system was connected into the existing ID Fan
control system.

Fig. 6. PWM SPR connection diagram

B. Start-up issues related to fan air flow


Based on data taken from the fan in operation and the damper positions and estimated flow, it was determined that being
able to control the fan speed down to 66% of full speed would give the plant the operational range of air flow required by the
kiln. The SPR drive system was set up to provide a controlled speed range of the ID fan motor from full speed down to an
estimated 66% of motor speed.
The SPR drive was sized to provide up to 690 Volts and 1256 amps to provide the required motor speed range. This speed
was regulated within 0.3% based on full fan speed.
After the system start up, it quickly became apparent that the estimated fan speed to provide the required kiln process flow
was not low enough. In order to slow the motor down, power is removed from the motor rotor. The converter side of the SPR
was not sized large enough to remove enough power to lower the motor speed. Therefore, the system required that the dampers
were still needed in addition to the SPR in order to lower the fan flow enough.
The systems energy savings were still very significant but the plant is looking at a future project to increase the size of the
SPR converter to allow the fan motor to be run to lower speed and completely eliminate the need for the fan damper.
The lesson here highlights the difficultly in estimating the fan efficiency, and therefore the power that will be required by
the fan at reduced fan speed. Most fan curves are not done at variable speed points but only at full fixed speed so estimating
what fan speed will be required to produce a certain output flow in the system is not an exact science.
C. Ability to return to previous system operation
Of significant value to the plant was the SPR systems capability to leave all the original motor control equipment in place.
This feature allowed the plant to return to damper control operation at any time if the SPR system failed to function. This
greatly reduced the risk of implementing the SPR system and made management more comfortable with the solution.

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This article has been accepted for publication in a future issue of this journal, but has not been fully edited. Content may change prior to final publication. Citation information: DOI 10.1109/TIA.2017.2727999, IEEE
Transactions on Industry Applications

VI. OPERATING EXPERIENCE AND LESSONS


A. System integration issues
The new SPR system had to be integrated into an existing, operating system. The existing damper control of the fan was
retained and the new SPR system had to be integrated into the existing control system. In retrospect, the effort for this
integration was underestimated and there was not enough time spent on how the two systems would integrate. This led to
some difficulty at initial start-up, but more importantly, some of the ways the existing system responded with the SPR system
on line had to be modified.
Modifications included adjusting the timing and differentiation between a tripped shutdown and a regular normal stop
request. Initially, both cases resulted in trip indications for both the SPR drive and the main 13kv starter.
B. Power system disturbances at site
The plant has experienced some frustration with the SPR drive due to the drive tripping. These trips generally cause the
plant to return to damper operation (drive bypass mode) until the problem is fixed. Although the SPR trips have not been
frequent, during the time running with dampers, the plant losses the SPRs energy savings so getting the SPR back into
operation is a high priority.
It was determined that this plant site experiences power system disturbances in the form of voltage sags. These sags caused
the regenerative front end of the SPR drive to trip. Changes to the SPR settings have been made in an attempt to make the SPR
less sensitive to these voltage sags.
A second issue that led to SPR drive trips was its own output protection module (called a crow-bar module). This module,
which is meant to protect the SPR, had an autonomous (self) tripping circuit that was found to be malfunctioning and had to be
removed from the circuit.
Unfortunately, at the time of this paper, the plant continues to experience SPR trips due to power system disturbances. This
is not a frequent occurrence (only happening every few months) but it will require the supplier to make more adjustments to
the SPR software so that the plant will end up with an SPR drive system that is more robust and very reliable.
VII.CONCLUSION
The experience gained from applying an SPR system to an existing cement plant ID Fan has been beneficial to the plants
operation and its efficiency. Delays in implementation due to planning, manufacturing, and start-up only postponed the plants
eventual significant energy savings. Had the project benefits been made more believable at an earlier stage, the plant energy
savings may have been realized almost a year earlier.
What key lesson can be learned? Once the energy saving opportunity is identified with a low risk path toward achieving it,
then a bold and aggressive forward move is needed to attain the savings as soon as possible. Delays in such projects only result
in lost cost savings and lower operating margins.

REFERENCES
[1] Barry Dick, Wound Rotor Motor Slip Power Recovery Drive Experience and Applications, Proceedings of IEEE-PCA, 2009
[2] Barry Dick, New Technology for Speed Control of Wound Rotor Motors, Proceedings of IEEE-PCA, 2006
[3] D. Phares, T. Ruegg, K. Fishel, Energy saving project of 5500HP 13KV wound rotor induction motor(WRIM) on a kiln ID fan using a low voltage
Slip Power Recovery (SPR) drive A case study, 2017 IEEE-IAS/PCA Cement Ind. Tech. Conf., Calgary, AB Canada, pp. 1 - 7, DOI:
10.1109/CITCON.2017.7951848

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