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Reactive power compensation for Kubrix

Manufacturing bricks requires a great deal of energy. The kilns in which the bricks are fired consume large quantities of gas, and the automated production chain includes 800 electric motors that need an enormous amount of electrical energy. Without reactive power compensation, the systems would overload the internal 500 V power network and cause additional costs. We have prevented this by removing reactive power from transformers and power cables, thereby helping to ensure security of supply at the plant. Kubrix AG is now able to rely on this solution at its Paradies works in Schlatt.

Compensating reactive power in brickworks

Kubrix AG is a leading supplier of masonry products in Switzerland. It is the successor of the Keller Unternehmungen and Brauchli brickworks as well as the three brickworks formerly belonging to the FBB Group. With over 160 years of experience and around 60 employees at various locations in Switzerland, Kubrix produces fired bricks, thermal insulation bricks, facing bricks, sand lime bricks and clinker.

During servicing at the production location in Schlatt, the maintenance team noticed that the existing reactive power compensator no longer met today's requirements. Following a needs assessment, we offered, supplied and commissioned a new compensator with rating of 500 kVar. The compensator was integrated into the site infrastructure without having to halt production during installation. The reactive power compensator is equipped with fully automatic control and enables significant cost reductions in use of the power grid. 
Alfred Hänni, deputy plant director at the Paradies works in Schlatt, expressed his satisfaction with the new unit: 'This reactive power compensator has enabled us to implement our planned efficiency measures and lower our costs.'


Cost-cutting, long-life compensators

We develop our turnkey systems to suit actual needs and the location where they are to be used. In addition to taking into account grid frequency and inductance, we mainly focus on the quality of service and a long service life of the systems. It goes without saying that we also give consideration to installation options in existing control cabinets, good accessibility to the system components or the use of solid-state contactors for rapid load changes to ensure smooth operation. Short delivery times, appropriate technical documentation in line with national standards and the guaranteed availability of spare parts are further criteria that convinced Kubrix to place its faith in Alpiq's services.

What is reactive power?

Motors need reactive power to generate electromagnetic fields. This places strain on the power grid but cannot be used or converted into another form of energy. As of a certain amount, reactive power must be paid for. In order to avoid such costs, we engineer, construct and supply reactive power compensators that work like a capacitive load. The investment in compensators will pay for itself in a short time thanks to the reactive power for which the company no longer has to pay. Alpiq has been engineering and selling reactive power compensators for over seventy years and supplies them to customers all over the world.