It has been said that energy efficiency is the invisible fuel to “keep the world turned on.” Demonstrating a commitment to helping customers extract, generate, convert or transport energy more efficiently, GE’s Power Conversion business (NYSE: GE) is proud to unveil its new powerful MV7-Series, ultimate waveform, multilevel, high-power drive, the MV7-Series Drive with UWave technology.
The water-cooled UWave drive is based on GE’s Power Conversion business’ proven MV7 technology, which has an impressive 10-gigawatt installed base worldwide. A total of 1,600 units installed around the world have been operating in fields for more than 10 million hours. Therefore, customers from industries with the highest reliability and safety standards can be assured of its reliability and safety.
Move to 5-level topology
GE adopted the same MV7 technology and used the same components, but arranged them in a different way, shifting from 3 level to 5 level.
“And it is this 5-level topology that makes all the difference,” said Vincent Schellings, product line leader, power electronics, GE’s Power Conversion business.
The increased number of levels means increased voltage and power output. As an extension of the existing MV7 drive platform, the new UWave drive can operate at up to 13.8 kilovolts with a power capacity of up to 40 megawatts in a single thread, thus an ideal choice for high-power and high-voltage applications across different industries, including oil and gas, marine, renewables and power generation.
Cleaner power, smaller filter
The MV7 UWave drive produces cleaner power with fewer harmonics. When feeding into motors, it reduces motor stress and can help increase its life expectancy. Higher power quality also results in cleaner electrical signals making the drive more compatible with the grid, which allows smoother grid integration and a more resilient grid network.
“If you look at the diagram, you can see the electricity, produced from the drive and feeding into the motor, has a smoothed voltage waveform. That is where the name—Ultimate Waveform—comes from,” said Schellings.
“Another key fact is that the drive can meet grid harmonic standards with much smaller filters,” added Schellings. The smaller filter means a smaller footprint for the entire system, which can help bring significant benefits across industries.
“A reduced footprint can in turn reduce construction costs and release space for critical operations—more room for an engine or an extra cabinet onboard a vessel, for example,” said Schellings. “Higher power output and yet a smaller footprint makes the MV7 UWave drive more efficient.”
When it comes to offshore operations, this latest drive technology has allowed the removal of the transformer for voltage up to 13.8 kilovolts. This transformer-less design thus can reduce the footprint by up to 40 percent.
In terms of renewables, based on a customer study in the wind industry, the footprint of the system (drive and filter combined) can achieve up to 40 percent reduction compared to a 3-level drive.
High reliability is paramount across industries as energy extraction and new infrastructures are moving towards offshore or remote areas, which are harder to access. Maintenance in those areas is sometimes costly and can take a long time. High availability and reliability of the equipment helps to ensure uninterrupted operation. Particularly in the renewables sector, it can mean higher returns for investors and lower energy costs for consumers.
Reliability is also reinforced by capacitors installed in the drive. An advanced mechanism adopted inside the drive enables immediate isolation of a failed capacitor. Unaffected by this single failure, the rest of the capacitors allow the drive to operate without interruption.
“Think about it, these capacitors are highly resilient in a way—they can continue to work even if one of them is down,” said Schellings.
Smart standardization, versatile applications
The MV7 UWave drive uses standardized component during manufacturing, enabling shorter delivery time and better service. Standardized modules, however, do not limit the drive’s versatile application. It is designed to drive induction, synchronous or high-speed motors (up to 300 Hertz) for high-voltage and high-power applications. Several configurations of the MV7 series are available—diode front-end (DFE), active front-end (AFE), N+1 redundancy, transformer-less—to adapt different customer and project needs. It also allows easier integration to the fixed frequency system to become variable speed—a key factor to enable energy efficiency.
“This is an exciting time, everything is moving at an unprecedented speed. Innovation needs to go to the market fast, products need to be delivered fast, and investment must create returns fast,” said Schellings. “The MV7 UWave drive is our answer to this mega trend.”
Picture: The new MV7 UWave drive (Image: GE)