In recent years, elevator manufacturers have replaced the conventional elevator motors with Regenerative drives. The modern regenerative drives are designed to conserve much needed energy. This modern solution conserves energy by ‘harvesting’ excess energy from the elevator during its descent and feeding this excess energy back to the grid.
While this solution has greatly conserved energy, in some cases up to 30%, it has also posed serious challenges to conventional UPS which are used to provide backup power to such elevators! This is because conventional UPS are not designed to handle such energy feedback. Hence these conventional UPS would shut down temporarily or permanently, depending on the intensity of the energy, during such energy feedback, with attendant negative consequences on the load. Consequently, elevator manufacturers have been in search of a rugged and reliable UPS that can effectively handle this energy feedback.
Actolog Limited, a Lagos-based Power and ICT Environment solutions company took up the challenge to provide its Nigerian customers a solution to the challenge of a rugged UPS that can handle this regenerative drive issues. To this end, Actolog has been on a global search for UPS manufacturers that could partner with her to provide this solution. After several trials of UPS from different manufacturers, a solution was found to this problem and a test UPS was deployed last year to a leading elevator service company in Nigeria as a Prove of Concept (POC), and this solution was tested in one of their facilities with excellent result.
Consequent upon the successful test-run of this UPS, Actolog Limited gathered about 25 UPS engineers in the prestigious Protea Hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos on the 11th and 12th of May, 2017, for a 2-day training on the challenges of the modern Regenerative drives and the design of the UPS to handle this challenge. The manufacturers of the UPS were flown into the country from Turkey, and the engineers were better enlightened on the challenges posed by the modern regenerative drives globally and the series of research that were carried out by the company to arrive at a reliable solution to the problem.
The trainer had worked with the Russians and other countries in Europe and Asia in resolving this challenge. He was able to offer a global perspective to the challenge as well as provide comparative data on the problem of modern regenerative drives. It was discovered during the training that the energy feedback measured by the Nigerian engineers in their various installations are far less than that which were measured in other locations globally, thus the consensus that the solution was even more reliable to resolve the Nigerian challenge than previously envisaged.
Participants at the training were exposed to hands-on repairs of high-end UPS with the guidance of the trainer who has worked with several global UPS brands and is well versed in UPS design and repairs. This afforded the participants the opportunity to ask technical questions that were hitherto a puzzle to them. The general impression of the participants was that of relief and confidence in the solution that has been provided.
With so many local engineers trained on the installation, servicing and maintenance of the UPS, the client can rest assured that if there are any challenges during the lifespan of the UPS, there were enough hands locally to handle the challenges. Actolog is also committed to keeping stock of critical spares to ensure that the turnaround time of UPS repair is kept at the minimum.
Actolog Limited is well positioned to provide this solution to elevators companies in Nigeria. In the words of one of the participants at the training, “this solution will give us peace of mind as installers of UPS for elevators”. Since elevator loads are some of the most reactive industrial loads, this solution can be deployed to serve other loads, like manufacturing plants, etc. with higher success level.
While other regular loads, like ICT loads, will continue to form the bulk of the loads supported by UPS, the solution to these “problematic” loads means that the market will continue to grow by leaps and bounds.