Innovative technical solutions and more than 45 years corporate experience make us a global leader in power system optimization.
Our history of creating Innovative Solutions is a testament to our Capabilities.
FES International clients benefit from more than 45 years of power system engineering and technical hands-on field experience. As our client list will attest, with the exception of Antarctica, the firm has completed major assignments on every continent.
With our technical and manufacturing know-how, FES was first to develop a number of innovative, leading-edge technologies and products. These accomplishments, some of which are listed here, have provided cost-effective solutions to various power system challenges.
1965 – The founder of FES International, while an employee of Ontario Hydro, developed the first Three-Phase Transformer Ratiometer. This instrument measured the true turns-ratio of any single- or three-phase power transformer, distribution transformer, voltage transformer or current transformer, with an accuracy of 1 turn in a 100,000 or ±0.001%. The instrument was also capable of quantifying internal impedance changes such as loose connections, burned tap-changer contacts or turn-to-turn insulation deterioration.
1968 – First to develop a precision Power Cable Fault Locater, based on 90 picosecond, 0.25-volt step function, time-domain reflectometery, with a 5,300 ft. range and an accuracy of better than ±1 ft.
TDR Power Cable Fault Locaters were assembled by FES International for a number of electrical utilities in Ontario, Canada.
1974 – First comprehensive line of Electrical Testing, Measurement and Calibration Instruments that were originally developed for Ontario Hydro.
These instruments, which were acquired by Electrical Testing Instruments, Ltd. through a Transfer of Technology Agreement, included Dynamic Relay Test Sets, Insulation Resistance Test Sets, AC & DC High Voltage Test Sets, Capacitance-Dissipation Factor Bridges, Contact Resistance Bridges, High Current Test Sets and Lightning Arrestor Test Sets.
1982 – First to develop commercial Online Partial Discharge Analyzers that monitor the condition of stator winding insulation systems in medium voltage hydroelectric generators.
PDA-H® technology remains the world standard for failure avoidance and maintenance optimization. This technology, which was acquired by Iris Power in 1993, has now been applied to turbo-alternators and medium voltage class motors.
1983 – First to develop a Three-Phase Power Harmonic Analyzer that measures harmonic currents, voltage magnitudes and phase angles, up to the 50th harmonic, then calculates total harmonic distortion of current and voltage, harmonic power flow for each individual harmonic, system impedance at each harmonic frequency, kVT or IT products for each harmonic and Telephone Interference Factor.
This project led to the development of the first Fluke, Model 41 Harmonic Analyzers.
1986 – First to develop Electromagnetic Zero-Sequence Harmonic Filters that shunt zero-sequence harmonic currents from three-phase, four-wire sub-systems.
These devices provide an alternative to de-rating conventional distribution transformers, applying K-Rated distribution transformers or increasing feeder circuits’ neutral conductors, in an environment that is rich with zero-sequence harmonic currents.
1990 – First to develop and apply Harmonic Mitigating Transformers that shunt zero-sequence harmonic currents with ultra-low zero-sequence impedance secondary windings and cancel positive- and negative-sequence harmonic currents within their secondary windings.
1991 – First to develop a complete line of Harmonic Filters and Transformers that shunt or cancel zero-sequence harmonic currents and/or cancel positive- and negative-sequence harmonic currents.
These devices, which were acquired by Power Quality International, include harmonic mitigating power, distribution and drive isolation transformers, reactors, and zero-sequence harmonic filters, provide the means to mitigate power system harmonics.
1995 – First to commercial sale of Medium Voltage Class (15 & 25kV), Sub-Cycle Static Transfer Switches for application in a utility’s distribution system.
PQI TransSwitch™ products provide uninterruptible ‘Premium Power’ to a utility customer’s entire facility.
1996 – First commercial sale of Medium Voltage Class (15 & 25kV), Sub-Cycle Static Voltage Regulating Transformers for application in a utility’s distribution system.
PQI TransRegulator™ products mitigate the voltage sags that result from fault-clearing events on a utility’s transmission or distribution systems.
2000 – First to develop an Electromagnetic Zero-Sequence Harmonic Filter that shunts zero-sequence harmonic currents at the load-end of a branch circuit.
Mini-Z™ filters, which were acquired by Power Quality International, provide an alternative to de-rating conventional distribution transformers, applying K-Rated distribution transformers, increasing shared neutral conductors, or configuring branch circuits with separate neutral conductors, in an environment that is rich with zero-sequence harmonic currents.
2001 – First to develop a complete line of Harmonic Filtering Transformers that exceed EPA – Energy Star®linear load efficiency requirements under nonlinear load conditions for Power Quality International.
PQI HarMitigator™ products, which include harmonic mitigating power, distribution and drive isolation transformers, are approximately 2% more efficient than any competing harmonic mitigating transformers and up to 15% more efficient than typical conventional or K-Rated transformers under severe nonlinear loading.
2003 – First to develop and use the Voltage and Current Difference, Loss Measurement Method Instrument that limits the efficiency calculation error to ±0.033%, when measuring a transformer’s excitation and impedance losses under any linear or nonlinear load condition.
2003 – First to develop a sophisticated computer program, which is in compliance with IEEE Std. C57. 110-1998, that allows our engineers to calculate any transformer’s nonlinear losses and efficiency, under any nonlinear load profile.
The FES Calculator™ can determine the performance of any transformer or compare the performance of any two transformers and calculate a payback and return on investment.
Additional information on these innovative solutions is available upon request.
FES International, Inc. – A Pioneer in Power System Optimization
FES International is a pioneer in electrical power system optimization. For more than 45 years we’ve been identifying and solving problems that impact system and load performance, reliability and efficiency. Our work has taken us around the globe. Our experience includes utility generation, transmission and distribution through utilization in industrial, institutional, governmental, military and commercial facilities.
Beginning in the early 1980s, we witnessed a rapid increase in the application of nonlinear electronic loads in low voltage subsystems that supply offices. Compared to their linear electro-mechanical predecessors, these nonlinear loads require significantly less power; promising apparent energy savings. Unfortunately these nonlinear devices often fail to deliver the anticipated benefits. Their application most often has a negative impact on system and load performance, reliability and efficiency.
Our first experience with low voltage subsystems that supply nonlinear electronic loads was at an IBM facility in Toronto, Canada in 1983. This facility was used to develop some of IBM’s first personal computers. We quickly discovered that these phase-to-neutral connected loads, in addition to producing unusually high levels of positive- and negative-sequence harmonic currents, which are common in some industries, also produced even higher levels of zero-sequence harmonic currents that added up arithmetically in the subsystem’s neutral conductors.
These loads caused very high distortion of the fundamental currents and voltages, and neutral currents that exceeded phase currents in a balanced three-phase system. Our research has since convinced us that this was likely the first time that a large number of single-phase, phase-to-neutral connected nonlinear loads had been the principal load of a three-phase, four-wire distribution system. It was this condition that prompted us to develop the first electro-magnetic zero-sequence harmonic filters. This experience set the stage for the development of harmonic mitigating solutions for virtually any type of low voltage system.
A Short History of the Problems Caused by Nonlinear Loads
Nonlinear industrial loads have been a fact of life since Nikola Tesla demonstrated that AC electrical power systems were preferable to DC systems. In North America, utility generators produce 60 Hz sinusoidal voltage waveforms. When applied to linear loads, sinusoidal current waveforms are the result. However, in the consumption of AC power, nonlinear loads generate harmonic currents that are integer multiples of the fundamental frequency. These harmonic currents, each having a sinusoidal waveform, when imposed on the fundamental waveform, cause its distortion. Distortion creates inefficiencies in an electrical distribution system and also impacts the performance of consuming loads.
As a percentage of fundamental (60Hz) current, these small nonlinear loads produced much higher levels of positive- and negative-sequence harmonic currents than had ever been measured in industry. Unlike phase-to-phase connected industrial loads, these single-phase loads also produced extremely high levels of zero-sequence harmonic current. This family of harmonics produced neutral currents that often exceeded the circuit’s phase currents. Supplied by legacy systems with undersized shared neutrals, this problem produced serious fire and safety issues. The National Electrical Code has since resolved these issues for new construction, but its requirements have little impact on circuit losses or efficiency.
In addition to personal computers, modern offices now include devices such as: monitors, servers, scanners and printers. Also, most lighting devices are equipped with electronic power supplies. Many low and medium voltage motors are now supplied by various types of motor drives or cyclo-converters. These devices are inherently nonlinear, producing significant levels of harmonic current that further impact system performance, reliability and efficiency.
The FES International Solution
FES International has a long history of identifying and resolving performance, reliability, and efficiency issues in industry, while always ensuring customer goals are met. Our clients seek to reduce their energy usage and costs. Many have undiagnosed problems or are having equipment failures. We draw upon our unique experience and make it a matter of pride to ensure our solutions provide the required outcomes. Simply stated, “We do what we say we’re going to do and we guarantee the outcomes”.
To ensure success, FES focuses on a host of power quality and inefficiency challenges for its clients. In addition to mitigating harmonics, our years of commissioning, operational and maintenance experience allow us to recommend and implement improvements that affect system and load performance, reliability and efficiency. These opportunities include, but are not limited to, the ‘right sizing´ of system components and loads, optimizing voltage levels and reducing voltage distortion and imbalance. These design and operational corrections have had a significant impact on performance and reliability, reducing operating costs, and insuring system–load compatibility.
FES employs an agnostic approach when designing and delivering solutions for its clients. As a leader in power system optimization, FES has often had to design and specify hardware solutions to ensure a power quality state. As an example, to alleviate the zero-sequence problems found in low voltage systems in 1986, we developed the first electro-magnetic zero-sequence harmonic shunt filters. In 1990, this first invention was followed by the development of the first family of harmonic mitigating transformers that cancel positive- and negative-sequence harmonic currents while shunting zero-sequence currents. Through a transfer of technology agreement, these devices are now commercially available. Where solutions require new technologies and products, count on FES to produce solutions that are specifically tailored to the challenge.
FES has a long history of defining technical issues and providing solutions. Some of these achievements are detailed separately. The firm´s engineers have contributed to a number of professional periodicals including published IEEE papers. We´ve also made technical contributions to the U.S. Department of Energy and the Canadian Standards Association regarding electrical power system and load efficiencies. These submissions are available upon request.
At FES International, power system optimization is our passion.