Retrofit: Petro-Canada avoids buying all new motor control centers


Petro-Canada, one of Canada's largest oil and gas companies, chose Eaton to retrofit a competitor's existing motor control centers (MCCs) with new "wrappers" for $150,000, a substantial dollar savings over replacing existing MCC's with new ones.

When Petro-Canada began transforming its Rebecca Street facility from a refinery into a distribution center, it asked Eaton and its current MCC supplier for a solution that would enable it to use its existing MCCs and replace FVNR NEMA starters with reduced voltage starters, which could communicate on Modbus TCP/IP to a PLC. The project, at Petro-Canada in Oakville, Ontario:

  • Had minimal available space to replace FVNR (full voltage non-reversing) NEMA starters with reduced voltage starters in the competitor's motor control centers (MCCs);

  • Retrofit existing MCC's (including FVNRs, "tri-paks," and limiters) with Eaton S811 Soft Starters and new wrappers manufactured by Eaton's Mississauga, Ontario, satellite plant; and

  • Saved time and money, avoided full replacement; gained Modbus TCP/IP communications.

The small size of Eaton's S811 device was said to be a key factor to the success of the retrofit. An integrated "run bypass" contactor also reduced space needed for the retrofit; the D77D-EMA enabled the customer to obtain critical motor data from the S811 (communication capability).

Noteworthy was the unusual challenge of trying to retrofit a competitor's MCC with a SSRV in a "wrapper" sized for a NEMA starter, according to those involved.

—Edited by Mark T. Hoske , editor in chief

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