Panel Builder System Integrator

January 6, 2020

Littelfuse, Inc., a global manufacturer of technologies in circuit protection, power control and sensing, recently issued a case study discussing how its Ground-Fault Ground-Check Monitor increases safety and prevents hazards in the hydraulic fracturing market. Traditionally, fracturing relied on fleets that used diesel-powered engines that emitted carbon, noise and silica dust. To create a more environmentally-friendly way of extracting natural gas or petroleum from the Earth, companies have been moving toward electrically powered hydraulic fracturing equipment.

The electric hydraulic fracturing process removes diesel engines and replaces them with electric motors that are powered by turbine generators. This allows the fleet, connected by long trailing cables, to run on electrical power. However, the cables, if worn or damaged, can create a ground fault or shock hazard. To increase electrical safety, U.S. Wells Services, Inc. incorporates Littelfuse Ground-Fault Ground-Check Monitors into their fleet.

"By utilizing our electric hydraulic fracturing process, we can reduce emissions by up to 99 percent and reduce low-frequency noise by 95 percent at our job sites", stated Josh Shapiro, vice-president, finance and investor relations at U.S. Wells Services, Inc. "Safety is of the utmost importance, so it’s imperative that we eliminate potential electrical hazards from this process by including the Littelfuse Ground-Fault Ground-Check Monitors in the fleet design to prevent ground faults and protect our employees and equipment from harm."

The Littelfuse SE-134C Ground-Fault Ground-Check Monitor was chosen because it eliminates potential hazards by continuously monitoring a ground check wire in the power cable, and shutting off power if that ground check wire loses continuity. It protects cables up to 25 kV and up to 10 km or 6 miles to ensure portable equipment is grounded. Each truck in the fleet uses 30 SE-134C monitors.

"The NEC Article 590 protects against ground fault hazards by offering two options to monitor the cables used in the electric hydraulic fracturing process," said Mark Pollock, global product manager at Littelfuse. "The first involves an administrative control that requires daily inspections, electrical tests, and written descriptions which are time-consuming and manually intensive. The second, safer option is to incorporate an engineering control such as the Littelfuse Ground-Fault Ground-Check Monitor protection relay which not only reduces human error, but it is much more cost- and time-efficient."


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