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Over the last 15 years, Variable Frequency Drives (VFD) have helped operators optimize power distribution for drilling and production equipment. The majority of offshore newbuilds are being constructed using the efficient AC VFDs because they have been proven to increase drilling effectiveness and rig safety, while reducing maintenance and expenditures. One global supplier of custom-engineered power delivery solutions to the traditional and alternative energy industries, American Electric Technologies, Inc. (AETI), is helping operators upgrade mature or traditional offshore rig systems with AC VFD power systems. For the past three decades, drilling equipment has been DC driven by Silicone Controlled Rectifier (SCR) systems, which converts AC to DC and enables motors to run at variable speeds. However, SCR voltage from DC systems has limited output. DC systems do not allow operators to optimize the equipment’s motor speed, which is directly proportional to SCR voltage output.
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