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Revving Up for Growth: New Substation Solution for Escalating Power Demands in Engine Manufacturing

Manufacturing Plant - Case Study




 Overview 


To accommodate the ongoing expansion and growing power demands at a reputable engine manufacturer, a new substation was needed to integrate with the existing HV network. East Solutions was commissioned to design a suitable substation that would supply dedicated power to the new facility. The design had to fit within a specific footprint to ensure minimal impact on the larger site.


During the design and build of the project, East Solutions faced a unique set of challenges due to the high-profile site’s strict security requirements. The project demanded extensive planning, coordination, and innovative design initiatives to successfully navigate these challenges and deliver a successful outcome.


 Project Facts    





 Solution 


Prior to starting work on-site, East Solutions in-house technical department underwent an extensive design process to assess feasibility on the existing manufacturing site. Early in the process, borehole ground investigations were carried out to evaluate soil and geotechnical conditions at the site. This information was fundamental in enabling the Projects team to lay a stable and appropriate foundation for the substation once mobilisation works began.


East Solutions designed a custom-built metal-clad substation that incorporated a full set of electrical CAD drawings, tailored to the customer’s unique requirements. The substation was designed with future expansion or capacity requirements in mind, providing ample space for additional equipment when needed. The building was intentionally fire-rated and included a fully enclosed, environment-controlled, internal section to house the LV switchboards. A bespoke canopy-type design was utilised to house the HV equipment, facilitating sufficient transformer airflow ventilation. Once the project was designed to the required specification and standards, our team of engineers and technicians were mobilised to site to begin installation works.


As part of the scope of work, East Solutions installed HV cables along a service bridge. The installation of HV cables posed significant challenges as it was carried out along a high-level route, navigating around existing services and infrastructure present in the area. The HV cables were ultimately terminated in Substation 4, extending all the way to the new substation. The termination point for the HV cables within the ERDC substation was a close-coupled RMU, allowing for transmission and distribution of high voltage electricity within the substation.


In addition to HV cable installation, East Solutions undertook the LV containment and installation of the LV transformer tails. This ensured proper routing and connection of cables from the new transformer to the new LV switchboard, facilitating the distribution of low voltage electricity. Before transferring the project to the client, our in-house SAP organised a team to commission and inspect the equipment to ensure adherence, followed by successful energisation. Inclusive in the handover package were equipment manuals and training for the client’s AP on the new equipment.


Throughout the project, a dedicated project manager and coordinator oversaw key milestones, timelines, and deliverables while maintaining regular communication and collaboration between the manufacturer and the client for a smooth and efficient process.


 Challenges 


The successful execution of a project for a high-profile client within a high-security site presented an exclusive array of challenges. Due to the location being a working manufacturing facility, a thorough planning and risk assessment process was conducted to ensure the safety of all personnel involved. It was critical to maintain an open communication channel while collaborating closely with the site’s security personnel. The high-security protocols dictated stringent adherence to security practices and protocols, with all team members receiving ongoing training and education to ensure compliance with site regulations.


To integrate the new substation with the existing HV network, the HV cables needed to be routed across a specifically designed services bridge. This bridge was engineered to safely support the weight of the cables while maintaining the necessary clearances from other structures and equipment. The design also had to take into account factors such as environmental conditions, maintenance requirements, and potential future upgrades.


Given the limited footprint, it was crucial to maximise the use of available space. This involved careful planning and designing of the substation layout to ensure that all necessary components could be accommodated without compromising safety, accessibility, or functionality. Innovative solutions, such as utilising compact switchgear and creating a bespoke canopy housing unit for the transformers were key to achieving this goal.



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