22 Diesel Generators at TV Transmitter Stations

Standby power specialist, Dieselec Thistle, has completed the installation of 22 diesel generators at TV transmitter stations for Arqiva, the company responsible for delivering the communications infrastructure for the digital switchover (DSO).

Working in partnership with generator manufacturer, FG Wilson,  Dieselec Thistle carried out a logistically challenging rolling programme of generator delivery, installation and commissioning to provide standby power for TV transmitter sites throughout the country  The programme involved some of the remotest locations in Britain and all the generators were built to withstand the most severe weather conditions and extremely low temperatures.

Explains managing director of Dieselec Thistle, Paul Moore: “Because there needs to be a clear line of radio transmission between each transmitter, they are all located in elevated and unpopulated positions and many of them are very remote. This meant that the specification and build had to be very robust and that the logistics of delivering, installing and commissioning them need to be planned meticulously, often involving taking the gensets to the location in several consignments and re-building them on-site to overcome access restrictions.”

The 22 generators were delivered, installed and commissioned over a two-year period and varied in size from 150Kva to 1250Kva depending on the size of each individual transmitter.  All the generators were housed in bespoke enclosures with low volume noise attenuation and were delivered to site with custom-built bulk fuel storage tanks, which were specified by Arqiva to protect the fuel from the risk of emulsifying at low temperatures.

The generators will protect the transmitters from the risk of interruptions in transmission due to localised mains failure.  The control systems for each generator have been designed to provide a ‘no break’ switchover, running in parallel with the mains when mains power is returned to ensure there is no break in transmission.

Arqiva continues: “Although a localised power failure could affect power supply to the people living closest to the transmitter, many of the transmitters serve a very wide area and without this protection many homes would still have power but would have no signal in the event of an outage. This has been a very challenging programme involving the use of all terrain vehicles, specialist cranes and a good deal of lateral thinking from Dieselec Thistle but the end result is guaranteed non-stop transmission for the digital era.”