The first phase installation of one of the UK’s largest ever standby power facilities is now nearing completion, with delivery of the switchboard scheduled for August and final commissioning planned for October. Comprising five 2.5Kva generators – half of the specified standby power capacity – the phase 1 installation has not been without its challenges and, while the hospital will not be operational until 2015, the business critical need to have the first five generators operational to serve the labs and mortuary has increased the pressure still further.
The five generators with associated oil tanks, control systems and electrical accoutrements have been supplied by Glasgow-based standby power specialist, Dieselec Thistle and installed by M&E contractor, Mercury. Installation began in May 2012 at the Energy Centre, which will eventually serve both the labs and mortuary and the 12 storey hospital itself.
Explains Kenny Berrie from Dieselec Thistle: “The three storey energy centre will have the fuel storage tanks on level 0, the generators on level 1 and the boilers on level 2. Level one is divided into two plant rooms, A and B and the work so far has focused on installing the standby power in plant room A to serve the labs and mortuary. When plant room B is eventually completed the two phases will be synchronised together to provide power back up for the entire site.”
The level 0 area of plant room A now houses fuel tanks with a 1.4 million litre capacity: enough to serve all ten generators and the hospital’s boilers. Putting these tanks in place has proved one of the most logistically challenging aspects of the installation.
Brendan Coffey from Mercury comments: “Some of the tanks measure 10m by 4.5m and simply transporting them to site proved difficult. In order to fit them into the building we had to split them in half and then bolt them back into position once they were in place in the Energy Centre. Space is very tight inside so everything has had to be planned in meticulous detail, there is simply no room for error on the position of any element of the installation.”
Each generator has its own fuel tank and an individual pump skid to pump the fuel up from level 0 to the day tanks beside the generators themselves on level 1. Each day tank has capacity for ten hours of generator operation and, while these tanks are smaller, their installation still necessitated careful planning. The attenuators were delivered to site first, followed by the silencers and then the day tanks, and these were all installed in plant room A prior to delivery of the generators. The generators then had to be installed in the correct sequence in order to ensure that the kit could be manoeuvered into place without obstructions and, once each had been put into position, it was bolted to the concrete floor.
Kenny Berrie continues: Each generator requires two silencers which weigh around 2.5 tonnes each and the generators themselves weigh up to 20 tonnes each. Putting equipment on that scale into the confines of a first floor plant room is no simple task but it all had to be done against a strict timeline as the first phase standby power installation is business critical for the labs and the mortuary.”
Countdown to Commissioning
Mechanical installation of all five phase 1 gen sets has now been completed with connection to the pipework network. The next stage is electrical installation and the delicate process of wiring each of the generators up to the complex control system. Each generator will have its own control system which will then be programmed to communicate with each other and with the central ENMS. The system will also be integrated with the hospital’s BMS which will alert the Engineering staff when the mains power fails and monitor the standby power installation for faults both during standby and activation.
Kenny Berrie adds: “Dieselec Thistle will commission the generators in October prior to handover of the phase 1 project and as the systems have all been factory witness tested we anticipate a straightforward commissioning process. The gen sets and their control systems will be tested individually and as a synchronised unit….and then work will begin afresh on installing phase 2!”