Emergency Power System for Petrochemical Refinery’s Critical Power Control Center

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Location: Western US

This client retained POWER Engineers to provide design engineering services associated with the installation of a new 1500 kW diesel generator and associated switchgear and breakers to provide back-up emergency electrical power to a critical power control center at their western US refinery.  POWER was tasked with a unique design requirement on this project: to utilize a PLC in lieu of a standard automatic transfer switch.  The PLC was utilized to determine loss of power, initiate generator startup, and open and close electrically operated power circuit breakers for the proper switching of the main and tie switchgear circuit breakers.  POWER provided the design to replace an aging 480 V switchgear lineup in the existing power control center to improve reliability and maintainability.  

POWER’s scope of services included multiple on-site meetings with the client; on-site data collection, preliminary design and the utilization of contractor labor estimates and vendor quotations to provide a project cost estimate (construction and engineering) of +/-10% accuracy.  The electrical system design consisted of the new 1500 kW diesel generator and enclosure, 480 V switchgear lineup, 480 V MCC, lighting and power panelboard, distribution transformer, lighting, grounding, receptacles, and cable tray, conduit and cable as well as design, specification, procurement support, and construction support. 

The design requirements included modeling the system in ETAP and performing load flow, short circuit, motor starting, and arc-flash calculations to verify equipment ratings and settings.