Emergency Power for a High Rise

A few years ago a customer approached us with a project that they were about to take on in Southern California. They were looking at building a 600 unit, residential high rise apartment complex complete with some major retail stores in the ground floor. They were required to provide an emergency power generation system for this building and this is where Collicutt got involved.

The Design Challenge

There are always challenges to sort through with any project and this one was no exception. Besides the usual design constraints associated with projects in California like strict emissions compliance and seismic ratings, this project had some unique aspects that had to be addressed.

  • First, the generator would have to be installed in the parking garage of the building prior to the construction of the upper floors of the building. This put us on the critical path for project construction. We had to deliver on time!
  • Second, because the overall building design was still in process, we needed to allow for late changes prior to placing the generator into production in the event that we would need to upsize or downsize the generator and its components
  • Third, because of the seismic requirements and the fact that the generator was to be installed inside the building, the fuel tank had to be equipped with ballistic rated retainer walls. Basically, this is a double walled fuel tank that is filled with cement between the inner and outer wall to provide a puncture proof solution for fire rated indoor applications
  • Fourth, because the unit was located indoors, it needed to be equipped with a special exhaust silencer to meet the city sound requirements for indoor applications.
  • Finally, the installation of the generator would need detailed planning, coordination, and safety oversight. Due to the construction site location, offloading and placing the generator would require local road closures with the added challenge of dealing with overhead power lines. This meant that we would have to coordinate a crane and the trucking company within a very tight timeline while ensuring we had the time for a safe lift!

The Solution

Our Collicutt team worked closely with our customer throughout the design phase of this project. As the design progressed the customer realized that their electrical load had increased. Because of this, we upsized the original 1000kW generator to a 1250kW unit designed to provide enough critical power to meet full load requirements with a reserve factor of 10%. The model we selected was a 16V2000 DS1250 with IBC rating, complete with a roof mounted DPF and a UL2085 rated fuel tank.

In addition to this, there were various automatic transfer switch changes and breaker adjustments that the customer requested and we were able to accommodate within the time constraints. We were also able to coordinate the appropriate air quality permit for the customer so that their generator has all the permits required for operation.

The end result was that our customer received the generator at site on schedule. Our trucking and crane contractors were able to safely unload the generator, lower it two stories into the parking garage, and remove their equipment within the allotted road closure permit constraints.

It was a great team effort and now the building program can go on!

 

For more information on this or any other power generation solution, contact us via email or at the number below:

1-888-682-6888 or info@collicutt.com

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What is a D-UPS and Why Should You Care?

D-UPS stands for Dynamic Uninterruptible Power Supply. It can also be referred to as a dynamic rotary uninterruptible power supply (DRUPS) or as a flywheel energy storage power system.

So what is it and what does it do?

Many data centers, hospitals, and other industries that depend on stable electric power have back up emergency generators for when the power grid fails as they simply cannot tolerate a power failure. To complicate things further, many of these industries cannot tolerate a power source that falls outside a narrow performance tolerance.

The default solution to this situation has been to power these critical applications through an Uninterruptible Power System or UPS that is battery based. Basically, utility power runs a battery charging system which charges a large battery bank. The battery bank then powers the critical loads by converting its DC power to highly stable AC power using a DC to AC inverter.

Although these systems have many advantages and have a proven track record in some industries, they do have many shortcomings, including the need for massive battery banks capable of storing enough power to last during an extended power grid failure.

The Solution

The D-UPS eliminates the need for costly and finicky battery banks while still providing a highly dependable and stable power supply for critical loads. Basically, a D-UPS is a combination of an electric motor (which also doubles as a generator), a flywheel, a diesel engine, and a reactor (or choke coil).

A D-UPS system depicted in the diagram below.

Essentially, utility power is fed into the D-UPS system. It powers an electric motor which spins a large electro-mechanical flywheel. This flywheel storesĀ  kinetic energy. The electric motor, in conjunction with a choke coil, works as an active filter and removes power quality problems from the utility power (e.g., harmonics, RFI, frequency variations, etc.).

When the utility power fails, the stored kinetic energy in the flywheel is released and powers the electric motor which now becomes a generator. This generator now provides uninterrupted power to the critical load. At the same time, the diesel engine fires up and, within 2 to 10 seconds, takes over from the flywheel to drive the generator providing sustained, uninterrupted, stable power for the critical systems downstream.

Take Action!

If you are involved in the construction of a new facility that requires high quality, uninterruptible power or if you looking at upgrading your existing back up power systems it is worth considering a D-UPS system.

Collicutt is able to work with you in doing the evaluation and we are able to provide the Kinolt D-UPS system through our association with MTU. If the evaluation determines that a static UPS is required, we can work with you to provide the backup generators for this system.

We currently maintain over 360MW of power generation equipment for data centers in California and many of these are D-UPS systems from various manufacturers.

If you have questions about your existing power generation system or would like to inquire about a new system, give us a call. We are always glad to help!

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