Hybrid System Upgrade Improves Performance

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Project

Hybrid System Upgrade

Location

Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) United States Army Installation, Maryland

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Background

Our client, a company that leases and acquires Federal Government or Municipality utility infrastructures across the United States, requested assistance to upgrade their antiquated electric infrastructure to enhance system reliability and performance.

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Challenges

It was critical to keep Army mission-essential facilities in service, so the team had to reduce outage time. In addition, they had to develop a system for generating Material Take Offs (MTO) and Bill of Materials (BOM). Finally, the work was challenging because the team was working with incomplete electric asset records.

Solutions

The EN Engineering team converted the existing 4.16 kV distribution system to 13.8 kV, increasing capacity on the existing 34.5 kV and 13.8 kV systems, increasing reactive power to improve voltage profile, and implementing automated devices for fault isolation. The complex project included:

  • Upgrade of 49 linear miles of 34.5 kV, 13.8 kV, and 4.16 kV overhead electric infrastructure, including approximately 3,500 utility poles and 295,500 linear feet (LF) of fiber optic cable for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) applications
  • Upgrade of 31 linear miles of 34.5 kV, 13.8 kV, and 4.16 kV underground electric infrastructure
  • Inventory of existing electric assets using Geospatial Information Systems (GIS)
  • Upgrade of approximately 400 electric services
  • Installation of 6 new substations, 2 new switching stations, 1 substation expansion, and the demolition of 25 existing substations
  • Development of 34.5 kV, 13.8 kV, secondary, and fiber optic overhead and underground construction standards, including environmental and civil site plan development

To meet the aggressive schedule, the EN Engineering project team served as the intermediary between the client, the U.S. Army, and the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) to coordinate and fast track MDE permit approval. The team developed detailed steps to mitigate disturbance to environmentally sensitive areas and prepared a construction sequence and switching operation plan to keep Army mission-essential facilities in service during construction.

EN Engineering conducted a comprehensive GIS inventory of existing electric assets, determining each transformer’s kVA value and secondary voltages so that the proposed transformers were accurately designed. This task involved coordination with the clients’ linemen to verify the values from a bucket truck and underground construction crews to open pad-mount transformers.

Finally, because the client did not own software to generate MTOs and BOMs, the team was faced with compiling material quantities via a time-consuming, manual process. The process of manually quantifying material across 750 design prints was inefficient and carried a high risk of error. As an alternative, the project team brilliantly used the Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) functions in Excel and MicroStation to automate the process.

While the client had not previously outsourced any design work, they called on EN Engineering to assist with this project due to the aggressive schedule parameters required to meet contract obligations with the federal government. The client continues to rely on the firm to keep the project on track and meet their contractual obligations.

“The project team brilliantly used the Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) functions in Excel and MicroStation to automate the process of compiling material quantities.”

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Power Conversion Improves Safety and Reliability

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Project

4kV Power Conversion Project

Location

Baltimore City, Maryland

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Background

The largest electric and natural gas utility in Central Maryland wanted to improve system safety and reliability by replacing outdated and unavailable 4kV equipment with 13kV equipment.

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Challenges

The project team faced several major challenges: to introduce non-standard equipment, establish a right-of-way to install it, and to minimize customer outage time.

Solutions

The EN Engineering team converted four 4kV circuits by reallocating them to local 13kV circuits. They worked on more than 200 existing and proposed utility poles, 22 proposed vaults—including submersible equipment, 4,000 linear feet (LF) of proposed concrete encased conduit construction, and 42,000 LF of underground cable installation.

To complete the project successfully, the project team coordinated with the Department of Recreation and Parks to establish a right-of-way to install non-standard equipment. Team members were instrumental in developing a solution to address the Department’s concerns with renewing their privately owned 4kV equipment. They identified all of the positive and negative risks involved with multiple design solutions and communicated their findings to the stakeholders. The Department of Recreation and Parks decided to install a step-down transformer that is not typical on the system, but provided the most cost-effective solution. Finally, the team developed construction sequences to minimize outage time for over 500 customers.

“The team developed construction sequences to minimize outage time for over 500 customers.”

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Advanced Metering Infrastructure Modernization

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Project

AMI Communication Network Design

Location

Southwest Indiana

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Background

Our client, a major provider of electrical and gas services in Indiana, was expanding their Data Transmission Network by adding connected grid routers (CGRs) to their poles and requested assistance designing the new pole locations.

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Challenges

One of the installation locations placed the pole in a customer’s front yard, and they called to complain and request relocation. In addition, the client’s project team changed mid-way through the project.

Solutions

EN Engineering provided design services to help a client expand their data transmission network. The project team surveyed and designed 41 connected grid routers (CGRs) on utility poles. Since the client was adding poles outside for their electric service territory, EN Engineering served as the interface between the client and three different electric utilities to secure permits and new power drops. After surveying the route to determine appropriate locations for the CGRs, the team used GPS technology to identify and map the installation locations. Designs for each CGR were created, and the team worked to obtain right of way, city/county permits, and identify the utility company that would supply service to each location.

The team worked with the unhappy residential customer to resolve the problematic pole installation location and ensured they were satisfied with the new location. In addition, the client’s team changed mid-way through the project, so the EN Engineering team met with the new staff and provided a detailed briefing to bring them up to speed and alleviate any potential delays.

“The EN Engineering team mitigated the potentially long lead time by making adjustments to the scope.”

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Smart Grid Reliability Enhancements

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Project

Electric Distribution Smart Grid Upgrades

Location

Maryland

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Background

Our client, the owner and operator of the gas and electric infrastructure in the Baltimore metropolitan area, called on EN Engineering to assist with a large electric distribution upgrade project and provide design services for storm hardening with the assistance of Smart Grid technology.

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Challenges

The proposed plan required overhead structures to be installed in a county park, which would have delayed the construction due to permit issues. In addition, a rare tree was rooted in the area, so a workaround had to be designed.

Solutions

EN Engineering provided design services for storm hardening to reduce supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) on outages, including the installation of Smart Grid technology to 40 poles of overhead electric cable and 5,090 linear feet of underground electric cable. This included an overhead recloser, fuse coordination, re-conductoring to Hendrix spacer cable, and pad-mounted equipment. The EN Engineering team prepared construction prints, communicated with the client’s project manager and engineer, conducted quality assurance/quality control reviews, and submitted all required permit application documents.

To resolve the issue of overhead structures in a county park, the team mitigated the potentially long lead time by making adjustments to the scope. The revised plan met the requirements of the client’s engineer and reused existing overhead structures to avoid work within the county park property. In addition, they avoided negative impact to a rare tree by using poles owned by a communication company.

The EN Engineering team provided technical support throughout the construction procurement process and communicated with the client’s customers and local government departments to keep all stakeholders apprised of the project’s progress. The project was completed in 2017 without any issues, on time, and on budget. Since then, seven additional projects of similar scope have been completed successfully. The client has demonstrated their confidence in the team’s communication, quality, timeliness, and ability to mitigate design and construction issues by rewarding EN Engineering with additional design projects.

“The EN Engineering team mitigated the potentially long lead time by making adjustments to the scope.”

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Self-Optimized Grid Improvement

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Project

Recloser Design for Self-Healing Networks

Location

Cincinnati, Ohio

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Background

One of the largest electric power holding companies in the U.S. is undertaking an initiative to upgrade systems across their service area to implement Smart Grid technology. They are building self-healing networks to help isolate outages and reinstate power more quickly for customers who are outside of the problem area. They enlisted EN Engineering to design reclosers to replace manual switches on the networks.

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Challenges

Once in the field, the team encountered constructability issues between the master plan and a few of the construction locations.

Solutions

After the client identified locations on their network for recloser placements, the EN Engineering team inspected the pole locations to determine their accessibility, condition, and clearance. They worked with the client to resolve location issues for several poles and recommended alternative locations. To resolve constructability issues, the team identified problematic poles, provided the client with options for more optimal locations, and successfully relocated the poles. Finally, the team developed construction drawings and estimates for labor and materials for each recloser.

Over the next two years, EN Engineering will design more than 200 reclosers in the Cincinnati region. The team effectively manages the demanding workflow and communication with the client by maintaining a detailed spreadsheet and sharing it with the client weekly. The EN Engineering team’s knowledge and experience with Smart Grid technology contributed to the success of the project and has led to expansion in other regions of the country. EN Engineering is now providing recloser design services for the client’s North Carolina service areas.

“The EN Engineering team’s knowledge and experience with Smart Grid technology contributed to the success of the project.”

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Substation Replacement Completed with Minimal Service Disruption

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Project

Electrical Substation Replacement

Location

Ohio

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Background

EN Engineering was contracted to prepare a detailed engineering design package for the installation of a replacement 4160V/480V electrical substation within a petroleum refinery. The customer required more feeder breakers at their main substation for new feeds. The existing 4160V/480V substation was aging and had reliability issues.

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Challenges

To alleviate service disruption, construction of the new substation was to be completed without interruption to the existing plant operations. In addition, final electrical tie-ins and commissioning activities had to be completed during a previously planned unit outage.

Solutions

EN Engineering evaluated options for a new substation that would provide increased capacity, safer operation and increased reliability. The team designed metal-clad arc-resistant 5kV switchgear, relaying, transformers, and motor control centers to meet the customer’s needs. In addition, EN Engineering performed preliminary design and feasibility analysis for front-end management reviews and prepared detailed design packages for the substation equipment including Requests for Quotations to purchase the substation equipment, bid evaluation, bills of material, construction schedules, scopes of work, and cost estimates.

To alleviate service disruption, construction of the new substation was to be completed without interruption to the existing plant operations.

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Submersible Transformer Replacements Provide Improved Access and Reliability

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Project

Submersible Transformer Replacement Program

Location

Ohio/Kentucky

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Background

The client wanted to eliminate all submersible transformers on their distribution system to allow improved access to equipment and replace aged equipment. A total of 500 underground facilities were to be converted to above ground pad-mounts. EN Engineering replaced all primary and secondary cables, along with the terminal poles associated with these locations.

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Challenges

This program took place in upscale, older neighborhoods that were unaccustomed to seeing traditional pad-mount transformers. It was critical to educate customers on the improvement in reliability associated with the new transformers and to work closely with the customer and county to select transformer locations that would minimize visual intrusion while maintaining the electrical improvements desired. In addition, the project provided the opportunity to evaluate and identify looping and reliability opportunities for these neighborhoods.

Solutions

EN Engineering independently ran this new program and provided critical client communication. The team was responsible for planning, detailed design, cost estimating, permit package preparation, easement research, acquisition identification and construction support. More than 250 transformers and 25 miles worth of cabling were targeted for replacement over the course of a three-year construction cycle. The primary, secondary and associated service cabling was also replaced and additional looping was targeted. Our designers were responsible for doing the scoping, detailed design and construction support for all sites associated with these replacements.

It was critical to educate customers on the improvement in reliability and safety associated with the new transformers.

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TDSIC Electrical Distribution Filing Helps Client Secure Funding

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Project

TDSIC Filing Design and Cost Estimate Support

Location

Evansville, Indiana

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Background

The client required assistance with design work related to their TDSIC grid modernization rate case filing. The project included scoping/planning, field survey, detailed design, cost estimating, permitting, and construction support for multiple types of overhead and underground projects.

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Challenges

EN Engineering had to quickly assemble a team of 40 professionals to execute a high-volume project within an aggressive schedule of a five-month period that required more than 200 detailed designs and over 600 cost estimates.

Solutions

EN Engineering completed detailed designs and cost estimates associated with the client’s Energy Grid Modernization Filing with the IURC. The team completed preliminary engineering, field data collection, detailed design, project management, and complete project controls for all distribution jobs associated with the filing. The detailed design included drawings, permit packages, cost estimates, pole loading analyses, work order creation, and ESRI GIS updating. Over five months, 200 detailed design projects and 600 cost estimates were completed. The filing helped the client secure $500,000,000 in funding for grid modernization projects over the next five years. This success was due to EN Engineering’s critical focus on training and understanding of the client’s internal systems and standards.

Over five months, 200 detailed design projects and 600 cost estimates were completed.

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Meter and Regulator Station Upgrades

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Project

Meter and Regulator Station Upgrades

Location

New York

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Background

The client, a large pipeline company, requested the help of EN Engineering to expand the capacity and system flexibility of their existing meter and regulating (M&R) station to approximately 1,200 MMSCFD. This was accomplished by installing two additional 16-inch ultrasonic meter runs, two full capacity filter separators, a water bath heater, two sets of dual flow and pressure control valve runs, along with the associated valves and liquid storage tank.

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Challenges

The challenging design involved adding a third M&R substation to the already space-constrained station footprint while providing maximum system flexibility for both measurement and flow control between the three substations.

Solutions

EN Engineering engineered, designed, drafted, procured and created the necessary documents to help our client increase the overall station capacity to approximately 1,200 MMSCFD thru a series of station upgrades, including the installation of new meter and regulating equipment. The new facilities were designed to have a stand-alone capacity of 900 MMSCFD. The new design consisted of two, 16-inch ultrasonic meter runs; two filter separators; an indirect fired water bath heater; flow and pressure control valves; and all associated EFM and system safety equipment. This new M&R station was designed to operate independently or in tandem with the existing two substations to provide increased system flexibility and reliability. The facility upgrades included replacing three existing turbine meter runs with new AGA-compliant ultrasonic measurement equipment, additional overpressure protection devices, and modifications to the existing RTU building to accommodate the new equipment. A station cross-tie with over pressure protection was also included to allow for an alternate feed of filtered gas to the existing measurement equipment.

The EN Engineering team worked closely with the client to develop the necessary drawings and supporting documents to meet FERC, federal, state, and local requirements. The team developed and maintained a detailed project plan to ensure everyone was working towards the same project milestones, including the FERC submittal, permit requirements, and design installation. Complete bills of material and purchasing requisitions were prepared for both long- and short-term material. EN Engineering assisted the client with the associated procurement activities by preparing Request for Quotations (RFQ), segregated by category, to allow the client to submit requests for quotation in an orderly format.

EN Engineering engineered, designed, drafted, procured and created the necessary documents to help our client increase the overall station capacity.

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Detailed Design for Replacement Electrical Substation

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Project

Detailed Design for Replacement Electrical Substation

 

Location

St. Paul, Minnesota

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Background

EN Engineering was contracted to prepare a detailed engineering design package for the installation of a replacement 480V electrical substation within a petroleum refinery.

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Challenges

To alleviate service disruption, construction of the new substation was to be completed without interruption to the existing plant operations. In addition, final electrical tie-ins and commissioning activities had to be completed during a previously planned unit outage.

Solutions

EN Engineering developed a detailed installation plan to allow for budgeting and construction over a two-year period. Design elements included the design of the foundation and structural steel to support the new substation, cable tray layout and design, cable sizing, coordination study, and protection device. The project also included preparation of Requests for Quotations to purchase the substation equipment, bid evaluation, bills of material, construction schedules, scopes of work, and cost estimates. The project was completed on time and on budget, providing the client increased electrical capacity, safer operations, and increased reliability.

The project was completed on time and on budget, providing the client increased electrical capacity, safer operations, and increased reliability.

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