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Problem

A decades-old generator that provides backup power to water plant failed during high-risk hurricane season

Objective

Quickly install new generator with completely hands-off participation by client

Solution

300kW generator set paired with Eaton S611 soft starter and plumbed-in custom valve system to backup fuel tank

Result

More efficient, cost-effective backup power system in place in less than half the typical time

Project Details

Industry
Utilities

Installed power
300kW

Fuel type
Diesel

Generator model
IGSA

Location
Spring, TX

Background

200HP Water Pump at Harris County MUD 43 Water Plant. WPP can analyze your load profile and help you select the most efficient genset.

Harris County MUD (Municipal Utility District) 43 is one of more than 1,200 special districts in Texas created to provide utility services to nearby residents. MUD 43’s activities include water, sewer, garbage, and recycling services for the neighborhoods of Birnam Wood III, IV, and V and Villages of Spring Oaks.

The MUD obtains drinking water from groundwater sources, then treats it in its treatment plant and pumps it to each home. This is a very energy-intensive operation that may be exacerbated by summer storms bringing high levels of water and/or knocking out grid power, making a backup power system incredibly important.

With Hurricane Laura bearing down on the Gulf Coast, the MUD’s dilapidated backup power unit failed during a test and needed to be replaced quickly.

WPP's Response

Our first step was to assure the client that we could have a rental generator to the site on short notice if the storm threatened to knock out power to the water treatment plant. Next, our team visited the site and removed the old generator, poured a new concrete pad, and sized a new generator.

Instead of installing another large, 500kW generator, we advised the client to incorporate a soft starter into the system. These devices use transformers to adjust voltage and slowly ramp up the motor to match the load. Because it also connects to the utility, not just the backup power, the soft starter will have a direct impact on improving the longevity of the plant equipment, in addition to being more efficient overall. It also reduces the size requirement of the generator, allowing us to select a 300kW model instead of a 500kW model, at a savings of over $20,000.

The previous setup also consisted of a 500-gallon diesel fuel tank on site, which the client supplemented each hurricane season with an additional 1,000-gallon tank it rented at significant expense. In the design of the new setup, we placed a 24-hour fuel tank on the generator and plumbed in the existing 500-gallon tank via a valve system as a backup that can be switched to if needed.

Within five weeks--compared with a typical time of 12 weeks to complete a project like this one--WPP had handled permits, setting in the new unit, wiring it, and decommissioning the old unit.

WPP will set up freight, trucks, and cranes on any project to make it as easy as possible on the customer.

Watch the New Generator Installtion

"WPP's service and technical power solutions expertise was fantastic during this process. We couldn't believe that they could do this turnkey as quickly as they did -- but they delivered!"

stakeholder,
Harris County MUD 43

Superior Performance for Years to Come

The MUD wanted a generator company that could handle the entire project from start to finish, turnkey, but also handle the upkeep on the system over its lifetime. By choosing WPP, the client ended up with:

  • An upgraded, more efficient system that saved thousands of dollars upfront.
  • Smaller utility and fuel storage bills over the lifetime of the system.
  • An estimated doubling of the motor’s lifetime thanks to the addition of a soft starter.
  • Dedicated maintenance by our skilled techs, including 90 days of free remote monitoring.

WPP will be on the project every step of the way, from engineering to sizing, ordering, project management, installation, commissioning, and support of the equipment through its life.

More Project Images

Project Snapshot

$20,000+
saved through expert system design

2X
motor lifetime extension

5
weeks delivery time (12 typical)

 

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