Case Study 6

A National Clinical Research Organization.

This national clinical research organization depends upon continuous power to refrigerate highly sensitive biological samples. Any interruption of power could cause the refrigerating equipment to malfunction leading to the loss of critical information that doctors, researchers, and patients rely on for healthcare services. In order to prevent such a catastrophe, the facility housing the refrigerated samples maintains a sophisticated emergency power system comprised of two 1500 KW Caterpillar 3516 diesel generators with Russelectric paralleling switchgear.

Since its installation in 1995, the system operated smoothly. But after a piece of disintegrated exhaust valve fell into a cylinder, one of the engines was severely damaged during operation. The engine suffered a detachment of the piston – connecting rod assembly which then caused a penetration of the engine block resulting in irreparable damage. Prime Power Project Team engineers offered the company two options: (1) replace the damaged engine with a refurbished one, or (2) replace the entire generator set. If the company chose the second option, deciding to replace the entire generator set, they could end up with incompatible gensets attempting to run in parallel operation – an expensive and time consuming predicament.

After considering all available options, the company chose to go with option (1): replace the damaged engine with a rebuilt one. After an intensive nationwide search for a refurbished engine exactly matching the other engine in the system, Prime Power was able to find, source, and ship the required engine. The zero-hour-rebuilt engine was shipped and installed on time in strict accordance with the project schedule. Due to the access distance and equipment weight, a 500 ton crane was required to install the new engine. The Prime Power Project Team successfully installed the replacement engine in compliance with the manufacturer’s established procedures and best industry practices. After installation, the engineers successfully tested the generator and put the system back into service.