“This is the equivalent of a Navy shakedown cruise,” said Gary Price, electrical engineer, BGCAPP. “We are testing the generators to ensure they can carry the design load in the event of loss of power to the site and familiarizing our personnel with their operation. If something happens, we have to be able to provide power for essential plant systems to continue as normal and be able to shut down properly and safely.”
This verification process is known as site acceptance testing. During the systemization, or testing, phase at BGCAPP, the generators are one of many systems that must be thoroughly tested before operations can commence.
To perform the testing without disrupting the actual power feed the plant is using for systemization efforts, the team is using a load bank. This system replicates the electrical load the plant would draw from the generators in the event of an outage. The system was initially started June 8.
“After all the work put into planning, the installation and the systemization efforts, starting the generators for the first time was somewhat anticlimactic,” said Royce Brown, start-up supervisor, Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass. “We basically pushed the start button and they came right on line.”
After the site acceptance testing is complete, the generators will be tested on a routine basis to ensure their readiness.