A recloser unit, a key component of the Energy Island, was successfully installed on campus recently.
Trustee Richard Storm 6W2 said, “This is a big step in the last 20 years of the Energy Island since the idea was first presented in the 1990s at one of our PAC meetings. This is good for the training of our students and good economically because from this point forward we will be able to have a real time indication of the electric consumption of the campus.”
A recloser is a circuit breaker equipped with a mechanism that detects faults and has the capability of automatically reclosing to clear a fault so power can be resumed.
John Beaudry, director of power plant technology, said “This key component is needed to run the Standby Emergency Generator (SEG) in parallel with PECO power coming into the campus. PECO would not allow us to parallel with them without it. If we believe we are going to have to use PECO power, we can power up the SEG and the campus will have no power interruption.”
Goldhorn Electrical Construction, of Aston, did the installation and PECO employees witnessed the installation.
Additionally, adjustments were made to the SEG and it is now performing flawlessly and its cooling fan has been commissioned, said Beaudry. The fan now automatically runs at the proper speed to provide the proper cooling of the SEG.
Beaudry added, “For the first time since 1982 we are able to parallel with the utility. This completion provides a very important component of our Power Plant Technology Program upgrade.”
While this key step has been successfully taken, other steps in the creation of Williamson’s Energy Island include adding a solar field and adding two natural gas engines which will be capable of producing 90 percent of Williamson’s energy 24/7.