Situation: The West Valley Detention Center (WVDC) opened in 1991 and is one of the largest county jails in the State of California. More than 600 civilians work at the facility. In addition, the facility provides medical, dental and mental health services to inmates, as well as a full range of instruction programs in culinary arts, laundry services and landscape maintenance.
Originally, 4 x 750kW Caterpillar generators were installed inside a detached building near the facility. Third-party paralleling equipment was added in an attempt to provide redundancy, but there were issues with the switchgear installation. In addition, WVDC wanted to upgrade the system as it required more power to meet the growing needs of the center.
Challenge: The existing paralleled generator system was not able to meet National Electrical Code (NEC) 700 requirements for emergency loads. Emergency systems must respond within 10 seconds of a utility failure. Any new solution had to meet these requirements, as well as provide enhanced dependability and durability.
Solution: In evaluating the situation, a member of the Generac Industrial Power Distributor/Dealer network, Yale/Chase Power Systems determined that moving up to a medium voltage system would better serve the needs of WVDC.
The system comprises 3 x 1MW diesel Modular Power System (MPS) generators for reliability and redundancy. Generac’s innovative MPS features on-generator integration of the paralleling switching, so there is no need for expensive and complicated third-party paralleling switchgear. In addition, each generator features a fuel efficient, emissions compliant industrial diesel engine and a brushless alternator with permanent magnet generator excitation system.
The generators feed into a single 3.6MVA 480:12470V transformer. Since motors draw a high inrush current during starting, adjusting the generator setpoints to ensure the proper magnitude of inrush current was key to the project’s success.
Another benefit for WVDC is that the new generators have been relocated to an outdoor pad, allowing the facility to use the old generator building for a much-needed maintenance shop.
For more information about Generac’s medium voltage solutions, please contact your local Generac Industrial Power Network distributor/dealer, call 1-844-ASK-GNRC or email ASKGNRC@generac.com.