Recently, DVM received a call to service a generator “1” control system that had shut down at Green Gas Worldwide in Central Pennsylvania. When our field engineers arrived, we found that the switchgear and controls had been damaged by a flashover.
Furthermore, during three-hours that our engineers were driving to the site, the backup generator “2” breaker flashed over, shutting the site down into black mode. This was a worst-case scenerio for both customer agreements and power agreements.
Our first priority was to “stop the bleeding” in triage mode and to address getting our customer up and running again. Since the ABB breakers were not available, DVM designed and tested a Square D NW retrofit to slide into the existing switchgear cubicle. This was accomplished within just a few days.
In a parallel path, DVM released a new line of switchgear to replace the fully damaged section and replace the controller (Woodward) and relay (SEL) in the partially damaged line up.
After just one week, DVM had generator “1” running again, and by the following week, we had generator “2” running with a new line up of switchgear (replacing the full section).
Route cause analysis showed that the generator breaker and control systems were taking in fumes from the generators, causing carbon build up on the switchgear. This resulted in flashover failures. The exhaust was re-routed and the system has been operational ever since.