To maintain a consistent healthy environment for the pigs, especially during the winter months were temperature regularly drop below zero degrees, it’s essential that power to the site is not lost for extended periods. Due to the rural location of the farm, supply network issues are commonplace.
The existing installation consisted of a generator which was sitting on a grass verge with cables ran across the floor and into the main switchboard, which was then connected to a manual transfer switch. The existing system was completely manual and in the event of a power outage, required someone to manually start the generator and manual switch over to the backup generator supply. When power was restored, someone would then again be required to switch the supply back to normal supply and shutdown the generator. If a power outage happened at night, the process was compounded by someone having to physically travel to farm to make the changeover as the farm is not attended at night. Never a great solution when located on a farm in the middle of the countryside.
To solve this problem, Micron developed a solution that included relocating the generator onto a dedicated slab, run underground conduit and cables to the main switchboard from the generator and replace the manual transfer switch with a fully automatic transfer solution, which would restore power to the piggery in under a minute in the event of a power outage. The ATS would automatically change back to the normal supply and shutdown the generator, once a consistent supply was detected. The scope would also include expanding the sub services backed up by the generator.
For these works to take place and the required modifications to the main switchboard to be carried out, the main supply would need to be isolated. So the piggery would not be without power while the works were taking place, Micron brought in a trailer mounted generator to sustain the heating and ventilation system during the work. This connected to the critical switchboard that kept the power on and pigs happy while we completed the work.
The generator was relocated and connected to the new underground cables in preparation for the installation of the ATS. When it came to install, the ATS required a custom mounting frame to be installed as it did not match the existing framework. This faced its own challenges as the exact dimensions could not be measured until the existing transfer switch was removed. This meant we had to make the final adjustments to the frame before we could install the ATS, adding precious time to the project.
After 7 hours of continuous work, the ATS was installed, all cables connected and ready for testing and commissioning. With testing of polarity, correct connections, phase voltages and phase rotation completed, power was restored to the main switchboard followed by a full function simulated power outage to ensure the new ATS operated as intended.
The project was hailed as an absolute success by university facilities management and the farm personnel alike. For more information on the UOS Camden farm precinct click the link below. Mayfarm scientific research University Of Sydney Mayfarm Camden Precinct