Johns Hopkins University | Applied Physics Laboratory Generator Repurpose

This project involved the improvement of a building’s generator infrastructure through the simplification and de-tangling of the existing buildings’ generator connections on the APL campus. The Lewis team worked to reduce the number of buildings per generator, generators per building, and locate and correct potential single points of failure. The work included balancing building loads and generator capacity, addressing life safety issues, and fully separating life safety and standby loads as required per the current National Electrical Code. The generator repurpose project was particularly complex due to the complicated existing electrical infrastructure. The existing feeds took various routes passing through, under, over and between numerous structures on campus. Prior to demolition of the existing electrical feeds, installation of temporary circuitry was required to maintain the continuity of ongoing campus operations. The planning of utility outages was of particular importance as Building 4 and the surrounding buildings would be fully occupied and operational during the course of construction. The installation of the new electrical infrastructure also necessitated that the electrical feeds take a variety of elaborate routes. One of the routes of particular complexity involved the installation of a new concrete encased duct bank between a generator and main electrical room that involved cut and cover trenching through grass and landscaped areas, roadways, and retaining walls. The project also included the installation of in-ground junction boxes, convenience receptacles, and owner furnished Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) markers—a geo-locating feature to locate and map infrastructure assets. To provide a completely operational and upgraded electrical system, a variety of new indoor and outdoor equipment was installed including new panel boards, switchboards, automatic transfer switches, transformers, disconnect switches, self-enclosed circuit breakers, feeders, branch circuits, etc. To improve the campus’ generator performance overall, both a high-functioning portable docking station and a remote generator docking station were installed. To further advance the electrical systems for APL, the Lewis team laid the groundwork for the installation of a future proprietary generator monitoring system that will be used to gather detailed electrical data. Outages were carefully coordinated and significant temporary measures were employed with close coordination with the Owner’s team in order to allow tie-ins with minimal downtime to mission critical systems.

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