Oldcastle Precast battery building, fire wall secure high-voltage substation

Applying its modular structure fabrication competencies plus branded refractory concrete fire wall system, Oldcastle Precast has completed a turnkey infrastructure project at the Boeing Co. Main High-Voltage Substation in West Jordan, Utah.

A new building accommodates battery power to a redundant 138-12.47 kV, 20MVA, 3-phase, three wire grounded 60-Hz substation for the company’s West Jordan manufacturing facility. Oldcastle Precast’s project scope included the design, construction, outfitting, and installation of the 350-sq.-ft. enclosure with redundant (A&B) 125VDC battery, plus TruFire Walls for fire and explosion protection of the redundant 12.47kV Plant utility power source. Work included fabricating a high-seismic and ballistic proof, drop-in battery building that has fire rated walls; capacity to regulate and monitor inside environment up to 77°; capabilities to contain acid spills; resistance to high salt “air” spray; and, ability to withstand hurricane force winds.

The fully outfitted building has a raised floor, defined conduit and water pop-up location, plus a 125VDC uninterruptable station service power supply and Dual 125VDC, 400Amp-Hour DC Battery in 2-Step Seismic Rack. Experienced Oldcastle Precast teams installed and tested the components prior to dispatch. Outfitting the structure off-site kept the complex engineering work out of the critical path and away from Boeing operations.

“The best and least expensive option for Boeing’s LIVE substation was to drop-in a fully assembled concrete enclosure,” says engineer Ray Glenn of Kirkland, Wash.-based substation design specialist Casne Engineering Inc. “The safety procedures for getting nonelectrical [crews] working around high voltage are daunting. The Oldcastle Precast battery building was not only a high quality built, walk-in, enclosure, but it also reduced the construction schedule and improved safety by not having non-qualified personnel inside a ‘LIVE’ substation environment.”

“Working in a ‘LIVE’ substation is always interesting, and presents unique logistical and safety challenges, but Oldcastle Precast installed the drop-in, 125VDC Dual Battery Building and DC Power was transferred—without affecting customer service,” observes Tyson DeVere of SMC-LLC, Salt Lake City-based manufacturers’ representative for Oldcastle Enclosure Solutions.

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New substation building (below) and TruFire Wall system (left) demonstrate Oldcastle Precast’s capacity for delivering finished modular structures to highly restricted access sites; and, developing refractory-grade concrete equal to high temperature, explosion-prone conditions. PHOTOS: Oldcastle Precast



In addition to the battery building, Oldcastle Enclosure Solutions was contracted by Wasatch Electric to deliver a TruFire Wall system. Refractory firewalls are built for large hydrocarbon pool fires (ASTM E1529) that can occur when transformer cooling oil ignites and burns at 2,150°F (1,180°C) with a heat flux of 50,000 Btu/ft.2h. “Fire walls” that comply with the International Building Code are not designed for the temperatures encountered during an actual transformer fire. TruFire Wall has been tested to these standards by an independent laboratory.

The 24-ft. tall, 20-ft. wide TruFire system consists of refractory concrete fire wall columns, panels, hot-dip galvanized column base plates, base plate thermal covers, and dry mix refractory grout for base connections. The slide-in panels are relatively lightweight and grooved columns minimize fabrication and installation costs without compromising thermal or mechanical performance.

Wasatch Electric crews expedited a project whose successes were dual path construction, improved quality, no contractor change orders, defined points of interface, on-time delivery, scheduled outages, and seamless cutover transition due to dual battery system and TruFire Walls.