Hybrid System Upgrade Improves Performance


Hybrid System Upgrade


Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) United States Army Installation, Maryland


Our client, a company that leases and acquires federal government or municipality utility infrastructures across the United States, requested assistance to upgrade their antiquated electric infrastructure to enhance system reliability and performance.


It was critical to keep Army mission-essential facilities in service, so the team had to reduce outage time. In addition, they had to develop a system for generating Material Take Offs (MTO) and Bill of Materials (BOM). Finally, the work was challenging because the team was working with incomplete electric asset records.


The ENTRUST Solutions Group team converted the existing 4.16 kV distribution system to 13.8 kV, increasing capacity on the existing 34.5 kV and 13.8 kV systems, increasing reactive power to improve voltage profile, and implementing automated devices for fault isolation. The complex project included:

  • Upgrade of 49 linear miles of 34.5 kV, 13.8 kV, and 4.16 kV overhead electric infrastructure, including approximately 3,500 utility poles and 295,500 linear feet (LF) of fiber optic cable for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) applications
  • Upgrade of 31 linear miles of 34.5 kV, 13.8 kV, and 4.16 kV underground electric infrastructure
  • Inventory of existing electric assets using Geospatial Information Systems (GIS)
  • Upgrade of approximately 400 electric services
  • Installation of 6 new substations, 2 new switching stations, 1 substation expansion, and the demolition of 25 existing substations
  • Development of 34.5 kV, 13.8 kV, secondary, and fiber optic overhead and underground construction standards, including environmental and civil site plan development

To meet the aggressive schedule, the ENTRUST Solutions Group project team served as the intermediary between the client, the U.S. Army, and the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) to coordinate and fast track MDE permit approval. The team developed detailed steps to mitigate disturbance to environmentally sensitive areas and prepared a construction sequence and switching operation plan to keep Army mission-essential facilities in service during construction.

ENTRUST conducted a comprehensive GIS inventory of existing electric assets, determining each transformer’s kVA value and secondary voltages so that the proposed transformers were accurately designed. This task involved coordination with the clients’ linemen to verify the values from a bucket truck and underground construction crews to open pad-mount transformers.

Finally, because the client did not own software to generate MTOs and BOMs, the team was faced with compiling material quantities via a time-consuming, manual process. The process of manually quantifying material across 750 design prints was inefficient and carried a high risk of error. As an alternative, the project team brilliantly used the Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) functions in Excel and MicroStation to automate the process.

While the client had not previously outsourced any design work, they called on ENTRUST to assist with this project due to the aggressive schedule parameters required to meet contract obligations with the federal government. The client continues to rely on the firm to keep the project on track and meet their contractual obligations.

The project team brilliantly used the Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) functions in Excel and MicroStation to automate the process of compiling material quantities.

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