Off the Grid: Physical Plant Tests the University’s In-House Power Generation

On Dec. 28, 2012 Wesleyan’s Physical Plant-Facilities staff scheduled a power-generation test at Wesleyan’s Central Power Plant. The team forced a campus-wide power outage to test and refine an “island mode” process to power critical loads on campus by running the natural gas-fired co-generation equipment without any synchronization with the local electrical utility.

Wesleyan performed this test under controlled circumstances with a team of technicians, engineers and electricians on site to develop procedures that will be implemented during an emergency with a much smaller staff of campus operations personnel.

The Central Power Plant team discusses the performance of the main "island mode" generator, located behind the wall on the left.

The Central Power Plant team discusses the performance of the main “island mode” generator, located behind the wall on the left.

The Central Power plant is located underground. Steam moves uphill to campus.

The Central Power plant is located underground near WIlliams Street. Steam moves uphill to campus.

The friendly face of boiler no. 2.

The friendly face of boiler no. 2.

 

The ladders lead to boilers no. 1 and no. 2.

The ladders lead to boilers no. 1 and no. 2.

Looking inside boiler no. 1.

Looking inside boiler no. 1.

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