Johnson Pavilion Switchgear Replacement

Best Institutional Project

This Award Winning Project was completed by Carr & Duff, LLC and involved the replacing of the 15kV switchgear at Johnson Pavilion for the School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

As this building is a medical research facility with numerous labs and fish studies, it was critical to develop a plan to minimize the number of shutdowns required to complete the project and minimize shutdown duration during those events including the installation of a temporary switchboard to temporarily feed various parts of the building while the switchgear was replaced one half at a time.  As project planning began it became clear that the temporary installations required would take too much down time to implement alone.  Carr & Duff provided design assist on the fly presenting various supplemental temporary power plans with the goal to minimize down time in the facility to less than 2 hours per event as well as minimize the total number of events on the project.  Carr & Duff developed, presented, and installed all the supplemental temporary power and then developed and executed 21 sequential shutdown events to smoothly and efficiently replace the switchgear lineup consisting of two MV Switches, two 1500KVA substation transformers, and a 6-section secondary Main-Tie-Main.

Throughout the duration of the project, Carr & Duff expertly kept research labs on each of five floors operational and protected critical research in 100’s of -80 freezers both on normal and emergency power while maintaining constant contact with research staff to keep them abreast of work activities on their research floors and coordinate ideal outage times for researchers.  One of the largest of the research facilities was in the building’s basement, a multi-million-dollar Zebra Fish Research Facility.  Carr & Duff developed a temporary power plan to put this facility on emergency power to reduce impact from numerous normal power shutdowns as the facility would be carried by the in-house generator.  Carr & Duff coordinated with fish researchers around feeding schedules, mating schedules, and sleeping schedules such that fish were not stressed and integrity of research maintained.

New equipment and old equipment was rigged down/up the elevator shaft to the basement switchgear room.  MV cables were replaced to the outside MH where they were spliced to existing 15kV feeder circuits via 600A loadbreak elbows and terminated on the new medium voltage switches. We excavated around the outside manhole to repair the MH exterior and identify a sewer inlet crack that was causing water infiltration and damage.  The conduits were repaired while cable was replaced.  We replaced the fire alarm system in the switchgear room as well as installed new MI cable and disconnects for the fire pump tapped to the transformers per code.  A new sprinkler system was installed after demolition of the old system in the electrical room as well as new equipment pads for the switchgear.  The switchgear room including ceiling, walls, and floors were painted.  Existing bus riser was modified and retrofitted to new tap boxes that were fed from new feeder breakers.  All shutdowns and switching was coordinated with University of Pennsylvania, their electricians, and school of medicine faculty.  All critical research was successfully protected through completion of the project.