Generating extra power

Paul Boughton

The requirement for increased production capability on offshore oil and gas platforms has increased the need for auxiliary deck-mounted generator sets to provide the additional electrical power requirement. Mark Burslem reports.

A global oil and gas exploration company required additional power generation on one of their offshore platforms in the Middle East. The main electrical power supply to the platform is provided via a 33kV subsea cable link of over 40Km. The requirement was to install two new generators of 2MW each, to cater for the additional power requirement.

Dale Power Solutions provided two bespoke generator sets, designed and built to suit the customer's specific requirements, with both units rated for continuous operation providing an output of 2500kVA, 2000kW at 0.8 power factor at 6600Volts. The sets were designed by Dale to provide optimal power quality and to operate in harsh offshore environmental conditions including temperatures of up to 50°C and in the corrosive saline atmosphere.

During this project, Dale Power Solutions faced several key challenges in order to install the two diesel generators on the platform. The first was the limited footprint area available on deck that required Dale to engineer the generator sets within the tight space constraints of 13.5m L x 2.4mW x 5.7m H. The solution was to mount the radiator and fuel tank externally onto the roof of each generator, to ensure that the customers exacting requirements were met.

The second challenge to overcome was the weight of the units which exceeded the capabilities of the platform's crane which would be manoeuvring the generators into their final position.

To resolve this dilemma, a modular system design was applied, allowing for the removal of fuel tanks and radiators from the roof of the generators, thereby reducing the single-lift weight to 36,000kg in order to comply with the lifting limit.

Prior to dispatch, the sets were tested at the factory, witnessed by a team of engineers from the client. Testing included: protection system, control system, loaded operation, voltage regulation, speed governing and parallel operation in order to fully demonstrate the system in accordance with the project specification.

Dale Power Solutions is a service and maintenance provider as well as being a UK manufacturer and supplier of generators and UPS systems. It is one of few power protection companies in the UK to offer the complete package solution of equipment and world-wide service for both on-shore and offshore generator and UPS systems.

The company's product and service portfolio includes the Secure Power Series diesel generators available as open-type and enclosed generator systems.

The Secure Infinity Marine and Oil & Gas generator systems can be custom built to exacting specifications and can include Certification by all major Classification Societies.

The company also provides gas turbine restoration, repackaging and control system upgrades, AC & DC industrial UPS systems and commercial UPS systems.

For more information visit

Mark Burslem is with Dale Power Solutions Ltd, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, UK.

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