Alberta Health Services
Royal Alexandra Hospital, Switchgear Upgrade

Address (Map): 10240 Kingsway Avenue NW, Edmonton, Alberta T5H3v9 Canada
Sector: Health Facilities
Delivery Type: Design-Bid-Build
MCW Office: Edmonton
Status: Complete
Sub Categories: Hospitals

Project Description

Indicative of the complexity of the project and the challenges of securing suitable funds for the necessary infrastructure upgrades, this multi-phased project was conducted over a number of years and budget cycles. The scope of work involved refurbishing a15 kV medium voltage switchgear at 2 different locations and replacing an unreliable 15 kV PILC cable. In addition, three 480V distribution air circuit breakers located in three separate substations were also replaced. 

This project required significant investigation and planning from AHS Capital Planning, FM&E, and the MCW Hemisphere team in order to identify innovative solutions and results which would benefit the facility for years to come. While there were a number of challenges, the most notable were: 

a) It was determined that simply replacing the 15kV breakers in kind and style would not serve the facility long term. As a result, an alternate proposal was developed which saw the existing upstream load break assemblies replaced with an increased number of smaller, vacuum switch fused load breaks while maintaining the same footprint. Three (3) of the eight (8) new devices were used to feed the three supply substations leaving the remaining five assemblies available for future expansion. This approach achieved all of the original objectives, created additional flexibility, and was done well below the established budget. 

b) The existing 480V air circuit breakers were obsolete and needed replacement. Additionally a very complex manual key interlock system existed between the secondary busses and the three substations which also need upgrading. It was determined that to complete this scope would require significant power outages which were not acceptable for a fully functioning and critical facility such as the RAH. As such, a detailed sequence of refurbishing the existing breakers one at a time was established and tendered. 

The execution and successful outcome of this project illustrates the importance of innovation and creativity during the early stages of design as well as our project team’s commitment to ensuring delivery meets with expectations

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