Hunterstown: Plant personnel safety improves with remote racking devices – Combined Cycle Journal

Hunterstown: Plant personnel safety improves with remote racking devices

Hunterstown Generating Station

Owned by Platinum Equity LLC
Asset management by Competitive Power Ventures
Operated by NAES Corp

810 MW, 3 × 1 7F.04-powered combined cycle equipped with a GE D11 steam turbine, located in Gettysburg, Pa

Plant manager: Tom Hart (former), Mark Kadon (current)

Challenge. Hunterstown’s obsolete robot made racking-out breakers more hazardous than need be. The device was a headache, thereby causing a hazard for employees. This could have led to corners being cut.

Solution. NAES requires remote rack-out when incident ratings exceed 40 calories/cmᶟ. Many times, the old robot would indicate the device was fully racked-out but, in fact, it was in mid-travel when the operator approached. Staff selected CBS ArcSafe to provide new remote raking robots for the plant.

Results. The new robots allow employees to safely rack out any device onsite while being well outside the arc-flash boundary. Staff also purchased a magnetic camera that allows the operator to see remotely what position the breaker is in before approaching (photos).

The robots have a clutch that will disengage before over-torquing the breaker. This mitigates many of the problems experienced previously, and operators no longer have to manually break the device free before using the remote racking device. The 4160-V devices are completely wireless, the only thing that needs to be plugged in is the battery pack.

The operator takes the remote and the camera screen outside of the building and does the racking completely out of the line of fire and well outside of the arc-flash boundary. The 480-V devices do have a wire but the operators are still able to go outside of the building and outside of the arc flash boundary. The process has become exponentially safer for all plant personnel.

Project participant:

John Marino, operations manager

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