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SIUe Electrical Infrastructure Expansion Phase II

Location: Edwardsville, IL
Client: Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
Size: $3.6 Million

Phase II of the SIUE Electrical System upgrade brought control systems and diagnostics that brings intelligent electrical systems monitoring to all the main campus buildings as well as the main HVAC plant serving the campus.  Phase II also completed the redesign of the campus power grid to assure that every building on campus has two power feeds, primary and alternate. Prior to the upgrade, any attempt to inspect in real-time the utilization of feeds had to be accomplished by switching between feeds manually. Maintenance crews then had to physically inspect and switch the power feeds for the buildings at each location on campus, requiring in most cases physically visiting the campus’ array of 25 in-ground manholes distributed end-to-end over the length of the campus.
The latest upgrade to the system involved installing a remote monitoring system consisting of 22 SCADA control modules that now provide for continuous, automated monitoring of loads and distribution throughout the campus. Operators can view the system from a centralized network operations center (NOC) on campus giving them the ability to monitor power utilization in real time, and remotely switch to the alt. feeds if for any reason power is compromised.

SIUE’s new, more flexible centralized control system features intelligent digital sensors and a balanced, modular design developed by consulting Engineer, BRiC Partnership, led by Ryan Diekemper PE, that ends virtually any potential for future campus-wide outages.  Expanding distribution at the building level, the design enhances the redundant utility feeds installed in Phase I of the electrical renovation for the campus. This assures that the university will have the capacity to satisfy foreseeable demand for power as the expected growth of the SIUE campus comes on-stream under the University’s 30 year Masterplan. 

The scale of the installations involved meant that routing and testing the SCADA controls had to be coordinated so as to minimize the impact on building operations across the campus.  This necessitated extensive planning and coordination with SIUE’s maintenance teams to schedule outages where and when power could be turned off without disturbing building operations. In all, GECO’s Illinois team executed five campus-wide outages. At its busiest, the GECO team used crews of up to 12 wireman, organized to perform a range of tasks to optimize productivity during these outage windows.  In all, GECO teams placed and pulled over 90,000 feet of 15 kV cable. Additionally, we interfaced extensively with BRiC who provided the valuable role of supervising independent, third party testing.

Success                                                                     In all, Phase II of the SIUE Electrical Systems Upgrade was completed in under nine months, consumed a total of 7,000 man-hours, within budget and ahead of schedule without a lost-time incident.  More importantly, with a campus system of some 25 below-ground manholes to negotiate, Guarantee electricians successfully managed working in confined-spaces on over 350 occasions without incident.

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