The new Russell City Energy Center (RCEC) occupies a 14.7 acre site in Hayward, Alameda County, California, USA. Once in operation it will generate electricity much more efficiently and cleanly than older technology. Construction started in 2010 and by 2013, the pressure was on to complete the job on time and on budget. Cogen Cleaning and Atlas Copco Rental equipment stepped in during the final stages before start-up, with oil-free air to clean the pipes.
Targeted Airblow - Cogen Cleaning Uses 18 Atlas Copco compressors to make quick work out of the Russell City power plant construction."On the left, Chris Rhoades is Atlas Copco Rental s area sales manager for California. At the right, Kevin Wakeem is Cogen Cleaning Technology s expert on location to manage the setup and airblow. "
Russell City Energy Center, a 619MW natural gas-fired, combined-cycle, electric generating facility, will be up to 40 percent more efficient and significantly cleaner than older technology. As it generates electricity, the facility will use reclaimed water for cooling and boiler make-up, and thus prevent nearly 4 million gallons of wastewater per day from being discharged into San Francisco Bay.
Preparations for start-up
The process of commissioning requires cleaning the pipes throughout the facility. That task was awarded to Cogen Cleaning Technology of San Leon, Texas. Kevin Wakeem, project manager on the RCEC project for Cogen, said, "Steam is the preferred method for this type of work, but because of water availability and timing, the next best alternative is oil-free air."
The company chose Atlas Copco Rental to assist them and Chris Rhoades was Atlas Copco Rental's sales representative on the project. He said, "We needed 22 truckloads of equipment to supply enough equipment for this project."
18 high pressure compressors
Wakeem: "Typically a big airblow will be eight to 12 compressors. This project had a total of 18 Atlas Copco PNS 1250 and XRVS high pressure compressors. 16 were required at a time, with the additional two compressors serving as back-up. We had one booster for every two compressors for the high pressure portion of this project."
Nine Atlas Copco B7-41/1000 Hurricane boosters were rented. The air flowing into the plant must be perfectly clean, and since the boosters run on oil-flooded screws, every booster had a coalescing filter pack inline following the booster. These were also rented from Atlas Copco.
Auxiliary fuel tanks rented
Although the Atlas Copco compressors used less diesel fuel due to the FuelXpert ™ feature, a constant and abundant fuel source was necessary. Atlas Copco rented 14 auxiliary fuel tanks for the project, each with a capacity of 800 gallons.
The process of blowing air to clean the plant's piping systems consisted of a systematic, precisely timed routine. Air entered the system in a series of blows. The bank of compressors produced 20,000 cfm while the boosters increased the 350 psi compressor air to the required 900 psi.
Gregg Alper, President and CEO of Cogen Cleaning said, "Choosing Atlas Copco Rental as our partner was a no-brainer. Chris Rhoades and his team were critical in securing this project, providing their expertise throughout the bid process."
Written by Olivia Gambin