Backup power is critical infrastructure for the City of Naples Wastewater Reclamation Facility (WRF).

Upgrading the City’s emergency generators isn’t just about enhancing infrastructure; it’s about safeguarding the community and ensuring that essential services remain operational when they’re needed most.

It is essential that a water reclamation facility continue to operate during a power failure to ensure continuous processing of wastewater and recovery of reclaimed water from it. This process helps preserve our natural resources, meets regulatory requirements, and provides inexpensive reclaimed water for irrigation to lawns and golf courses, keeping them green during Florida’s dry season.

Reliable electrical power equipment and control systems are critical to drive the pumps and processes in a water reclamation facility. Once these systems age, they become increasingly difficult to operate and maintain reliably. Operating equipment, until it fails, leads to unexpected downtime and is not acceptable for critical infrastructure. To prevent unplanned downtime, emergency standby power systems are necessary to keep the plant up and running 24/7/365, even when electric utility power is unavailable. Plant staff are always proactively trying to gain greater reliability, efficiency, and productivity with limited resources by leveraging new technology and equipment that includes networked equipment, power surge protection, and enhanced operational capabilities via an upgrade of the existing obsolete generator systems.

Retrofit projects are particularly challenging due to the amount of field research, incomplete documentation, incorporation of existing equipment, space limitations, plant layouts, and requirements to keep the plant fully operational even during construction. The City of Naples Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) project scope included replacing the existing 1250 KW and 1500 KW diesel generators at the WRF that operated independently and which were supplied with diesel fuel from two 6,000-gallon above-ground diesel fuel storage tanks. The two existing generators were replaced with four 600 KW generators, each with integrated diesel fuel storage tanks that are configured to work together in parallel for 2400 KW of total emergency standby power.

The two existing generators were located indoors which occupied valuable space and created operational challenges related to the generator cooling and exhaust systems. The four new generators are located outdoors which simplifies the cooling and exhaust systems and allows for the re-purposing of the existing generator rooms into an electrical room annex and other future uses. Since the new generators were designed with integrated diesel fuel tanks, the existing diesel storage tanks and associated piping were able to be removed which eliminated potential fuel leakage and the environmental issues associated with maintaining and operating diesel fuel within the plant. Since there are two separate electrical rooms, the design included significant underground conduit duct banks and associated pullboxes to provide power to both rooms from one common location.

In addition to design services, Johnson Engineering provided construction services consisting of programmable controller programming, operator terminal programming, and control system start-up and commissioning to integrate the new generators into the existing plant power and control system’s electrical and network infrastructure.

For more information contact Wayne Wright, PE at [email protected].