UW-Stout Electrical Substation Replacement
With over 9,300 students and enrollment steadily increasing at UW-Stout, changes had to be made to their campus substation. The University was aware that their current substation could not produce enough reliable power for their new enrollment numbers. Built in 1974, maintenance and repairs were becoming more difficult and costly with no room for future expansion. Clark Dietz had the challenging task of providing an innovative design solution to replace the campus’ 4160 V primary electrical switchgear and provide the campus a future of safe and reliable power.
Keeping the students and faculty a priority, the new electrical substation was designed with reliability and safety in mind. Of primary concern were the exposed terminations on the 5 MVA transformers, which created safety hazards for campus personnel and compromised reliability. The two hazardous transformers were replaced with two 7.5 transformers feeding a walk-in, sheltered aisle, metal clad switchgear lineup. In the switchgear lineup, new vacuum breakers were designed with redundant pistol grip controls to allow campus personnel to operate the system from a distance, reducing any potential injury that could be cause from arc flash hazards. A tiebreaker switch, which allows the entire campus to be fed from either utility source, was also added to ensure greater electrical dependability.
The unique design allowed the new electrical configuration to be placed in the center of campus. Surrounded by wrought iron gates and a decorative brick veneered concrete wall to enclose the infrastructure, the new substation was now safe, reliable and an aesthetically pleasing structure on the campus.
The cutover for this project was completed during a single weekend shutdown. Campus faculty and staff returned to work on Monday without any interruption. The new substation has a 40-50 year life expectancy, and will provide the UW-Stout campus with a future of reliable power and room for expansion.