Utilities Infrastructure Condition Assessment

Utilities Infrastructure Condition Assessment 2017-03-03T15:35:11+00:00

Power plants and pipes aren’t the most glamorous assets in a building portfolio, so their maintenance is often overlooked. But when they fail, it can be catastrophic to a university, college, city or county. Forestall shutdown with a careful and systematic assessment of your above-ground or underground utility systems and hardscape.

An ISES infrastructure assessment combines visual inspection, review of existing documentation and studies, and interviews with utility operational personnel. Remedial recommendations are developed, with their associated cost estimates. Needs are prioritized so you know where to start, where the urgencies lie and where you’ll get the most bang for your buck.

Typical categories inspected include:

  • Steam generation and distribution
  • Chilled water generation and distribution
  • High voltage generation and distribution
  • Cogeneration
  • Hardscape and pavements
  • Utility tunnel structural assessments
  • Utility system lifecycle inventory.

We also conduct utility infrastructure condition and capacity pro forma studies. And, although not utilities, hardscape elements are still infrastructure. ISES will be happy to send an engineering team to your site to evaluate roads, driveways, sidewalks, parking lots and plazas, which fall outside the typical facility assessment and the typical utilities infrastructure assessment.

ISES engineers conduct field surveys of the steam generating boilers and all balance-of-plant systems and equipment, including steam piping, feedwater, condensate, water treatment, emissions control, instrument and plant air system, pumps, heat exchangers, electrical service systems, monitoring and control, protective relays and safety systems.

Steam generation assessments include historical operating parameters as they compare to manufacturer’s data, excess air/O2 operating data, gas-side/air-side pressure drops, control, feedwater control, load following control, and boiler historical start/stop records. Previously conducted reports and analyses will be reviewed and integrated into the final assessment report to arrive at clear conclusions relating to systems and equipment.

The ISES utility inspection team will assess the central chilled water plants and all chilled water generation equipment. We have substantial experience evaluating various types of machinery used to produce chilled water, including centrifugal, single-stage absorption, two-stage absorption, and screw-type and reciprocating units. We examine the present operating condition, current efficiency compared to predicted NPLV values, types of refrigerant used, age and historical operating history, achievement of design ΔT at part- and full-load conditions and reliability. We interview key operating personnel to determine operating reliability. Auxiliary equipment, including cooling towers, pumps, controls, hydraulic compression systems, water treatment systems, variable speed drive units, makeup water systems and preventive maintenance program routines will all be included in this assessment. We accumulate the data and compare the resultant remaining useful life with normally expected useful life, including present equipment/system condition by priority.

ISES conducts a field inspection of the main substation(s), to include all transformers, circuit breakers, main incoming transmission feeder cables, high voltage switchgear lineups, busswork, cable terminations such as stress cones, potheads, lugged connections, protective relays, fuses, grounding networks, capacitors, reclosers, distribution cables, potential and current transformers, metering and SCADA systems, any pilot wire, microwave or phase comparison fault zone isolation coordination with the local distributing utility, emergency communications and safety practices. ISES will review existing reports of any testing, calibration, analysis, and/or fault reporting.

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