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RJ Power Networks – Electrical Design – Prestigious University

The RJ Power Networks Engineering Design team have been working with the Principal Designers to design a new Primary Intake Substation and associated HV cabling network for a University. The RJ Power Networks Operations team have been working closely with the Principal Contractor to plan and deliver the installation works.

The University is expanding it’s campus due to success and demand from their alumni over recent years and due to the site expansion, there is going to be a proportional increase in electrical demand, thus necessitating an increase in supply capacity. The existing equipment and network is insufficient to cope with the new electrical demands. The successful design of the new Substation with larger capacity primary plant will enable the University to expand without risk or disruption to the existing supplies, services, residents and most importantly long-term medical experiments that have been in their development for over 10 years.

RJ Power Networks electrical expertise, experience and knowledge have enabled us to be a fundamental contributor to the full design package. The Engineering team formed a strong working relationship with the Principal Designer’s instantly, allowing us to work closely and collaboratively with our client and other key stakeholders. This also enabled a close analysis of the project deliverables and balancing of the costs of the project with the optimum network performance achievable. RJ Power Networks have ensured that the project has encompassed all rules and regulations including electrical, mechanical and civil elements, maintaining CDM requirements constantly.

The RJ Power Networks team have produced, submitted and received approval for the following schemes within the design works:

  • General arrangement drawings of key equipment (including substation layouts).
  • Battery charging schemes.
  • Emergency power off schemes.
  • Development of interlocking schemes.
  • Substation structural build design assistance.
  • Cable Route drawings.
  • Cable sizing calculations further developed to future proof the site for further expansion.
  • Primary Distribution 11kV Switchgear specifications.
  • Full protection and discrimination grading study coupled with site wide protection setting analysis and implementation.

Regular design team meetings with the key stakeholders of the project (The Principal Designer, Principal Contractor & the Client – University) have also been held. These regular design development attendances have identified several technical and logistical challenges, whereby practical engineering solutions have been implemented throughout the design process to support the project.

The Networks team in conjunction with the Principal Designer and Principal Contractor have encountered numerous civil engineering constraints, this is owing to the geographic boundaries of the designated construction location within the University Campus. The build location is parallel to the existing Substation, not only presenting constrained access and egress for plant, but limited capacity to house the large volumes of new and existing HV Cabling. Due to these limitations careful consideration and creative engineering was a necessity to achieve HV cable routes that conformed with bending radii and underground asset installation regulations, whilst maintaining the optimum closing joint locations for connectivity to the existing network. This presented complex installation planning, broken into key phases to avoid interruption to supply and alleviate the requirement for on-site local generation.

Contained within 8 weeks, the design lifecycle of this project has been fully satisfied from conception to approval for build. The Networks team have utilised a wide range of software modelling techniques to ensure the correct sequential operation of protective devices. During the design process, RJ Power Networks have supported other design elements through offering expertise across a range of multi-disciplinary high voltage specialisms.

Being intrinsically involved from the outset means that RJ Power Networks have been given the opportunity to identify potential risks and challenges before they came to fruition. Allowing for meticulous planning for the installation phase of the Project and detailed task briefings to the full operations team prior to arrival on site.

Overall, we have collaboratively worked with the Switchgear manufacturer, including their installation teams, the client’s representative consultants, the Distribution Network operator and Independent Distribution Network operator to develop a bespoke solution to satisfy the clients statutory engineering dependencies.

As we now approach the installation phase, we are looking forward to working with the 7 Panel HV Switchboard suppliers installation team. Working together, we will conduct full Hot & Cold commissioning of the newly supplied equipment to prove electrical and mechanical integrity, whilst maintaining continuity of guarantees and warranties for our client.

We look forward to completing this challenging project and will provide an update of its completion in the near future.


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