Little Sisters of the Poor

Little Sisters of the Poor – Pawtucket, RI

Engineering Design Services, Inc was contacted by The Little Sisters of the Poor, a nursing home in Pawtucket Rhode Island. An existing 350KW emergency generator that supported the life safety and essential branch feeders for this 5-story building had failed. A portable rental emergency generator had been installed in its place. The client requested that EDS evaluate their existing electrical system in its entirety to determine if it were possible to install an emergency generator that would provide power for the entire building when power was interrupted.

EDS reviewed existing electric utility bills and recorded building electrical load data to determine the size of a generator that would accommodate the existing maximum power requirements and some future growth potential for the building. It was determined that a 600KW generator operating at 208Y/120-volts, 3-phase, 4-wire would fulfil those needs.

A proposal for the installation of a new 600KW emergency generator that would provide power for the life safety branch, fire pump service, essential and non-essential equipment branches was presented to and accepted by the client. Engineering Design Services, Inc. provided electrical engineering and design. Civil engineering and project management was provided by Environmental Services & Management, Inc. The electrical installation was provided by Advance Electrical Corporation.

The scope of work involved the following:

  • A new 600KW emergency generator with three load breakers. One for the building, one for the life safety branch and one for the building fire pump.
  • A new 2000-amp service rated, weather-proof, pad mounted automatic transfer switch (ATS) for the main service to the building.
  • Separate automatic transfer switches for the life safety branch and the building fire pump.
  • All conductors from the generator to their respective ATSs were set underground in conduits.
  • Re-arrange the secondary conductors from the local electric utility pad mounted such that three separate sets of conductors be installed to connect to the normal side of each automatic transfer switch.
  • A new two-hour fire-rated room to house automatic transfer switches, disconnects and a panel board for the life safety branch and building fire pump was constructed.
  • Coordinate with the local electric utility to de-energize and replace their pad mounted transformer and connect the new generator, ATSs and associated equipment.

The generator, automatic transfer switches and associated electrical equipment were ordered in April 2021 with an estimated delivery of November 2021. Due to COVID constrains and supply chain problems, the generator was not delivered, installed, and connected until September 2022. While awaiting delivery of the generator and automatic transfer switches, Advance Electrical personnel were able to install the underground service from the generator location to the building, build the new fire-rated life safety equipment room and install the new fire-rated feeder to the building’s fire pump.  The day to connect the new generator and for the electric utility to change their transformer took approximately twelve hours. During that time, power for the building’s life safety branch, fire pump service and essential equipment branch was provided by a portable emergency generator. The work went very well with no problems encountered.