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RNZAF Base Ōhakea Backup Power Supply

Implementing three networked backup generators

  • 3

    1MW Generators

  • Bulls, Manawatū-Whanganui, New Zealand

    Bulls, Manawatū-Whanganui, New Zealand

Automated synchronisation, supply, and offload during a power outage

Split into two separate sites, RNZAF Base Ōhakea consists of the North East Quadrant (NEQ) and the original base. When it came to emergency power, the original base was served by a number of stand-alone diesel generators, but that system left electricity generation coverage gaps—meaning many critical facilities wouldn’t be supplied with electricity in the event of an outage. On top of that, the areas that were powered would rely on only a single power source.

We were brought in to help the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) implement a reliable power engineering solution, delivering backup electrical supply to the entire original base. Our solution? Three one-megawatt generators located throughout the base and networked together to provide synchronised power generation during an outage. Designed to be sustainable and resilient, the system will shut off one of the generators if the power demand is lower than the three-generator capacity. Plus, if one of the generators has an issue, the other two will bear the system’s load. When the external power comes back, the generators automatically synchronise with the supply and gradually unload.

On top of our standby system design, we upgraded the high voltage network throughout the base including the replacement of the main switchboard and other obsolete equipment. We helped NZDF select a contractor, we performed monitor, surveillance, and quality assurance (MSQA) services, and we developed a commissioning plan to test the system under a range of different real-life conditions.

Now? The original base is covered with backup power in the event of a total loss of power supply.

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