Facility Engineering Services

Automating Power Plants and Integrating Third-Party Equipment with FES


Facility Engineering Services (FES) embarked on a challenging project to automate the power plants at Johns Hopkins Hospital, with a focus on the South and North Power Plants. This case study highlights FES’s collaboration with the Mechanical and Electrical Engineers Group, the integration of complex control strategies, and the successful implementation of advanced automation systems.

system integration

Project Scope:

The project encompassed automating the largest self-generating chilled water and medium pressure steam plant on the east coast. The South Portion of the Plant comprised six 3,500-ton centrifugal machines, while the North Plant consisted of three 2,700-ton chillers, six 1,500-ton chillers, and five 3,000-ton machines, boasting a total cooling control capacity of 53,100 tons. FES’s primary objective was to develop intricate control strategies that allowed the multiple plants to operate in fully automatic mode, ensuring optimal performance and energy efficiency.

Controlled Equipment and Systems:

FES effectively controlled a multitude of crucial equipment and systems, ensuring seamless operations throughout the power plants. The following equipment was incorporated into the supervisory control environment:

  1. Chiller loading/unloading, enabling efficient management of cooling loads.
  2. Primary and secondary chilled water pumps, ensuring proper circulation and distribution of chilled water.
  3. Chilled water conditioning, maintaining the desired temperature and quality of chilled water.
  4. Condenser water pumps, facilitating the movement and control of condenser water.
  5. Cooling towers, regulating heat dissipation through efficient cooling tower operations.
  6. Condenser water filtration, managing water treatment for open-loop systems and heat exchanger controls for closed-loop systems.

Integration of Third-Party Equipment:

FES successfully undertook the integration of various third-party equipment, employing a range of sophisticated control techniques. These integrations involved:

  1. Hardwiring controls through the Chiller Packages, High and Low Voltage Variable Frequency Drives, and Smart Meters. This included integrating vortex shedding, turbine, electromagnetic, and ultrasonic style meters, enabling accurate monitoring and control of equipment performance.
  2. Control and monitoring of backup power generators, incorporating advanced controls and sequences that surpassed industry standards.

Results and Benefits:

By partnering with FES, Johns Hopkins Hospital achieved remarkable outcomes and enjoyed numerous benefits:

Enhanced Efficiency: The fully automated power plants optimized energy usage and minimized wastage, resulting in improved operational efficiency and reduced utility costs.

Precise Control: FES’s sophisticated control strategies enabled precise management of equipment operations, ensuring optimal performance and reliability.

Seamless Integration: The successful integration of diverse third-party equipment allowed for unified monitoring, control, and data analysis, streamlining overall plant operations.

Industry-Leading Expertise: FES’s deep understanding of power plant automation and complex control systems positioned them as a trusted partner, delivering superior results.

Compliance and Safety: The implemented control measures complied with industry regulations and prioritized safety, contributing to a secure and reliable power supply for the hospital.

FES’s commitment to excellence, technical expertise, and collaborative approach were instrumental in the successful automation and integration of the power plants at Johns Hopkins Hospital. This project exemplifies FES’s ability to deliver innovative solutions, surpass client expectations, and provide cutting-edge facility engineering services.

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