Western Power Crisis Yields To Rental Units
Approximately 440 megawatts of power came to the American West this past summer—on wheels.
Temporary sites in Arizona, Utah and Washington hosted 22 trailer-mounted gas-turbine generator sets. Each of the rental units can produce 22.8 megawatts—enough power for roughly 20,000 households and reportedly the largest single rental power unit available in the United States today.
Each unit consists of four trailers. The trailers separately house a turbine/generator, an inlet-filter and an exhaust unit. The fourth is an auxiliary unit. Power is generated by an aeroderivative gas turbine that is based on commercial aircraft engines. In the field, the four-trailer package measures a total of approximately 70 feet x 100 feet.
While these units are not the ultimate solution to power shortages, they can provide the necessary immediate and short-term relief until more permanent solutions can be found. The units reportedly can be assembled and readied for field-testing within three days of arrival at a temporary site, making them ideal for emergency situations.
The units are versatile. The first five available were used in the summer of 2000 to meet peak demand for Commonwealth Edison in Chicago. Disassembled when the summer ended, the units were shipped to Ireland. The units operated at 60 Hertz in Chicago, where they were fueled by natural gas; in Ireland, they ran on distillate fuel and supplied 50-Hertz power.
From Pure Power, Winter 2001.