platinum

Accommodating the space constraints of a South African platinum mining customer, Zest WEG is constructing a large diesel powered generator set to be delivered later this year.

The capacity of the 2,500kVA genset will also make it the largest unit yet to be fully load-tested at the company’s genset manufacturing facility in Cape Town, according to Craig Bouwer, projects and product manager at Zest WEG.

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“In addition to functional testing, we will be equipping ourselves to conduct load testing to 11kV on this unit,” says Bouwer.

“With load-banks in-house, we will be stepping the voltage down to 400V during the testing, and drawing on MV specialists to ensure a safe and reliable process.”

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The genset is a highly technical solution to match the customer’s specific needs, he says. Based on the available space, it is housed within a 12 metre ISO shipping container with the electrically-driven radiator mounted on the roof.

Prime-rated at 11kV and powered by an MTU diesel engine, the genset has been designed in close consultation with the customer over a number of months.

Having concluded the engineering design, construction is currently underway in Cape Town. Bouwer highlighted the detailed and time consuming nature of engineering design for a project of this magnitude and complexity.

“Stringent technical requirements demanded lengthy and ongoing collaboration not only with the customer, but between our engineering team and production operations,” he says.

“The customer was particularly pleased with our flexibility and the extra effort we applied to ensure the optimal technical returnables for the project.”

As one of the few Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) capable of undertaking a customised genset of this capacity in-house, Zest WEG will also be supplying the control and protection panel from its extensive range of electrical equipment and products.

“To enhance safety and ergonomics, the control panel is in its own compartment within the ISO container,” he says.

“A 1,000 litre bunded day tank has also been installed inside a separate compartment within the container, including a fuel cooler and filtration system.”

The Covid-19 lockdown has had minimal impact on the work schedule, he notes, as planning and communication with the customer could continue regardless, dealing with various technical clarifications.

To facilitate the transportation of this large unit to site, it will be shipped as three separate components: the genset, radiator and exhaust system. Once installation is complete – a process that Zest WEG specialists will supervise – its experts will conduct the cold and hot commissioning, and hand over to the customer.