Air Force Base Hospital Switchgear Replacement

About This Project

A blackout is any hospital’s greatest nightmare. After a complete blackout in 2009, the U.S Air Force decided to make sure it wouldn’t happen again. That’s why they called Kroeschell.

Challenge

In 2009, a U.S. Air Force base, which included a hospital on site, faced a complete blackout which was later traced back to a single point of failure. Because of the critical functions of the hospital, having another blackout occur was simply not an option. The Air Force base charged Kroeschell with the task of making sure that it would not happen again.

Solution

After assessing the situation, two major issues jumped out to the Kroeschell team:

  • There was only one utility source for the base.
  • Much of the equipment was antiquated.

Immediately, Kroeschell went to work assessing the situation and discovered the overall system had been poorly documented through the years. Inevitably, Kroeschell had to perform investigative research in very dangerous conditions before we could even begin to break ground.

Upon completion of our research, Kroeschell went to work installing back-up power to the hospital while rebuilding switchgears and adding state-of-the-art relays, switches and motor control centers. The new system had to be built in parallel with the old system, switching mechanisms over one by one and in the middle of the night as to not interrupt power supply to the hospital. Kroeschell also added a second utility source while the base and hospital were fully functioning.

Results

While this was a massive 20-month undertaking, it was the type of project the Kroeschell team had a wealth of experience and knowledge to accomplish. While we completed the project as we envisioned, our innovation and creative reenginnering abilities were tested. In some cases, we had to work with equipment manufacturers to customize their standard equipment to fit in incredible tight spaces.

Since the project start date in 2010, the Air Force base and hospital has not experienced a single second of interrupted power, and one is not expected anytime soon.

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Customer Profile

A Joint Commission-accredited teaching hospital, this particular USAF Medical Center is the Air Force Medical Service’s flagship medical treatment facility in the United States. The facility provides a full spectrum of health care to a prime service area population of more than 130,000 TRICARE eligible patients in the immediate San Francisco-Sacramento vicinity and more than 377,000 Department of Veterans Affairs Northern California Health Care System eligibles.

Category

Government, Medical, MEP Design-Build Engineering