Power Bytes

Safety in Mind With Genset Design

June 01, 2020 Caterpillar Inc. Season 1 Episode 8
Power Bytes
Safety in Mind With Genset Design
Power Bytes
Safety in Mind With Genset Design
Jun 01, 2020 Season 1 Episode 8
Caterpillar Inc.

Today's episode is a unique look into the Safety Culture at Caterpillar and how it transcends beyond employees to products and end-users.  Safety - It's designed in.

Show Notes Transcript

Today's episode is a unique look into the Safety Culture at Caterpillar and how it transcends beyond employees to products and end-users.  Safety - It's designed in.

Lou:  Good Day and welcome everyone to Power Bytes!  I am your host Lou Signorelli of Caterpillar’s Technical Marketing team and Power Bytes is your destination Podcast for power generation topics.  As always please know how much we appreciate you, our listeners.  We hope you find our topics helpful and interesting.  There are several ways for you to get in touch with the show. You can send us an email at powerbytes@cat.com, visit us at Cat Electric Power on Facebook or LinkedIn.  Please leave us a 5-star rating wherever you listen to your favorite podcast; It really does help.

 Lou: Safety is always on our minds in the world we live in today.  Living in the Cat culture means we have a high level of focus on safety.  I was on Cat.com where I was impressed by the response I got when I entered "safety" into the search bar.  I found the following quote and I think it really sums up our focus on safety:  It reads "Caterpillar’s safety culture extends beyond our internal operations to include the safe operation of our products in the field, as well as the safety and health of all individuals who come into contact with Cat® products. "  I wanted to share that with you today as an example of the way we think about safety here at Caterpillar. 

 Lou: Joining me today to highlight some of the safety features on Cat gensets is Ryan Byrd.  Ryan was in the US Navy where he completed the Navy's Nuclear School then went on to become an electrical engineer.  Ryan has been with Caterpillar for 16 years and is  currently working on genset control systems.  Ryan, thanks for joining us today.

 Ryan: Hello.

 Lou:  Ryan, recently I had the opportunity to stand beside a 3516 genset and I must say I was impressed by its size, both physically as well as considering that amount of power we can get from that footprint.  However, it seems with such power output comes a risk to anyone who might be near it.  That's nearly 3MW in a single package.  That's a lot of power.

 Ryan:  Definitely.  Having worked around large machines for decades, I am always considering safety.  Some obvious hazards include rotating parts and sharp edges.  These hazards are usually more easily recognizable and they tend to be easier to safeguard against.  However, it is the unseen hazards that cause me the most concern.  That is when more thought needs to be given to safety, particularly in an electrical fault situation.  A couple solutions we have developed for our Cat gensets that come to mind are our Arc flash energy reducing maintenance mode and our removable control panels on our larger gensets.

 Lou: Can you take us through those one at a time.  Let's start with Arc flash energy reducing maintenance mode; can you speak to how that makes the user safer?

 Ryan: Sure.  NFPA 70 (2017 edition) requires a means to reduce arc flash energy, particularly needed when maintenance is being performed on a running genset.  The Arc flash energy reducing maintenance mode is a feature we offer as standard in most of our Caterpillar Genset Controller.  This feature allows the customer to lower the instantaneous trip setting of over current protection, which is separate from our advanced over current protection scheme which I know you'll cover in a separate podcast.  This has the effect of limiting the arc flash energy in the event of an arc flash incident.  This feature is intended to help a genset installation meet the 2017 version of NFPA 70 requirements for arc energy reduction.  This is a very cost effective feature as it only requires a bit of wiring in addition to programming the controller.  The wiring involves adding a switch to enable this mode and adding a light to indicate that the mode is active.  No additional relays are needed, and no special circuit breakers are required.  The programming will be determined after the site performs a full coordination and arc flash study.  Practically, what all this means is that a Cat genset controller  can be set up and easily enabled to limit the arc flash energy in case of a fault when maintenance needs to be performed on a running genset.  This feature is available with both the IVR and CDVR systems though additional wiring is required with the CDVR. Voltage regulation is covered in another podcast.  For more on arc flash reduction read my white paper on Cat.com.  Simple put "Arc Flash" in the search bar and it pops right up.

 Lou:  I'm interested too in that removable control panel.  What drove you to think of that?  How does that keep the user safer?

 Ryan:  In the past, customers have requested a remote control panel for convenience and safety.  In response to customer demand we have deployed our Modular Controls Packaging solution.  The Modular Controls Packaging is generally available on gensets from the 800kW through 4MW genset packages.  Besides allowing the control panel to be mounted on a side not containing a breaker, this packaging allows for easy removal of the control panel completely.  All other functions related to the generator remain in the generator housing when the panel is removed.  These functions include voltage regulation, temperature monitoring, sensing fuses, shore power control, etc.  The control panel retains the most important user interface including the Cat Genset Controller, DC terminal blocks, and the CatConnect interface...you probably recognize this from an earlier podcast by Magy Kramer.   This Modular design allows the customer to wall mount the control panel.  Remote mounting allows the panel operator to be away from the breakers or power connections during operation, thus adding an extra layer of safety between the operator and the energized equipment.

 Lou: Ryan, it seems apparent that Caterpillar is committed listening to their users in an effort to make life easier, safer, and more cost effective.  Would you agree?

 Ryan: I would.  Cat is committed to safety for both customers and employees.  It is our #1 priority.  Cat works to develop products with safety in mind regardless of whether there are regulations in place, or not.

 Lou: Ryan, thank you for joining us today.  

 Lou:  There you have it folks.  Thank you for joining us today on Power Bytes.  For more information on this or any of our podcasts contact your local Cat dealer or visit Cat.com.  If you’d like to suggest other topics for the program or have some feedback to share,  please write us here at powerbytes@cat.com or visit Cat Electric Power on Facebook or LinkedIn.  As always don't forget to subscribe to this podcast. Have a great day