Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Power to the people

How often do we think about where our electricity comes from? Rarely. We can take our power so much for granted because the National Grid PLC partners with industry leading power experts to ensure a continuous supply.

Green Frog Power supplies standby power to the National Grid via power stations throughout the UK. In turn, FG Wilson is working closely with Green Frog to provide occasional peak lopping power for up to two hours at a time (around 200 hours a year).

Following the award of a 15 year Short Term Operating Reserve (STOR) contract with National Grid, Green Frog selected a number of UK development sites - North East, Yorkshire and South Wales - for a series of fourteen 20MW power plants.

FG Wilson's relationship with Green Frog Power began two years ago when the manufacturer assisted with a malfunctioning 800kW test machine installed at Green Frog's Birmingham HQ. Having efficiently resolved the problem, FG Wilson was invited to quote for 214MWe of STOR equipment over the fourteen designated UK sites.

Jeremy Taylor CEO of Green Frog Power said:
"With a very large order for plant to fulfill we trawled through Europe and China seeking the best-priced equipment that was robust enough for our needs and we were delighted to find that a British manufacturer came top. Since placing our orders we have been very pleased by the quality and level of service from FG Wilson and Progress Group throughout our project."

FG Wilson's expertise in standby power helps Green Frog and the National Grid to regulate the supply and demand for power in the UK. As our increasingly technology dependent lifestyles place growing demand on the grid, STOR is a crucial requirement.

Phil Starr, project director of FG Wilson Dealer, The Progress Group, commented:
"FG Wilson provided invaluable assistance with this contract, obtaining special short term base load ratings from Perkins and answering a series of challenging technical questions relating to the installation of a large number of generators in a relatively small area. This was all delivered quickly and efficiently without which the project would have stalled."

As an ongoing project with an estimated lifespan of around 20 years, the Green Frog STOR project has already resulted in the creation of ten new jobs.

The challenges presented by the project have been numerous but in particular the handling of acoustics, airflows and underlying issues of electrical stability and fault protection have all been critical in ensuring this work has been a success from planning through to implementation.

Phil Starr added:
"This has been a challenging project from the outset but one which has allowed FG Wilson to really demonstrate the capabilities of its generator sets. The solution not only involved delivering the generator sets to meet intermittent and unexpected demands but also help shape the future direction of the business, anticipating future challenges and mapping out the best possible route forward."

Within hours of Green Frog opening its Hull site for service, a sudden surge in electricity demand prompted the National Grid to call them for emergency back-up. An output of 20MW was produced continuously for seventy minutes without incident, proving the success of this STOR project.

So next time you turn on the kettle during the ad break, be grateful to the many power experts involved in guaranteeing you a hot cuppa!

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