Since we purchase used industrial power generators almost daily, Diesel Service & Supply has been involved with countless decommissioning projects over the past 30 + years. Our staff of power generation technicians has effectively removed generators from complex data centers, hospitals and healthcare facilities, electric utility sites, manufacturing plants, telecom installations, distribution centers, large commercial buildings and more.
Commercial generators are extremely well built machines that can often last for many years when properly maintained. However, for numerous reasons there comes a point in every generators life when you need to move on. Reasons for this can be as simple as wanting to upgrade to something new, requiring more power for your expanding environment, looking to shut down a location and liquidate assets, and various others. When that time comes and you are ready to disconnect, there are a number of factors that must be taken into account.
Whether you have someone like us, an electrical contractor, an asset recovery firm, a demolition company, or just use in-house staff to do this the factors below are outlined to help provide you with examples of the various considerations that must be taken into account to successfully de-install your generator set:
Key Factors & Considerations
1) Documentation of All On-Site Equipment
- Generator Specs (kW/KVA, Voltage, Amperage, Phase, Hertz and Weight)
- Automatic Transfer Switches
- Transformers if present
- Fuel Storage and Tanks
- Conduit and Electrical Wiring
- For Data Centers this can also include UPS and HVAC Equipment (cylinders, refrigerant, chillers/boilers, condensers, etc.), plus specialized flooring, server racks and more
2) Inspection of Current Electrical System
- Review Electrical/Fire Room configuration and incoming/outgoing wiring
- Single Phase and Three-Phase layout throughout the facility or jobsite
- Review all breaker panels, find one with generator and any other related equipment that will need to be disconnected during de-install
- Inspect wires and how the cabling is run to and from the generator
- Review where and how the Automatic Transfer Switch is setup
- Review and document any custom connectivity such as remote wiring, paralleling equipment and switchgear, peak shaving, load shedding, additional air-filtration components, and all misc. equipment on the site
Additional Planning for Disconnecting & Removal
- Determine who will be handling removal of chemicals and fuel and dealing with proper disposal in your area
- Decide on whether to outsource all of this to one company (like Diesel Service & Supply or other service provides) or do certain tasks in-house
- Calculate weight and dimensions of all larger items to be removed
- Get bids from crane companies if necessary and freight brokers for shipping equipment off the site and to the desired destination
Execution of Plan
- Project management of final details and vendors
- Schedule cranes and freight for day of decommissioning
- Disconnect power from main breaker for all equipment involved
- Proceed with disconnecting the primary electrical wiring to and from the generator, ATS and other equipment. Use caution, remove all wires properly from contacts - do NOT cut or rip or you can easily end up cutting the wrong wires and damaging the equipment, and/or potentially spilling fluids and getting copper shards and various wiring debris everywhere
- Terminate all wires properly to close connections, plus re-label everything
- Remove all chemicals and fuels and dispose of properly
- For Data Centers – remove all additional UPS and HVAC equipment through similar process - properly disconnecting and terminating incoming and outgoing wires, de-constructing flooring, rack removal, etc.)
- Update breaker panel labels, restore power to the area and leave everything like new!
In-House versus Full Service Removal
Depending on your current installation, if your company has an experienced electrician, technician and a project manager on staff you may decide to handle much of this in-house. However, as you can see from the bullets above there is a fair amount involved in de-installing a large generator or decommissioning a complete data center and an understanding of numerous technical aspects is extremely helpful.
If you are considering de-installation of your industrial genset for any reason and would like help in assessing your options be sure to give us a call at 800-873-2073. Diesel Service and Supply offers this service throughout North America for generators ranging from 250 kW and up. Our team has successfully de-installed individual generators of all sizes and multiple unit power plants up to 20 MW.