LV Ring main and Switch Room upgrades

SERVICE(S): Electrical
LOCATION: Farnborough International Airport
DURATION: 3 months
VALUE: £400,000+


Following a competitive tendering opportunity RME were contracted to provide new infrastructure cabling and the installation of new Low Voltage (LV) switch panel upgrades, to serve the outgoing distribution for the Farnborough International Airport site in Farnborough Hampshire.

RME were responsible for the design, installation and commissioning of switch gear within 4 switch rooms on site to replace the unserviceable aged switchgear that existed.

In summary, works consisted of the following:

Each switch room was connected to the local 11KV HV transformer via a range of antiquated low voltage distribution equipment consisting of a number of Bus bars and switch fuses. In a programmed sequence each of the switch rooms were carefully stripped out and all outgoing circuits marked up for reconnection. RME’s generators provided critical client services with the power required during the switchover.

New floor standing bespoke sectional switch panels were installed in place of the old equipment. These were systematically connected to a new incoming LV service from the HV transformer and all of the existing outgoing circuits were reconnected.

New metering was provided at each location to enable the client to monitor and recharge energy use as required.

As part of this project a new LV main supply to Farnborough’s main office was installed to enable the installation of comfort cooling throughout the building. This consisted of a 200 metre hard dig trench from the switch room to the offices. A new 240 mm 4 core Steel Wire Armored cable was installed to provide this service and connected from the new switch panel to a range of new LV distribution switch gear within the building. Following the installation the trench was backfilled and a new tarmacadam finish was applied to match the existing.

A test of the LV cabling forming the ring main was carried out to prove it’s integrity and phase rotation was checked throughout the site.

As part of these works, due to a capped client budget, a value engineering exercise was carried out to reduce the original costings.   Switch panels were reduced in size, reconfigured and competitive tendering was carried out for the manufacture of the panels to achieve maximum value for money on this project.

The works were also phased and part financed by RME to dovetail into the client’s forward works programme enabling all phases to be completed sequentially.

Client Feedback / Synopsis

RME’s innovative approach to the financing of the project elements enabled the client to complete the works as a seamless single project and earlier than anticipated rather than phased across a number of financial years.

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