Best Practices for Natural Gas Engine Driven Pump Station Control Upgrades
June 6, 2022 2:49:48 PM PDT June 6, 2022 2:49:48 PM PDTth, June 6, 2022 2:49:48 PM PDT
MurCal Municipal has been automating engine driven pumps for over 60 years. With our vast library of proven control strategies, solving problems and coming up with solutions for our customers for decades, we can tailor a custom solution for the unique needs of each municipality. We understand that the needs of each Flood Station vary, and solutions are not one size fits all.
Here’s a comprehensive list of Best Practices for updating or upgrading the controls at a Natural Gas Engine Driven Pump Flood Station:
We start with a Pre-walk as we need to assess what the station needs are prior to quoting. We will need to see the condition of conduits, look at possible modifications to the panel, check how the wires were installed etc. We'll also need to ask questions about specific needs like mounting, battery chargers, current code standards and more. It would be preferable if we could speak to someone who is an expert in the current equipment to make sure we get all the correct information. Documented modifications to the current Panel would be great to have but we understand that is rarely the norm.
Depending on the age of the current system, we always recommend to not re-use wiring or conduits and to rewire engines. This includes not connecting old wires with new wires. We also recommend shielding the spark plug wires and using stranded wires and not solid wires. Any spark plug or frequency type wiring needs to be separate from control wiring.
Conduits need to be sealed from the environment (rain etc.) and the AC & DC wiring have to be separated and in different conduits.
The person responsible for the success of the project should have a qualified installer, an electrician, as well as a mechanic that understands engine systems. These people, along with an overall understanding of the station will help to streamline the installation.
While this will vary by company, our quotes generally include a detailed list of all the products needed and we will also include our best practices and the sequence of operations so everything can be installed smoothly. Each part has its own instructions; this is the reason why it’s so crucial to have a qualified electrician/mechanic at hand that understands the engine system.
Engine control systems in general operate from 6-32 volts and people will sometimes look to use 12 volt systems to save on cost. We highly recommend a 24 volt system as this will provide more reliable operation for the station. This is due to less voltage drop during the critical starting phase. We also recommend connecting the panel directly to the battery.
Click here to see a diagram for a 5-pump station - 3 engines and two electric main pumps. A central controller with 3 engine controllers. Engines are equipped with IntilliSpark ignitions and AFR-64-R air fuel ratio controllers.
These batteries should have a properly sized battery charger attached to them. This is not a cheap trickle charger but a rugged industrial charger built for a pump station environment. There are several decent brands and we can help recommend something if you need help.
Using innovative technology can save money in the long run and can improve efficiency and performance, especially during natural disasters and emergencies of all kinds. Taking the time to do it right before there is an emergency is the best insurance for the times when you need it. We’re with you every step of the way, making sure your installation is perfect and that you understand all the benefits of your new system from day one.
For more information about how MurCal can help you find the right solutions for your Engine Driven Pumping Station visit our page.