The Main Campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago was experiencing one to three major outages per year, each costing an estimated $520,000 in restoration expenses.
Rather than spend $5 million for a new substation and feeders, the campus installed S&C Electric Company‘s High-Speed Fault-Clearing System throughout the campus, according to a case study of the project.
This system clears main feeder faults in approximately six cycles and isolates the faulted cable section, while maintaining service to all connected loads.
The solution stemmed from a project that began in 2008 when the Galvin Electricity Initiative joined with the Illinois Institute of Technology faculty, Endurant Energy, Exelon, and S&C to develop a Perfect Power System prototype for the campus, converting the campus’s electrical system into a “Smart Microgrid.”
Existing on-site cogeneration equipment was repurposed to operate in “islanding mode,” independent of the existing substation system. This equipment includes a 6-MW fast-start, gas-fired generator having the ability to produce essential power in the event of a problem on the main system, plus 10 standby generators located at various buildings around the campus, producing a total of 3 MW.
The power generated on the campus will be sold on the wholesale market to PJM Interconnection.