Walter Reed Army Institute of Research Generator Failure

Service:

Study

Sector:

Federal
Healthcare

Size:

500 SF

Location:

Maryland
Walter Reed Army Institute of Research Generator Failure

This was an emergency task order for a generator failure study. The failure occurred on a Wednesday and a team member was on site that Friday. Cromwell's engineers noted the following:

  • Visual inspections of the radiators found dirt and oil buildup even though maintenance records showed that recently the radiators were reported to be cleaned
  • Lab results for the radiator coolant indicated high iron corrosion levels, once again pointing to maintenance issues
  • The monthly load tests had questionable data giving little indication of the true status of the generators capacity
  • The airflow path analysis shows that restrictions in the airflow path create less than ideal ventilation conditions. The restrictions to the airflow path include dirty radiators, awkward louver plenum arrangements and on generator #1, a smaller than recommended discharge louver area. This reduced air flow will increase the temperature in the room and reduce the cooling capability of the radiators. The work request forms in this report show that generator #1 is always the first failure, which is the generator with the compromised air flow.

These conditions combined to create a scenario for failure of the generators. The recommended short term solution is to improve maintenance on the generators by checking that the intervals for maintenance recommended by the manufacturer are met and the thoroughness of the cleaning is verified. The long term solution is to remove the folded core radiators from the generators and install remote radiators just outside the generator room.