Portable Power Distribution Center

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When looking for a quick, temporary way to distribute power to several devices one might use a power strip. But what if you need a quick, temporary way to distribute power to an entire facility?

When the Pennsylvania State University began a project to build 18,000 square feet of temporary lab space within 24 trailer units, a way was needed to distribute utility power to these units without having to construct a permanent building or consume valuable floor space within the facility. Any permanent electrical service solution would have been discarded at the end of life of this facility. A more sustainable and financially conscious approach was required.

What emerged was a custom, portable Power Distribution Center (PDC) that could be used temporarily, could be used for multiple purposes, and could be relocated and reused for years to come. The PDC includes multiple switchgear in a weatherproof, air-conditioned, walk-in enclosure. The enclosure for this solution could fit on a low-boy trailer, be transported to a site, and be connected to a utility transformer(s) to serve power out to multiple distribution points within a facility.

The highly versatile PDC unit designed for the Penn State project includes the following features:

  • System Voltage Options: The PDC can distribute up to 2000 amps at 480/277 volts, three phase and 2000 amps at 208/120 volts, three phase.
  • Multiple Source Inputs: For an added level of reliability, the PDC switchgear can support three electric sources with its double-ended, main-tie-main arrangement on the 480-volt side and single-ended switchgear on the 208-volt side.
  • Emergency Power Connectivity: In addition to the two service connections, the PDC has provisions to connect an external generator to serve any emergency power requirements.
  • Monitoring / Metering: The PDC has remote monitoring capabilities, as well as digital metering for each of its electrical source inputs.

Whether you’re providing power to a temporary facility, serving an existing building during scheduled equipment upgrades, or delivering a portable electrical service solution during an extended power outage, the use of PDC equipment should be investigated. Power distribution center solutions are project specific, and the design and selection should be suited for each individual client’s needs. For more information or if you have questions on your next project, please do not hesitate to contact Richard Koval, PE, LEED AP at 814-237-2180 or rik@ba-inc.com.

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