Thule Air Base: Bringing New, High-Speed Generation to Their Power Plant.
Thule Air Base is a forward-looking radar station in the northern regions of Greenland. It is so far north, they don’t see the “northern lights”, they see the “southern lights.”
Thule Air Base is solely powered by diesel power generation, running on JP-8 jet fuel. Their generators date back to the 50’s and 60’s, and are highly reliable medium speed machines with many, many runtime hours on them.
Thule was ready to add some newer, high speed generation to their power plant. They elected to go with a Caterpillar 3516 1800kW machine. Makes sense – the 3516 is a workhorse generator, widely supported, and reasonably economical to add.
All good so far. So what’s the issue? The thing is: how do you get the 3516 to load share with the other generators on-site? Especially when the machines are separated by a distance, and interconnecting load sharing lines is not practical? Answer: You call LEC – your generator paralleling experts!
LEC added two small, wall-mount panels with PLC and HMI automation to accomplish the task. One panel is located near the new Caterpillar generator. The other is located in the operator control room. The two panels are linked by a fiber optic pair. Now, the Thule operators can easily start their Caterpillar generator remotely, and the Caterpillar load shares proportionally with the other generators.