Over the years, HEA has provided a wide variety of M/E/P design support for projects at this airport, which includes over 60 buildings on 1,200 acres. Projects have included Administration Building HVAC, power, lighting and plumbing renovations; airfield emergency generator replacement; Million Air Terminal emergency generator; maintenance facility generator; hangar condensation mitigation; electric utility upgrades; utilities for terminal building food court tenants; hydrogen gas storage and distribution system; CCTV and security upgrades; and arc flash hazard analyses.
A notable project was the airfield emergency generator replacement. HEA designed the installation of a new 400 kW, diesel-fueled airfield emergency generator at Albany International Airport. The generator provides power for airfield lighting in the event of a general power outage or to support an FAA Category 2 storm situation.
The need for the project arose from Airport staff expressing concerns about the age and reliability of the existing 20-year-old diesel generator. Due to its age and exposure to the elements, its reliability could not be guaranteed. Additionally, the costs to procure the necessary parts to ensure its reliable operation was deemed prohibitive when compared to the costs and benefits of purchasing a modern unit.
The airport initially considered replacing the existing unit with a natural gas-fueled unit. After further investigation, it was determined the expense of purchasing and installing a 400-kW natural gas-fueled unit was prohibitively expensive. As such, it was decided to upgrade the existing unit to a new, low sulfur, low emission 400-kW diesel-fueled unit. Additionally, it was determined that an automatic load bank for power signal conditioning would be included in the project.
The new generator and load bank were installed in the same location as the existing unit. HEA sized and selected the generator, prepared plans for the removal of the existing generator, designed a new generator pad, and prepared plans for the installation of the new generator. The existing generator output power feeders, input circuits, control wiring and conduits, and automatic transfer switch were reused.
A temporary generator was brought in during construction to ensure continuous availability of emergency power to the airfield per FAA regulations. HEA also provided bid phase assistance and construction administration services.
Finally, HEA assisted the Airport in determining if the existing generator could be re-used at another facility. The generator was subsequently relocated to a charter and private aircraft terminal to provide stand-by power.