Shaw Controls, a member of the Zest WEG Group, has designed, engineered, manufactured and supplied a fit-for-purpose E‑house solution into an oil and gas sector application at a major South African port.

Bevan Richards, managing director of Shaw Controls, says using a draft concept supplied by the customer the company has taken its E-house design and manufacturing capabilities to new heights.

Shaw Controls was responsible for the complete mechanical and electrical design as well as manufacture of this E-house solution which comprises five modules.

Richards says probably in a ‘first’ for South Africa and accommodating space constraints on site, the design is a multi-level construction which will be fitted onto the available footprint. This E-house solution comprises three modules at ground level with two above.

The substantial structure, including all electrical substation equipment, weighs approximately 90 tonnes. A section of the ground floor houses a medium voltage (MV) switchroom with a dry-type transformer for enhanced safety, and a module fitted with three 450 kW MV variable speed drives (VSDs).

The third module contains a 1 MVA generator set, sourced from Zest WEG Group’s dedicated genset manufacturing facility in Cape Town, for backup power.

The first floor comprises one module with a low voltage motor control centre (MCC) and four freestanding low voltage (LV) VSD panels, and a second module for control and automation.

An additional E-house comprising one module for a separate (LV) substation has also been supplied.

“Our expertise and experience in designing appropriate mechanical and electrical solutions using 3-D modelling software makes this kind of innovation possible,” says Richards.

Using a turnkey approach allows Shaw Controls to efficiently construct the full solution at its dedicated E-house facility in Heidelberg, saving customers the complexity of managing multiple contractors on site. At this facility, the modules are trial-fitted, assembled and tested before transportation to site.

“As with our other E-house projects, we are able to provide quality assurance before units leave the facility, reducing the various risks and costs of on-site construction and commissioning including requiring specialised resources,” he says.

Other important aspects of this E-house design include its fire rating, fire detection systems and HVAC systems for heating, cooling and ventilation. Rock wool mineral insulation between the cladding segregates the modules and provides a two hour structural fire rating. Climate control systems will ensure that the coastal temperatures and humidity of KwaZulu-Natal do not disrupt smooth operations.

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