New Generator Fails Reliability Test


Although one of the new generators that are being installed as part of the BVIEC’s Phase V Power Development Project failed the reliability test and new parts had to be sourced overseas, Minister for Communications and Works, Hon. Mark Vanterpool is confident that the project will meet the deadline.

The news of a malfunction came in an update from BVIEC on 13 February. In that statement the BVIEC disclosed that the tests continue on the recently commissioned generators and  while two generators were tested and tried, one only passed the test.

The Corporation announced: “The other unit which was also being tested last week developed a component failure. The failure resulted in the unit shutting down and [resulting in]brief outages on a number of feeders around the Territory.”

“Replacement components are currently being acquired so that the generator may re-commence its reliability trials upon completion of the repairs,” the BVIEC further stated.

As a result The Island Sun newspaper contacted the Minister for Communications and Works to find out whether the failure would affect the project in a significant way and we were told that it would not: “This is the purpose of what we call a 15-day vigorous testing which they are going through. One of the engines they were testing, number 12 — we call it, while it was having the vigorous test there was a fault; and they were able to quickly fix that from using a part from the third generator. They are flying the part that they took to get that one (third generator) ready for next month,” Hon. Vanterpool disclosed.

“It is a factory fault that they experienced and they have repaired it and stared retesting it on Monday night. We expect to have them tested and ready still by the end of this month,” the Minister further assured.

In a previous update the BVIEC noted that the generators being tested will be required to produce their full rated capacity continuously for the next two weeks to successfully complete the trials. “During this time the new engines will be supplying over half of the Territory’s daily electrical energy,” the Department explained.

The two of three new generators were started for the first time on Saturday 28 January at the Pockwood Pond station.

Once completed, Phase V development project is expected to add three engines generating a total of 26.7MW of power to the central BVI Grid.