Fairfield Electric Cooperative (Blythewood, SC) has completed construction of the 20 MVA Woodcreek Substation in Elgin, SC. Midway through the project technicians discovered bus and switch connectors were being incorrectly installed. The contractor, using an untrained crew, was not fully compressing the connections to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Some fitting connections were not completed.
Given the time constraints, Fairfield Electric consulted with AFL (Duncan, SC) to correct the problems. AFL is the only manufacturer to offer a full line of substation fittings for bolted, welded and compression applications. Fairfield Electric operates 23 substations in Fairfield, Kershaw, Richland, Chester and York counties in South Carolina. At their Lockhart Substation in Chester, SC, Fairfield Electric crews were trained by AFL engineers to install 2-inch Swage Bus Tees. Fairfield was impressed with the quality of the Swage compression connections. Equally critical was the time-savings. Swage technology installs in minutes rather than hours compared to the standard welding process.
Kevin Shull, Assistant Manager of Operations and Engineering says, “AFL immediately supplied a solution within our tight time frame and got what we needed to the job site. AND they helped us install it. Together we fixed all the incorrectly-installed fittings and completed the installation in two days to get the substation energized and operational.”
The split fitting connection being installed in the video, demonstrates the Swaging process. The unique value of a split fitting connector, using swage technology, is that a fitting can be installed over the existing bus pipe without cutting the bus and the process does not interfere with the existing bus arrangement.
Fairfield Electric was able to get the substation project back on schedule, using AFL’s Swage compression connections for terminal and bus connections. The Woodcreek Substation was energized on-time, ensuring reliable and robust power delivery to meet the ever-increasing demand for power in Fairfield’s service area. The added grid capacity will also allow offloading capability for other larger Fairfield Electric substations scheduled for upgrades.