One of the world’s largest generating set installations has recently been completed in Brazil, with more than 500 FG Wilson diesel gensets installed on the one site.

FG Wilson Dealer, Aruanã Energia SA, installed and commissioned 576 generating sets over a nine month period near the town of Igarassu, Pernambuco, Brazil. When combined, the diesel gensets have the capacity to supply a total power output of 236 MW of standby power to the Brazilian national grid. The power plant is expected to operate between 1000 and 2000 hours each year during times of peak demand when the supply of electricity from the national grid can be intermittent and unreliable.

The unique plant design, said to be the most cost-effective solution available, was based on a 15% annual plant utilisation factor. Its features include very low acquisition and installation costs, optimized fuel economy at all dispatch levels and low operations and maintenance costs, says FG Wilson. Cost savings will be gained through the innovative use of highly efficient diesel engines as the main source of power – traditionally, larger more expensive industrial engines would often be used in solutions providing standby/peak shaving applications, adds the company.

The generating sets operate at 440 V and step up to 34.5 kV transformers, which in-turn step up to the 230 kV transmission grid line. A single plant operator remotely monitors each plant, via a state-of-the-art system developed for the project. This advanced control system dispatches and regulates power from the generating sets as required, allowing the operator to simply input the necessary plant output.