Yukon gensets achieve 94 per cent availability

During 13 years of continuous baseload operation at the Watson Lake power station in Yukon, Canada, a Caterpillar engine has achieved 94 per cent availability.

A six person staff at Watson Lake maintains a power station rated at 4 MW peak capacity, along with a 25 kV distribution line running 15 miles east and west from the city. The majority of the electric power comes from a Caterpillar 3606 diesel generator set installed in 1985 and now with more than 100 000 hours of operation. The engine is an in-line 6-cylinder engine, rated at 1650 kW at 900 r/min.

The six per cent down-time included all shutdowns for maintenance, service and top-end and major overhauls. Of the four unscheduled outages during the genset`s life, two were caused by generator failures.

The 3606 was installed at Watson Lake as a prototype but since then has been a production engine. The engine, coupled to a 1500 kW fully synchronous generator carries the bulk of the loads typically ranging from 1000-3000 kW. Typical daily peak loads are 1800 kW in summer and 2200 kW in winter, and the typical annual peak is 2700 kW.