Concrete base offers flexibility for factory-built control and switch rooms

Ergon-Energy-switchroom

Ergon Energy’s Energy Solutions division has completed work on an 18m-long, 5m-wide modular control room as part of its South Toowoomba substation project.

The Queensland government-owned corporation has produced modular control rooms, data centres and switch rooms for years. However, the unit designed for the South Toowoomba substation includes one of the largest single piece concrete systems produced in Australia.

Energy solutions business development manager Marcus Leaver said engineered concrete technology was chosen for the building base because it is significantly cheaper than traditional steel.

“It provides an 80-plus year lifespan, a two-hour fire rating, rapid manufacturing speeds, high rigidity, and proven strength – it’s the same technology found in modern bridge construction,” he said.

The bases are fully earthed, deflection rated for switchgear applications, including HV GIS capablility, with modularising 145kV-rated equipment underway. There is also an option for under-mounted cable tray to maximise works that can be completed at the factory.

Ergon Energy’s modular units are built from the floor up, fully fitted out to required specs, including equipment installation, panel wiring and FAT.

Many of the units are destined for remote locations where onsite construction and fit out with panel wiring and other works can be cost prohibitive.

“While a large control or switch room are easily accommodated by the technology, the process has huge flexibility to produce bases from as small as communications or battery huts in an efficient and cost effective way,” Mr Leaver said.