On the mechanical side, the 2016 project was vintage hospital work for us: Remove and install massive components … in tight quarters … without interrupting service.
The environment was vintage, too. We would be removing a 1980s-era steam plant from a transformer vault room in the basement of a 1954 building, replacing five old boilers with six new ones and replacing the deaerator and surge tank.
First, we had to install a freight elevator – getting modular boilers in and out of the basement just wasn’t going to happen without one. For that, we found a new collaborator in Power and Motion Industrial Sales and Highland Machine Works, a trusted installer of cranes and elevator systems. It proved to be a good partnership. Three years later, we hired them to install the crane system in our new fabrication shop.
With the elevator in, the orchestration began: Take out a large boiler, replace it with two new boilers, while operating the heating plant with the other three (the fifth wasn’t working). Then take out two other boilers, add two new ones, and repeat the sequence for the final two.
Along the way, we developed a valving scheme to bring the new deaerator online, keeping the old one running to provide makeup water to the boilers and manage the returning condensate. We also added temporary and future taps for that makeup water, as well as for steam, condensate, natural gas and fuel oil.