MARKET: Natural Gas & LNG
LOCATION: Baltimore, MD
SERVICES: • Multidiscipline
VALUE CLASS: $206,830
ABOUT: The Client is Maryland’s largest natural gas and electric utility, delivering power to more than 1.3 million electric customers and more than 680,000 natural gas customers in central Maryland.
TAI Provides Electrical Engineering, Construction and Project Management to Baltimore LNG Customer
Located off the 1-95/1-395 interchange in Baltimore, the Client’s three large Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) tanks had been painted with murals that portray images recognizing Maryland’s proud heritage. The first tank is with Maryland blue crabs; the second tank shows an image of the U.S. flag and fireworks – home to the star-spangled banner and the third, a mural of racehorses as an ode to the Preakness and Maryland horse racing. The Client sought to spotlight their new murals in time for the inaugural Baltimore Light City Festival on April 1, 2017. The specialty LED lighting – with wireless remote-control capability to change colors and different light controls such as dim, spotlight, and blink – had a short timeframe in which to be completed.
Initially, the Client contracted TAI to provide the detailed electrical engineering to design the wiring for 24, 4 x 3 ft heavy-duty LED Specialty Light fixtures, weighing 75lbs each. TAI worked with Image Engineering’s designers who provided the LED lighting units and determine the best-suited fixtures for cylinder-shaped structures and the mounting locations. After testing, Image finalized a location layout diagram that TAI used for engineering power distribution and electrical installation.
After reviewing the many challenges of lighting installation for this project, the Client recognized TAI’s multidiscipline services and requested that TAI provide more than just electrical design. The project also required structural engineering, construction for both the temporary installation (to get the lights operational by the start of the Light City festival), as well as the permanent installation. Additionally, TAI provided project management to manage coordination with Image and Geotech for soil and structural testing of the dike structure where the lights were to be mounted.
The tanks are surrounded by a concrete containment wall (dike) that has specific safety regulations that affected the installation and placement of the lights. Since the lights were not “explosion proof” they could not be positioned anywhere inside the dike area – which would’ve been ideal for shining lights up toward the tanks. Therefore, TAI’s structural engineers provided a design that would mount the lights on the top of dike walls to keep out of the classified dike areas.
The next challenge was wind speed requirements. On top of the dike, the light structures had to withstand 129 mph winds to adhere to code. Also, it was unknown what materials were inside the dikes that were constructed decades prior. TAI contracted Geotech to test soil stability and the dike structure to determine if the lighting design installation satisfied the wind speed requirements.
The final challenge was that the project started in January, but the lights needed to be functional by April 1. The permanent solution of constructing concrete pads to accom-modate 24 lights around the lip of the dike could not be executed in time so TAI had to design a temporary solution to safely install the lights by the deadline.
TAI devised a temporary structural design using wooden platforms that were tethered with metal cables to the backside of the dike. TAI’s electrical engineers provided the detailed power and controls design and installed all new system components. TAI routed all wiring and conduit, mounted all light fixtures on the temporary wooden foundations as well as permanent cement platforms that were installed a month after the festival. TAI’s engineers also integrated the new lighting system into the Client’s Emergency Alarm Interlock System that automatically cuts power to the lights in an emergency situation, as the light fixtures themselves are not explosion-proof.
TAI’s project managers orchestrated and directed all temporary and permanent installation, overseeing and coordinating between multiple subcontractors and TAI’s own construction services personnel. After working with TAI on the lighting project – that turned from electrical design to structural engineering and project management, the Client also asked TAI to execute the following immediate off-shoot projects:
Temporary wooden platforms
Permanent structure ready for lights
Completed installation for permanent platforms
Versatile lighting via remote control
TAI worked diligently with the Client and collaborated with other contractors to complete the project – with a temporary wooden platform solution – in time for the 2017 Baltimore City Lights festival. A month later, TAI installed the permanent cement platforms for the LED light installation to provide the Client with a fully automated lighting system, capable of color mixing by a simple, wireless remote-control interface to change the tank’s colors for holidays, special events and home Orioles or Ravens games – as a mood setting ‘welcome’ to the thousands of motorists as they travel to Baltimore.
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