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Location: Bel Air, MD
Owner: University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health
Client: Clark Construction
Contract Value: < $1,000,000
Year Completed: 2016
Sector: Water, Power & Utilities

▪︎ Electrical Systems

In 2014, Clark completed a contract for the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center (UM UCMC) Combined Heat and Power (CHP) System. The UM UCMC CHP project features a two megawatt natural gas CHP system, which was designed and developed by Clark.

UM UCMC is the first hospital in the state of Maryland to employ a CHP system. This new energy system significantly improved the electrical efficiency of the hospital. The improved energy efficiency of CHP systems stems from the design to reuse exhaust heat to simultaneously generate electrical and thermal energy. By using this system to produce energy on the campus of UM UCMC, it is the equivalent of taking over 2,200 cars off the road.

The system serves as a primary power source for the hospital’s electrical load. The advanced system captures waste heat and utilizes it in the absorption chiller, heat recovery steam generator, and other systems, eliminating the need to purchase additional electricity. It also provides significant back-up power for non-critical care loads during prolonged grid outages.

In 2016, to enhance CHP system performance, C3M implemented an upgrade which included a new set of current transformers (CTs) installed on both incoming Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) feeders and connected to separate protective relays. The new relays also receive bus voltage inputs via new bus potential transformers (PTs) mounted on top of the 33kV switchgear.  The relays provide reverse power protection and undervoltage detection for the system by tripping the substation circuit breaker interconnected to the CHP. The relays also transmit incoming power to the power monitoring and control system for minimum utility import control, which refers to the method that is used to control the electric output of the cogeneration system based on the power delivered from the utility. All work was carefully coordinated with UCMC personnel to prevent any negative impact on the medical center’s critically important power supply.