Machinery Moving – Replacing Electrical Transformers on Vashon Island
- 50T slide gear
- 75T tri-lifter
- 12K reach forklift
Recently, Omega Morgan’s Seattle office worked with Puget Sound Energy to replace two old transformers and accessories at the Vashon Island Substation. The client project required not just experience in machinery moving, but also precision and planning, given the difficult terrain.
Transformers regulate voltage within electrical currents, and are an essential part of energy infrastructure. Our job included moving two major pieces–approximately 83,000 pounds and 76,500 pounds in weight respectively, including all related accessories–in both a safe and timely manner.
The two outdated transformers and their accessories would be replaced by two newer models with an impact house, a weather-protected control room filled with electrical switchgear. We completed the project to full client satisfaction, thanks to a process that included all necessary planning and expertise.
The Problem: A Complex Move in Difficult Terrain
PSE’s transformers were a substantial load. In addition to the 83,000 and 76,500 pound weights, they both measured more than 12 feet high, 8 feet wide and 12 feet long. A sizable task in easy conditions, made more challenging by the terrain in which this machinery had to be moved.
This difficulty manifested itself in a variety of ways. The ground was soft, leaving fewer options to find a steady place for the moving equipment or machinery. Live overhead power lines limited the head space of our crew as they moved the large transformers. A steep grade meant that finding the right spot for our tri-lifter and forklift was a crucial task. Finally, the spot to move the transformers in and out of was limited in space, making maneuvering difficult without a careful plan.
The Process: Early Analysis for Thorough Work
Difficult conditions like the above don’t make heavy machinery moving impossible. Rather, they increase the need for a thorough plan that accounts for all variables before the actual lifting occurs. That was the case here as well, where early analysis was the key to our eventual success.
After receiving the request, our crew visited the site for a first inspection. We noticed the soft ground in the substation, due to crushed rock that made it easy to sink in. As a result, we knew that we would need to make a solid surface that would enable us to move around in the substation without sinking. Our solution consisted of multiple 8 foot by 20 foot steel road plates, enabling us to drive our hard-tired equipment on the site without problems.
After the preparation, the work began. Our 50T slide gear, 75T tri-lifter, and 12K reach forklift did the heavy lifting. In-depth knowledge of the site ahead of the start meant knowing exactly what to expect, allowing our crew to complete the project safely.
The Result: Customer Satisfaction and Safe Work
Thanks to thorough preparation, our Seattle team completed the project without any damages or injuries. Puget Sound Energy now has two new transformers in place, allowing the company to more thoroughly monitor and regulate electric currents in the area.
The customer’s happiness with our project also extended to the fact that it was completed on-time despite location challenges. Omega Morgan was able to adapt quickly to short notice of changes within the project, as well as the inherent difficulty in the terrain itself. We’re happy to play our part in managing the electrical grid of Vashon Island and the wider area.