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February 8, 2019
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Hudson Yards, the largest private development in the United States which includes 26 acres of residential, commercial, retail, educational, and park space, has recently opened on New York City’s West Side. The site, which sits atop rail yards, houses a behind-the-scenes power plant and microgrid system that enables it to stay up and running regardless of the status of the local grid.

Thermo Systems came onboard to the Hudson Yards project in July of 2016 as the control systems integrator contracted to handle the engineering design and implementation of the entire Plant Control System for the on-site cogeneration plant and microgrid control system. The Cogeneration Plant features four natural gas reciprocating engine generators – 3.3MW each (13.2MW total), directly coupled to four absorption chillers – 660 tons each to maximize efficiency, two electric chillers at 1250 tons each to supplement cooling during the hot season, and a site-wide electrical distribution system linked to the utility grid through six microgrid breakers. The custom designed microgrid control system features the following main functions:

  • Electrical distribution control and monitoring
  • Direct integration with the local utility over DNP3 protocol
  • Site wide GPS time synchronization
  • Automatic load shed/load restore at the 480 V level (over 200 breakers)
  • Four modes of electrical operation: 1. Island Mode 2. Black Start Mode 3. Utility Parallel Mode and 4. Stand Alone Microgrid Mode

Thermo Systems integrated the Balance of Plant Cogeneration Plant functions and the microgrid electrical system functions into one comprehensive Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system. Using one SCADA provides operation and maintenance personnel with consistent graphics and functionality for ease of use.

This is certainly not Thermo Systems’ first successful microgrid deployment; locally Thermo has provided the microgrid controls for New York University, Princeton University, and numerous other microgrid and cogeneration sites around the country. We look forward to servicing the Hudson Yards plant well into the future as we help to keep all 26 acres powered up 24/7/365.

To learn more about Hudson Yards and the cogeneration/microgrid plant:

https://www.fastcompany.com/3025550/hudson-yards-building-a-digital-city

https://ny.curbed.com/2018/4/4/17115600/hudson-yards-nyc-guide-buildings-apartments-map