VA Medical Center Salisbury, Power System

Wiley|Wilson is providing planning,  engineering design, and construction support services for the replacement of the existing 4.16kV underground electrical distribution system. One of the constraints of the existing system is that it lacks sufficient capacity to serve all of the 34 campus buildings, forcing the VA to acquire individual utility services to some buildings.

Wiley|Wilson’s initial task was to perform an alternatives analysis. This involved initial fieldwork to assess current conditions and the develop several concept designs which were then discussed with the VAMC Salisbury to evaluate the optimum approach to maximize the project budget. These designs incorporated the requirements of the VA Standards as well as their Physical Security Design Guide. Wiley|Wilson recommended the concept design best serving the Medical Center; the VAMC staff then decided the ultimate direction of the project.

The station’s existing electrical system is a manual primary selective configuration for most buildings, with the remainder being fed radially. In addition, the VAMC system operates at 4.16kV while all individual utility services operate at 12.47kV. One of the key VA objectives was to add capacity to the system such that all buildings could be converted back to the VAMC system for operational flexibility. Because of the two different operating voltages, and the need to replace significant equipment due to age, our recommendation was to convert the entire system to 12.47kV. Multiple conversations were conducted with the local utility to determine the cost impact of these decisions and to ensure that the project funding could support these design decisions.