In July 1999, management of Maui Pineapple Co. Ltd. learned the company’s power-control system – which produces 6 megawatts of power – wasn’t up-to-date and could go sour in just six months. “A shutdown would have crippled our production and closed Maui’s largest shopping mall, which receives its electricity from us,” says Wayne Sakamoto, head of Maui Pineapple Co.’s power plant. “So we called several companies to help. The only one with the expertise we were looking for was Encorp.”
According to Dave Bishop, application engineering manager at Encorp, Maui Pineapple Co.’s four Wartsila gensets hadn’t been updated for nearly 10 years, even though the power demands of nearby Kaahumanu Shopping Center had grown substantially. “It was time for Maui Pineapple Co. to modernize its power equipment,” he notes. “They needed a system with automated controls that allow the generators to run in parallel with the utility.”
In just a few months and without interruption to the company’s day-to-day operations, the Encorp team replaced 60 percent of the old equipment with new Encorp generator power controls. Encorp equipment included one Encorp Utility Power Control™, four Encorp Generator Power Controls™ – also known as the Gold Box – and Encorp’s Virtual Maintenance Monitor™ alarming and paging software. In addition, the team installed four new voltage regulators, electronic governors and actuators, new engine sequencing and monitoring controls, and five screens that display all operating parameters of the upgraded system. The Encorp solution allows the company to parallel its four generators with each other as well as interconnect with the grid.
Today, Encorp’s alarming and paging software installed on the equipment instantaneously alerts power-plant employees and provides information on any one of 700 potential problems. “The Encorp equipment has paid for itself,” Sakamoto explains. “Our four generators now run as one, which makes the system much more efficient.”