Author Topic: Sheepscot Power Infrastructure  (Read 1764 times)

Bob Holmes

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Sheepscot Power Infrastructure
« on: May 30, 2021, 07:37:04 PM »
An admission:  I have an almost obsessive interest in the plans for providing electrical power to all parts of the Sheepscot campus.  I applauded  the completion of the electrical building which Zach and Brendan have built, which is a major first step.  I would like to start a thread to follow the centralization of power through the electrical building, the provision of power to the Engine House and the Carbarn/Museum, the completion of underground power to Percival House and other existing buildings, etc.

As I understand it, the basic concept is that 1) all power to Sheepscot will come through the electrical building from a direct download from Maine Central Power, and 2) power distribution to the entire rest of the campus will be through underground conduits to all major buildings.

I am starting this thread to begin an ongoing discussion about what already exists, what is planned for both the immediate and long-term future, and progress updates on all of those.  It’s sort of invisible, but (as infrastructure usually is) crucial to our future.  Any and all contributions welcome.

James Patten

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Re: Sheepscot Power Infrastructure
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2021, 08:05:09 PM »
I may end up telling more than anyone wants to know.

Power was first installed in '91-'92, to Bay 1.  As the shop expanded, it grew organically.  Harry was an electrical engineer, so he knew what he could get away with.  We were also rather poor at the time, so the electrical system was as cheap as could be done.  When the station was built, it was fed with an underground wire.

I believe the Bay 4 extension wiring is all overhead, no conduit through the concrete.

When we started talking about the Bays 1-2-3 extension toward the road, we knew the drop point had to move to Bay 4, which meant distribution had to change.  By this time Josh Recave was involved, our electrician.  Before the extension was started, we dug a trench (in November) from the corner of Bay 3 over to the station/freight shed (when we encountered the wire) and put in I think 3 conduits - one for power, one for telephone, and one for the future.  Then when we actually excavated for the extension, Josh ran more conduit to various wall locations, before the concrete got poured.  Also around this time, Josh began working on rewiring the entire shop with conduit, although this hasn't yet been completed (because we keep needing Josh for other things).

I presume conduit was run during the time when Bay 2 and 3 in the older part of the structure were concreted, but I'm not sure about that.

When we bought the house, we now had two electrical bills (still do), so that must have been when the idea of the central distribution occurred.  Once that started to gel, the trench was dug from Bay 4 to where the building is to the Percival House, along with conduits.  The conduit was used for the phone system and now the computer network.  The bathroom got electrical and water conduit underground from the house, but we didn't add a third conduit for anything, which might have been useful for phone (or internet/wifi), nor did outgoing conduit get put in (other than to the septic).  The garage's electric comes from the bathroom, and conduit was put in when the ramp track was built.

Mike Fox

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Re: Sheepscot Power Infrastructure
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2021, 08:22:53 PM »
When Josh and I buried the conduit, I think we buried 3 from the shop to the electrical building. One wenr into the building, 2 to the temporary juction box outside of it. The same to the house. We slso headed north from the electrical building with 3 pipes to a spot marked by the Pressure Treated 2x4 to get away from the building location. Zack had me dig out the spot for the building and then he had our Cotractor Jeff haul a load of gravel in. I leveled it and let it settle for a year (turned into 3)..

Talks with Josh yesterday, he plans on adding to the north bound pipes, one of those pipes is going to the Roundhouse, one to the Car Barn and the 3rd to the Restroom, should he decide to use it for there.

This has been planned for a long time and slowly evolving.
Mike
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John McNamara

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Re: Sheepscot Power Infrastructure
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2021, 08:33:27 PM »

Talks with Josh yesterday, he plans on adding to the north bound pipes, one of those pipes is going to the Roundhouse, one to the Car Barn and the 3rd to the Restroom, should he decide to use it for there.

What about telephone and alarm?

Mike Fox

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Re: Sheepscot Power Infrastructure
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2021, 08:37:36 PM »
I think we will add that from the junction box outside of the electrical.
Mike
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Bob Holmes

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Re: Sheepscot Power Infrastructure
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2021, 07:36:46 PM »
This is a great start to this thread, which I hope will keep going until the whole campus is wired through the central electrical house.

My first reaction to responses from James, Mike, et. al., is that it is really important to created a master map of electrical distribution for all of Sheepscot.  So far, we're relying on memory, and that can be elusive, and presumed markers from years ago can be altered or even destroyed.

What are your thoughts about creating this map, and how can we make it happen.  I am totally happy to help construct it.

Bob

Carl G. Soderstrom

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Re: Sheepscot Power Infrastructure
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2021, 01:37:13 AM »
I will second a map of where lines are buried.
Take measurements from things that will not move.
Long ago I tried to get FIL to make map (no satellite pix then) of drainage tile.

He claimed they were in the County Ag. Office - well 25 years after he is gone
we still can't find drain tiles - until we hit them putting in new tile.

So - if it is buried map it. Both electronic and hard copy with measurements - your descendants
will praise you

I might add the septic lines and field,

and the cat  (no need to mark what the cat buries) :D
« Last Edit: June 01, 2021, 01:41:37 AM by Carl G. Soderstrom »

Mike Fox

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Re: Sheepscot Power Infrastructure
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2021, 08:10:19 AM »
I think Josh is taking care of the mapping. It is his baby.. And if he has not, he should be consulted with first to get his input as well as mine sine we have done all the work thus far.
Mike
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Bob Holmes

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Re: Sheepscot Power Infrastructure
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2021, 07:47:51 PM »
Mike, we all really appreciate the work that you and Josh have done already with the power distribution from the Electrical House.
But I worry what would happen if the two of you were hit by the Proverbial Bus.  IMHO, we need to have permanent precise documentation (paper/computer/photo, etc.) of the underground conduit grid and connections, including as Carl mentioned, measurements from stable reference points.
This would serve us well for the next many years.

John Kokas

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Re: Sheepscot Power Infrastructure
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2021, 09:15:31 PM »
Agreed,  accurate "As-builts" saves the owners butts day in - day out.  All it takes is one scoop full of "Oh S@#$" to cause a major and very expensive repair.  Been There - Done That .............
Moxie Bootlegger

Graham Buxton

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Re: Sheepscot Power Infrastructure
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2021, 09:29:45 PM »
While infrastructure maps are good to have, its not that difficult to 'detect' buried cables with an appropriate instrument.  Buried power cables may emit enough EMF that just the right detector is needed.  For non-AC  cables like phone, it may be appropriate to use a signal injector to get the cable to show up on a detector. 

Odds are good that an electrical/excavation contractor will have access to a suitable detector or detection service.  Keep in mind that the nationwide 811 buried utility locating folks do this kind of stuff on a daily basis.

More info here:

https://www.undergroundsurveying.com/technology/utility-locating-technology/cable-pipe-locator-technology
Graham

Mike Fox

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Re: Sheepscot Power Infrastructure
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2021, 09:52:56 PM »
Electrical and comms share the same trench, so if you find one, the other is close by.

So far, it has been straight runs. We now have the electrical building to base everything off of, so all measurements should reference that. Mainly because we are always changing everything else. Buildings get built or expanded, changing measurements from them..
Mike
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Carl G. Soderstrom

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Re: Sheepscot Power Infrastructure
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2021, 02:52:11 AM »
Electrical Cables may emit EMF but water & drain lines not so much.
Unless there is a tracer wire like Natural Gas lines.

We (about 15 households) lost phone & computer for a long weekend because
the Tracer mis marked the location by 8 feet.

Plus if you want to dig you have to wait till the Tracer gets there & after the electrical building (power pole)
all lines belong to the property owner so it is not a free service. You don't have to ask how I know.

I know Mike is a busy man, much in demand, but maybe a young person could be delegated? That is a young person
is anyone younger than Fred or myself.

Dave Crow

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Re: Sheepscot Power Infrastructure
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2021, 09:53:56 AM »
Two things we have done in the light rail industry for buried ductbanks: 1. concrete encasement, with traction power using red-dyed concrete, and 2. bury a copper conductor slightly above water, sewer, telephone/comms conduits; the copper conductor can then have a signal injected for ease of location, similar to how technicians locate invisible dog fences.

I realize most, if not all, of the conduits are already buried and there is (hopefully) little additional work to do for the campus expansion, but just throwing it out there.

Dave Crow, P.E.

Mike the Choochoo Nix

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Re: Sheepscot Power Infrastructure
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2021, 06:33:51 PM »


Plus if you want to dig you have to wait till the Tracer gets there & after the electrical building (power pole)
all lines belong to the property owner so it is not a free service. You don't have to ask how I know.
Interesting, here in Minnesota they locate everything right up to your building, but anything you put in going out from your building is your responsibility. That is to say if it was installed by the utility than it's located for free.
Mike Nix