Hammersmith Grove


When are 3 parking spaces not 3 parking spaces...? When WARDPOWER turns them in to a bespoke Plant Room for a 250KVa Generating Set, that’s when!

Us lot at WARDPOWER, we like a challenge. Thrive on them to be honest but there are times when we want to go and get the men in white coats, especially when we’re presented with 2 car parking spaces in the basement of a building and told that’s the plant room! Parking spaces in Hammersmith, Central London are at a premium that is for sure and the sweet talking we had to do to get that 3rd

space would have won an Oscar in other circumstances.

In 2013, WARDPOWER were contracted to design, manufacture, install and commission a 250KVa Plant Room Generating Set. The extra floor space helped significantly, however, the restricted head height added another twist – 2.1m wouldn’t normally be an issue but throw in restricted access at the entrance point, existing overhead services, a ceiling hung twin exhaust silencer system and acoustic lining, our engineer’s had their work cut out for them. So, the base fuel tank was changed to a free standing bunded tank to allow the Generating Set to be lowered into its base frame, whilst achieving sufficient space for engine maintenance. The tank itself was not only designed to ensure it would fit under an overhead cable box but that all Pipework could access the tank both to the Generating Set and to an external fill point cabinet on the plant room wall. But that’s by no means the end of it!

Being a Central London location, a low noise level wasn’t just specified given the Generating Set could be called upon at any time of day, it was mandatory due to its residential location. Now, a low noise can make for an interesting design on a container but when the plant room is in the basement, there are no external walls and hot air is discharging at ground floor, it can be a bit of a head scratcher. The inlet attenuator was mounted directly adjacent to the plant room wall whilst being sized as to not impede vehicle movement, complete with a turning duct to take the air into the plant room from car park entrance, and designed to achieve 55dB(A).

The outlet consisted of a lined chamber to marry up to the radiator, with the outlet splitter being installed between the 2 floors of the building. This was completed by a turning duct to discharge at high level on the ground floor – this was designed to achieve 52dB(A). In addition to this was not only a complete plant room acoustic line out but also a twin wall exhaust flue from the silencers, following the same route as the outlet attenuator and discharging at roof level of the building, whilst achieving 60dB(A). Oh and the flue itself had a paint finish in two different colours so as to blend in to the surroundings as much as possible.

A load bank breaker was also fitted to the Generating Set, interlocked with the Set breaker, not only to enable routine testing to be carried out but also to ensure that should the Generating Set be required in an emergency whilst on a test run, loss of power would be for a minimal duration.

Installation of all this equipment was fun to say the least, as it was either skated down the ramp to the car park or around the back of the building – there was absolutely no space adjacent to any working area to offload by the transport it came on. The method statements were far from dull!