Back when Hoosier Park was just a racetrack and the frequent power outages lasted for an hour or more, our racing customers would be subjected to a major inconvenience
Anderson, IN (Vocus) July 2, 2009
For more than 15 years, Hoosier Park Racing has run standardbred, thoroughbred and quarter horses at its track located about 20 miles northeast of Indianapolis. Out in corn country and at the end of a single power line, the track often experienced electrical power brownouts and blackouts caused by the summer storms in central Indiana as well as the growing demand for power in the area. When track owners decided to add a 90,000-square-foot casino to the facility, they didn't want to contend with continued outages. Instead, they turned to MTU Onsite Energy and the local MTU distributor, Clarke Power Services, for a standby power system that would keep the lights burning, the horses running and the electronic gaming machines dinging.
"Back when Hoosier Park was just a racetrack and the frequent power outages lasted for an hour or more, our racing customers would be subjected to a major inconvenience," says Clint McKenzie, director of non-gaming operations at Hoosier Park & Casino. Unwilling to tolerate power failures that would interrupt the new gaming operations, Hoosier Park worked with both the local utility and the consulting electrical engineer, Meridian Engineering, to design a total solution for power reliability.
Onsite system supplies all power needs
To ensure that there was never an interruption in power Meridian Engineering recommended that the Hoosier facility install a pair of sound-attenuated 1000 kW MTU Onsite Energy diesel generator sets. According to Ed Yoke, power generation sales engineer for Clarke Power Services, the total 2000 kW generating capacity is enough to accommodate 100 percent of the current energy needs of the casino, including 2,000 electronic slot machines, new electronic poker tables, lighting, emergency systems, food service and refrigeration. Also backed up are the security systems, the slots control system, the casino surveillance cameras and the HVAC. To further improve power reliability, Hoosier Park & Casino arranged for the local utility to bring in a second feeder line to the facility from a separate substation.
The current standby installation features two 1000 kW MTU Onsite Energy generator sets each powered by a MTU 16V 2000 G84 diesel engine. These MTU engines are designed for very low emissions and produce only 5.5 grams per horsepower-hour of nitrogen oxides, 1.44 grams per horsepower-hour of carbon monoxide and 0.131 grams per horsepower-hour of particulate matter - and are certified to EPA Tier 2 standards. The power system also includes dual service entrance rated automatic transfer switches and associated paralleling switchgear.
Sound attenuation protects horses
Because the two generator sets are located outside the casino building in close proximity to the racing stables, there was concern that the horses might be spooked whenever the generators ran. "At any given time there may be upwards of 300-350 horses in the stables," says McKenzie, "some of them representing very large financial investments." As a result, the power system design included critical-grade exhaust silencers and sound-attenuated steel enclosures. The enclosures limit the sound from the generator sets to 75 dB(A) at full load measured from 23 feet. The actual sound level at the stables is much lower because the sound level decreases the further the distance from the source. According to McKenzie, the horses have never been disturbed by generator noise, either during generator exercising or actual use as backup power.
Maintenance is key to reliability
To be certain that the generator sets will start and run as designed when they are needed, Hoosier and Clarke set up a regular exercise and maintenance schedule. "We exercise the generator sets on a weekly basis for about 30 minutes or long enough to get the engines up to operating temperature," says McKenzie. "We also exercise the transfer switches on a regular basis without transferring power. This makes sure that the contacts are free to operate."
Twice per year, McKenzie says, they do a full-load test during which they transfer the entire facility load to the standby system. This ensures that the entire system is functioning properly.
McKenzie says that the power system has been an important addition to the facility, and that MTU Onsite Energy was chosen by Hoosier's consulting engineers based on quality, pricing and local service expertise. "Hoosier Park & Casino attracted more than 2 million visitors during the first year of operation," reports McKenzie. "That's a lot of betting that never got interrupted by the lights going out."
MTU Onsite Energy Corp. (formerly Katolight Corporation) is a leading producer of diesel-powered generator sets from 30 to 3250 kW and natural-gas-powered generator sets from 30 to 400 kW for standby, prime power and cogeneration applications. The company also provides automatic transfer switches, paralleling switchgear, controls and accessories for complete power system solutions. Based in Mankato, Minnesota, MTU Onsite Energy Corp. combines the expertise of Katolight and MTU Detroit Diesel Power Generation under one brand to meet the ever-increasing distributed power needs of customers in North America and around the world. MTU Onsite Energy Corp. is part of the Tognum Group's business unit, Onsite Energy and Components. For more information, visit http://www.mtu-online.com.