Marsh Creek’s self-contained 800 k W power modules are designed
to withstand Alaska’s harshest environments.
barometric proportional plenum that helps keep the genera-
tor module at a nominal ambient temperature of 70° to 75°F.
“The whole design goal is to not have a big wind tunnel
when that generator kicks on,” he said. “When those gen-
erators kick on, generally that fresh air (that) comes in the
top goes right through and shoots through the other end.
So if you’re opening a door at - 50°F and that generator is
running, you’ve got one hell of a wind tunnel.”
The mixing plenum — what Marsh Creek calls its “mixing
box” — is connected to the radiator. Hot air from the radia-
tor is proportionally discharged as temperature require-
ments in the room dictate, he said.
For example, on a cold day most of that warm air from
the radiator would be redirected into the module. “Once the
gen-set is running, you don’t want to be sucking air in one
end and blowing it out the radiator end on the other side,”
he said. “Not only do you cause a wind tunnel effect, you
tend to freeze the module very quickly.
“You’re also potentially sucking in snow, and if you’re in
an arctic blizzard, where it’s blowing 100 mph with horizontal
snow, you can fill one of those containers up pretty quick if the
whole package isn’t designed correctly.”
If the site is large enough, the radiator can be remotely
located to avoid that problem, he said. But not every appli-
cation has the space.
Wakefield said the MTU generators are well suited for
Alaska’s tough climate. “You can see (MTU products) are
built more ruggedly — it’s intuitive,” he said. “One of the things
MTU does is typically build a larger alternator as part of the
base package so you don’t need to add to get more copper.
“That makes our life easier … it’s nice to start at a higher
According to Wakefield, proprietary features can make
competitive control products difficult to integrate into an exist-
ing system or black-start modules. These features can also
make troubleshooting more difficult if something goes wrong.
By contrast, the MTU Onsite Energy control equipment “is
pretty easy stuff to work on,” he said.
MTU’s open architecture is also a key consideration in
Alaska, Wakefield said. Closed systems make service and
maintenance difficult, so the open architecture of MTU
Onsite Energy systems’ controllers gives Marsh Creek a
“One of the big things in the control side I personally
like is that MTU’s control package is very user friendly
with open architecture, unlike some of the competitors
out there,” Wakefield said. “I can tell you that in a remote
environment that we deal with, when you start lining up
proprietary architecture you aren’t going to go very far.
“That is not only the case in the oil patch, but even
more so when you’re out in the bush. When you’ve got
limited training, perhaps not even a high school educa-
tion, it’s very important to have a user-friendly platform in
Occasionally the turbines powering generators at the
other pump stations must be shut down for maintenance
work. When the turbines are down, reliable backup power
is critical, Wakefield said. Power during those times can
now be supplied by a pair of custom trailerized modular
power plants constructed by Marsh Creek.
The trailerized units can be moved up and down the
pipeline to provide power wherever and whenever it is
needed, he said. Again, Marsh Creek used MTU XC6DT2
generator sets, which are rated 900 kW in this standby
application. Other componants include a MTU Series 2000
continued on page 18
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