How BlackStarTech Supports Braidwood Generating Station with Reliable Emergency Power Systems


Utilization of BlackStarTech Emergency Power Systems

Braidwood Generating Station, a nuclear facility in Braceville, Illinois, is part of a network of power generating stations which are owned and operated by the Exelon Corporation in the U.S. This location provides the northern region of Illinois including the greater Chicago area with electric power. This station is equipped with two pressurized water reactors, and the facility generates a combined net total of 2,389 megawatts of power — the largest output in the state.

Safety and security are top priorities across all the nuclear sites operated by Exelon.

After the 2011 Fukushima incident in Japan, the nuclear industry developed an approach for adding diverse and flexible mitigation strategies or FLEX that increased defense-in-depth for beyond-design-basis scenarios to address an ELAP and loss of ultimate heat sink simultaneously at all units on a site. Our BlackStarTech packages were initially meant to augment FLEX by providing rapidly deployable portable backup power, when and where it is needed most. Critical control room indications and controls, core cooling and pressure control can be back up and running in 30 minutes or less.

In addition to their utilization in emergency scenarios, nuclear stations undergoing routine or periodic maintenance of their electrical configurations (which requires temporarily removing normal bus power) can work more efficiently by deploying the BlackStarTech battery backup power and emergency lighting units.

Utilization of BlackStarTech at Braidwood

Braidwood Nuclear Generating station has utilized the Genesis Sentinel Series Power Packs (120VAC/125VDC) from BlackStarTech. This has enabled Braidwood to provide AC power to a diesel-driven fire pump battery charger during a bus outage and also provide back-up battery power for added redundancy and outage risk reduction.

Similarly, the Braidwood site has also used the Sentinel Power Packs to power a containment ventilation valve, which allowed it to be gagged after the bus was taken out of service. Using this lightweight emergency power pack helped prevent an outage delay.

Braidwood is using BlackStarTech Lightworks iSentient Smart Emergency Lighting units to replace existing required emergency lighting to illuminate the facility for potential power outage scenarios. Using smart state-of-the-art Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries, these iSentient units are 50% lighter than their maintenance-intensive, lead acid predecessors, and meet all emergency and regulatory facility lighting requirements. These smart lighting units have more energy density and feature three times the life expectancy while being more environmentally friendly than lead acid batteries.

Additionally, the Lightworks iSentient Series gives Braidwood remote monitoring of the health and life of the battery. The predictive software combined with the excellent battery life provides the ability to remotely manage and communicate issues immediately to key individuals for increased awareness and ability to respond. This minimize inspections and surveillance resources, while dramatically reducing maintenance and life cycle costs.

Braidwood Generating Station

The Benefits of Adding BlackStarTech into Your Safety Culture

If a local or regional power outage event were to occur, the total loss of AC and DC power would disable the key safety systems and components of a nuclear power plant’s support systems. Meanwhile, the reactor would continue to generate heat, creating a time-sensitive situation requiring operator action.

Through the implementation of the BlackStarTech coping system protocols, the Genesis Series Emergency Power Systems can supply targeted power quickly and efficiently. This would bring the critical system indications, valve controls, core cooling and pressure control systems back online quickly to stabilize the reactor and provide operator monitoring capabilities. These emergency power products are stored on site, are accessible in a matter of minutes, and are designed to provide a 30-day mission time at nuclear facilities.

The Genesis Series products utilize the same smart lithium iron phosphate batteries referenced earlier, combined with inverter and rectifier power delivery components configured to deliver targeted portable power directly to loads and applications where power is needed most. Genesis solutions provide a myriad of DC and AC supply power sources (including 3-phase 480VAC and beyond) to these key critical indications, controls, and essential emergency system components.

BlackStarTech Family Product Lines of Backup Power and Emergency Lighting

Discover More about How BlackStarTech Can Reduce Cost and Risk

To learn more about how BlackStarTech products are being applied in real applications to reduce nuclear station risk and cost, please contact us. Or visit BlackStarTech at Booth #102 at the ANS Utility Working Conference and Vendor Technology Expo on August 8–11, 2021 in Marco Island, FL.

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