Waitrose Aylesford Distribution Centre

Posted by HVAC on 5th October 2015


The main panel in the engine plant room supplied power to all the south side of the plant including the refrigeration equipment for the chilled and FRV warehouses. This engine room panel was also supporting the transport office, vehicle wash, security gate, chilled warehouse lighting, power & data, and FRV warehouse lighting, power and data. These are all working on a 24/7 basis and all areas were critical to the operation of the operation of the site.

The challenge was that the main panel was 40 years old and all parts were obsolete and the panel components were beginning to break down and no longer capable of running on the two No 1500KVA generators. The two No 1500KVA transformers feed separate sections of the main panel and were all designed to synchronise with the generators.

The panel had to be replaced without affecting the operation of the site and there were only two operating windows in the operation – Sunday mornings between 0400 hours and 1000 hours – allowing only six hours in which phases could be worked on. However some of the operational aspects still needed to operate through this window.


The HVAC Solution

Extensive investigations were carried out on the existing main panel and the infrastructure of the supply network. The existing panel needed to be surveyed to ascertain all the manufacturing details with a view to isolating, dismantling and removing section by section to allow the commencement of the new panel.

We also had to work closely with the supply authority, as they would need to be involved with the HT isolation of the 2 No transformers that supplied the panel.

Once the logistics of the works had been planned, we then had to arrange meeting with all the building managers to programme the works and to provide temporary generators for areas that required uninterruptible power.



Upon completion of planning, a programme was put together with the client. A date for the commencement of the works was agreed and the procurement strategy put in place. All health & safety matters were put forward and agreed with the safety managers of all parties, with all policies & procedures drawn up and specific training supplied where needed.

Preparation work commenced on site with all pre-measured temporary wiring looms being assembled ready for the first phase of the project, which was to transfer all the services from the first section of the panel to be removed.

With phase 1 completed and the space made available by the removal of the redundant section of the panel, the installation of the new panel could now be commenced.

Phase 2 of the works began with the services being transferred back to the new section of the panel, enabling the second section of the existing main panel to be removed and the new panel to be extended.

The works continued with eight phases being carried out to complete the works.

This complex project was completed on time with a minimum of disruption to the site.

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