Our engineers were called out to Cardiff Airport and arrived onsite within 1hour to investigate a report that the Airfield Lighting “A” site generator contactor had failed to operate during routine testing with reports of smoke and burning within the switch panel. After correct isolations and an inspection being carried out, it was established that the generator contactor coil had burnt out and melted, meaning that the site generator could no longer be used in its current condition to back up half the airfield runway lighting should a mains failure occur.
Given the importance of this generator to the operation and safety requirements of the airport a temporary generator and auto transfer switch would need to be installed immediately to support the airfield lighting requirements.
A temporary 150kva generator and 400amp ATS panel was installed on site the same day in place of the site generator. The damaged site generator contactor was then removed, stripped and new component parts ordered. Given the age of the damaged components they were no longer available from suppliers stock, but an emergency order was placed to fast track parts from the manufacturer. We returned to site on receipt of the new parts and repaired the generator contactor with the new components. The site generator was proof tested for mains failure operation on load before we removed the temporary generator and ATS panel off site.