Power Distribution Center Protects at a Battery Recycling Facility

A commercial battery recycling facility located in Troy, Alabama uses a smelting process to turn lead acid batteries, scrap lead and wheel weights into refined lead alloys. This secondary lead smelting facility houses operating pumps, fans, conveyors and generators which are used to power the smelting process. The company hired ENGlobal, an engineering firm that specializes in oil and gas automation solutions and subsea control systems to design and construct a power distribution center for the facility. We spoke with Jorge Medrano and Al Leblanc, project managers from ENGlobal, for more information about the project and its unique needs.

Medrano explained that recycling these lead bearing scrap metals turns waste into usable materials but the process produces caustic dust that can create a corrosive environment. ENGlobal turned to Shelter Works to build a fiberglass protective structure to house its power distribution center. This shelter securely protects their equipment without any negative effects from weather or the corrosive environment created by the smelting process.

While the facility is on land, it is mounted on an off-shore type structure and is constrained by equipment around it. To accommodate these limitations the Shelter Works FRP building had to be configured as a long, narrow building with access doors on either end. Since all Shelter Works buildings are custom designed, this was readily accomplished by the Shelter Works team.

The Shelter Works building is housing computer equipment, SCADA screens, POC systems and transformers all of which send signals to other areas of the facility, where
the vital data is reviewed.

Because it is critical to maintain steady temperatures in the building, Shelter Works built air-conditioning units into formed openings This allows for the units to be properly supported without requiring any additional support for load-bearing. The better seal obtained from this formed opening greatly reduces any negative impact the equipment might have on the power distribution center equipment, the building itself or on Shelter Works’ industry leading 25-year warranty. In addition, Shelter Works’ unique FiberBeam™ construction allows for proper insulation and energy efficiency in accordance with the latest IBC energy code.

For this particular project done in Alabama, the specifications called for wind loads of 126 mph, which Shelter Works was able to easily provide.

When asked why they chose the Shelter Works building as the best option for their power distribution center, Leblanc explained, “They had the best price and the right delivery that we needed for this project. The building looks great, and everything worked out well.”