The Challenge

In early 2020, Duke Energy’s Brunswick Nuclear Plant needed to have three HVAC units designed, fabricated, delivered and installed because the equipment had reached the end of its useful life. Replacing the units was a challenge because the building was built around the HVAC units during initial construction, making removal and replacement extremely difficult. Precise planning was very critical as the other operating units could not tolerate any interruption or shut down resulting from the removal or installation of the adjacent HVAC units.

nuclear facility

Per standard procedure, Duke Energy requires an external vendor bidding process for the replacement HVAC project. As with other business operations at Duke Energy, the COVID-19 pandemic changed the normal process, but they were able to modify the bid process while still adhering to the procedure.

The Results

Duke Energy One’s team members traveled to the plant on short notice and laser scanned the work area incorporated with HDR color photos. The scan measurements were taken with millimeter precision rather than having been pulled with just a tape measure by the potential vendors who would be bidding on the work themselves. The Metrology Services team processed the scans, modeled and animated the lifting and rigging path for the original and new HVAC units.

The site project manager then held a vendor bid event and shared a virtual walk-through of the  scanned environment and the modeled existing units as planned, as well as showing modeling animations and screen grabs, which replaced the pictures the vendor would have had to take. 

As a result of the Duke Energy One team’s efforts, Duke Energy vendors did not need to visit the Brunswick Nuclear Plant site directly to discuss, examine, measure or take photos in a congested, hard-to-reach and radiologically-controlled area. 

“We [Duke Energy One] can save time and money, reduce risk, as well as be a cost-effective solution to support front-end design, help align and place equipment for implementation, check for quality control issues, and more,” said Sr. Business Analyst Tom Myers, who manages the Metrology Services team. “Any work group that requires the precise placement of a component or needs to know what the existing as-built environment is compared to often inaccurate drawings can benefit from metrology.”
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