At its power plant in Underwood, North Dakota, Great River Energy (GRE) partnered with Barr, the U.S. Department of Energy, Lehigh University, the Electrical Power Research Institute, and the Falkirk Mining Company to develop a cleaner-burning technology. This system involves dryers that reduce the moisture content of the coal, allowing it to be burned at a lower temperature, which in turn increases equipment lifespan and reduces pollutant emissions. The coal-drying technology took years to develop, and Barr assisted with process development and evaluation, technology development, equipment selection, project management and scheduling, and preliminary and final design.
After the coal dryers were up and running, GRE was experiencing problems with general housekeeping, and hired Barr to design general arrangement drawings, chute drawings, and electrical power and controls for the installation of three industrial vacuums. We provided electrical, structural, and mechanical engineering to support the design and installation of the vacuum systems. As part of this project, Barr also developed installation drawings for a carbon-monoxide detection system on the coal-drying bag houses. These carbon monoxide monitors help with the early detection of smoldering fires. General lighting, convenience power, and maintenance platforms improvements were also designed for areas of the coal-drying system that were identified during initial construction.