“Cat gensets have a reputation for reliability, and Thompson Power Systems is able to provide an adequate quantity of generators at the different sizes that we need to support our customers,” Harrington says. “I don’t think there’s too many of them that can do that. It’s about being prepared early on, not being caught flat-footed, and our Thompson representative does a great job understanding our needs and supporting us.
“You didn’t see that a decade ago,” Harrington continues. “This type of equipment was very scarce—it was very limited and relegated to governmental entities or institutions like hospitals. “Now we’re able to provide the power and have many small grids going into houses and communities to get businesses back on line. The economic effect of an event like this is horrific, but deploying mobile units enables us to get restaurants and the big box stores back up and communities on the road to recovery.”
“It ran beautiful; it was so well orchestrated,” Raffield said. “It came here on time. It was ready to go. It was very simple; it got us back up and running. We got our freezer back going and made ice.
“But this wasn’t a case of just saving Raffield Fisheries with a Cat genset—it did a lot more than that,” he said. “Because we had 300,000 pounds of ice-making capabilities, we were able to make ice and give it away to people in need who didn’t have any ice throughout the region of Bay County.
“When you get that kind of service, that’s important in a critical time because if that freezer goes down, we have a bigger problem,” Raffield said. “I had $4 million dollars of product in there, so we saved all of that.”
With the help of the Cat generators from Thompson Power Systems, we restored power to all of our substations,” Sells said. “After the hurricane, we found out what they could supply us with, and the next day they were getting them here and hooked up. So it was very quick—it all moved very fast. “Once the Thompson technicians got here, they took care of everything, and we had no worries about the generators staying on and providing continuous power,” Sells said.
“Based on my experience, the Cat gensets crank fast, and they are very reliable,” McClendon says. “We have had very few issues with them.”
“The Cat ISO Switchgear has been pretty much bulletproof—it has been great,” McClendon adds. “We upgraded all the PLCs (program logic controllers) and the HMI screens.”
“Our original technician, Baron Breelin, was the generator guru—he handled everything for us, including commissioning,” McClendon says. “And our service rep, Cluis Howell, is very helpful with anything we need.
“All of the Thompson guys have been really good,” McClendon adds. “Every now and then if we have a little glitch, they are very responsive. They get back to us right away and get out here pretty quick. They’ve done a real standup job for us.”
“We’re always concerned about emissions, and the exhaust that comes out of the engines is fairly clean, so we waste a minimal amount of energy from the fuel in, to the electrical product out,” Slaughter says.
“We looked at several different types of power generation facilities and it was deemed that natural gas generators and using Cat gensets for this location would be our best option,” Slaughter says. “The plant is fairly complex, and our Cat dealer (Thompson Power Systems) has really worked hand-in-hand with us as far as programming the switchgear and tailoring the plant to our usage.
“And as far as the engines and the generators themselves, they just run really well,” he adds. “We count on the reliability and the durability of the engines so that when they are called upon we can trust that they’re going to perform the functions that we need to keep the power on.”
“One of the features I like best about our Cat® generator is the Cat Connect interface that enables us to receive SMTP notifications. So if there’s anything wrong with our generator—whether it’s starting, running, stop, default, or low fluids—we get notifications and then we can reach out to our sales rep and receive service immediately.”