ABB and CSE Ltd provide safe, reliable fuel supply system for new £60 million motorway service facility

ABB and its partner, electrical engineering system integrator Control Systems and Equipment (CSE) Ltd, have provided the fuel delivery system for one of Europe’s biggest petrol forecourts. The new five-acre M40 motorway service area at Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire hosts a filling station, Etap hotel and a shopping complex including outlets such as M&S Simply Food, McDonalds, KFC, Starbucks and WHSmiths. The site was developed by Swayfields Ltd and currently trades under the ‘Extra’ banner.

The filling station is operated by Shell UK Ltd, and the fuel delivery system features ABB’s Triline-R modular switch cabinets fitted with a full range of ABB control, protection and distribution equipment. ABB’s Triline enclosures provide the backbone for the site’s submersible pump fuel delivery system. As well as ensuring a constant supply of fuel for the site’s 42 dispensers, this system also makes sure that the correct grade of fuel is supplied, with each fuel dispenser offering a choice of petrol, diesel, and V Power fuel products.

The control strategy is based on the site’s pipe work layout. CSE designed and manufactured the control system using their SPI/1 submersible pump interface controller that ensures the correct fuel supply pump is activated in response to an input received from a particular fuel dispenser.

“With an application as complicated as this, where there are multiple fuel dispensers supplying multiple fuel types, it’s crucial to ensure that customers get the right type of fuel and that the fuel supply pumps react quickly,” says Tony Harris, director for CSE Ltd.

The power for the whole system is supplied by an ABB ‘Triline’ based control panel incorporating a range of ABB low voltage equipment including miniature circuit breakers (MCBs), terminals and motor control gear. The enclosure is divided into separate sections housing the relevant equipment for the dispenser and pump supplies, the pump control gear and the connection terminals.

Kevin Lenton, product specialist for ABB’s enclosure systems, comments: “CSE provided a drawing of the filling station requirements. Using this drawing, we were able to compile a design to reflect the project needs. CSE was a real driving force in this project, supporting our engineers with the relevant wiring diagrams and construction information. We are pleased to have helped CSE provide a modular system to the new service station for improved control and efficiency.”

Given the potentially hazardous nature of the site, the system also incorporates a full range of safety measures. These include ABB’s residual current devices (RCDs) to disconnect the supply of electricity in the event of an earth fault; interlocks for remote shutdown of the forecourt supplies in case of an emergency plus contactors, overloads and modular DIN rail components. Full earth leakage protection is provided throughout the system that ensures compliance with all relevant site safety regulations.

Commenting on the system, Tony Harris, director, CSE Ltd, comments, “Over the years, the requirements for systems in filling stations and motorway service areas have transformed from simple fused supplies to sophisticated distribution boards. This requirement is partly down to legislation, health & safety and the need for reliable, efficient operation and maintenance. We are delighted to have the partnership in place with ABB to utilise its products and ensure that the new service station has the right equipment in place to help deliver high performance and reliability.”

Electrical Services & Projects (ESP) Ltd were responsible on a ‘design and build’ basis for the overall electrical installation for the petrol filling station and shop. Close co-ordination was required between Colin Garwood, director for ESP Ltd with CSE to ensure that the fuel control system was designed correctly and met all of the required safety standards associated to forecourt safety as well as the client’s own requirements. With ESP’s experience in petrol filling station installations and the design and technical ability of CSE, the design and operation of the fuel dispensing system proved to be a major success.

The £60 million Extra services, which opened in Spring 2009, features one of the biggest forecourts in Europe with 36 car fuel dispensers and six dedicated HGV fuel dispensers. Shell is one of the UK’s key providers of energy for heating and power in the UK. The company provides around 25 per cent of the UK’s oil and gas supplies and 16 per cent of the nation’s petrol and diesel, with over 900 retail sites in the UK.

CSE Ltd, based in Bourne End, near High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, has been working with ABB since the early 1970s and has established itself as a key partner in the development of dedicated control equipment and power systems for a wide range of industries.

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