Case Study - Merom Generating Station

Merom Generating Station case study

Contributors:  Mike Kelly, Project Manager of F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems and Andrew Aleksich, Senior Designer of F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems
Writer:  Sarah Block, Marketing Director of The Moran Group

An operation failure had the potential for disaster when the transformer became suddenly unusable, forcing the fire protection solution to be disabled. With numerous obstacles, but quick action, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems and Merom Generating Station overcame adversity, turning over the project in only three weeks.

Small town with far-reaching energy

Located in a town that could fit the entire population in one square mile of Indianapolis, with nearly a quarter of that mile to spare, Sullivan, Indiana's Merom Generating Station has been providing energy for over a million homes in southwest Indiana since 1982. On Thursday, May 17, 2012, an operation failure occurred, rendering the transformer disabled. Merom Generating Station and F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems acted quickly to keep the outage to a minimum.

Operating failure causes snowball effect

While operating, the transformer failed near the bottom, causing the oil to drain. The loss of oil pressure shut down the transformer, rendering it out of service. A transformer is essential for the transmission of energy to the millions of homes that rely on Merom Generating Station to provide their power.

Merom Generating Station acted quickly to resolve the issue by replacing the out of order transformer with one that was already on site. However, to transfer transformers, it was necessary to demolish the existing fire protection system that protected the transformer. Although necessary, this caused a cascade of alterations.


First, the transformer was housed in a gravel pit with the pipe stand piers built into the cement. The piers were permanent, forcing the fire protection designer to design a system that utilized the already determined pier locations. This proved to be difficult with a different sized and shaped transformer than the original.

The unusual size and shape of the replacement transformer posed its own concerns. The odd shape made it impossible to run a simple looped sprinkler system. The chosen designer would need to customize the sprinkler to fit the odd configuration.

Quick action results in quick resolution

Merom Generating Station had a positive working relationship with F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems after hiring them for their yearly fire protection system inspection. This yearly activity turned into service work, replacing five deluge valves in the crusher house. After experiencing a positive working rapport through the inspection and resulting service, Merom Generating Station knew they wanted to work with F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems on the transformer fire protection replacement project.

On Friday, May 25, 2012 Merom Generating Station contacted Mr. John Bridgman, F.E. Moran Service Manager, informing him of the incident. Mr. Bridgman then contacted Mr. Andrew Aleksich, Senior Designer, to begin the process of designing the custom sprinkler system. Mr. Nicholas Kordecki, Designer, and Mr. Aleksich, Senior Designer, worked together to design a system that used the previously installed piers and was customized to fit the unusual size and shape of the replacement transformer. Within a work week, the drawings were complete and stock listed. In less than two weeks, the sprinkler system and detection layout was approved by the insurance agency, installed, tested, and turned over to Merom Station. Mr. Aleksich said, "I love these quick turn around jobs. They are fun and challenging."

Three decades of earned relationships with a stellar reputation

Within three weeks, Merom Generating Station went from the potentially devastating loss of a transformer to a new transformer with a fully functioning fire protection system. Mr. Ken LaMont, Production Engineer for Merom Generating Station said, "F.E. Moran stepped up to the plate for us.... [They] did an outstanding job working with us on this job and have done great work on other jobs as requested."

F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems knows the importance of treating clients with respect and fairness while understanding the needs of their businesses. That is why F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems is depended upon in critical situations where time is of the essence. For over thirty years, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems has established itself as a reliable leader in the high-risk, high-value industry. It is a tightly connected industry with interwoven relationships that has enabled F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems to earn their reputation over the past three decades.

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