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P1 Gives The Home Depot Distribution Center a Power Boost


The Home Depot Distribution Center in Topeka, KS, has worked with P1 to keep its HVAC systems maintained for seven years.

The positive relationship on the HVAC side recently led the distribution center to call upon the P1 electrical team to help with some electrical needs as well.

With a distribution facility of that magnitude, imagine the sheer quantity of wooden pallets they go through. When those pallets come off the truck damaged, the most cost-effective way for disposal is to crush and shred them.

The Home Depot found themselves needing an energy boost when the crusher they had was no longer adequate.

It was replaced with a larger, more powerful unit, but the newer unit’s 100-horsepower motor (nearly double that of the previous model) was also going to take a lot more energy to run it.

According to Assistant Electrical Service Manager John Cropper, Home Depot contacted P1 to install the power supply and this came with an unusual set of challenges.

“The machine came with a control cabinet, but it needed 400 amps of power at 480 volts, and the main switchgear was on the opposite side of the building, so we had to run the cables along the entire length of the building to get to it,” John said.

John Cropper Quote

John also noted that the existing service for the previous pallet crusher was only 200 amps. In order to get 400 amps - that distance at that voltage - they had to run three conduits in parallel, all with 500 mcm conductors, for roughly 415 feet,
going one way. The total distance was close to 4,500 linear feet, which is longer than a football field.

“Normally, we could have run one conduit with 600 mcm conductors in it, but because this was such a long run, we had to take the voltage drop into consideration,” John said.

Voltage drop occurs when the voltage at the end of a run of cable is lower than at the beginning. Any length or size of wires will have some resistance, but as the length of the cable increases, so does its resistance.

“Because of this, voltage drop is a problem with long cable runs in larger buildings, like the distribution center,” John explained. “So when we did the voltage drop calculations, we knew that three sets of 500s were required to compensate, and still be within drop standard.”

Although the project isn’t quite complete, John says The Home Depot has expressed they are very pleased with P1’s performance.

“P1 Service has done a considerable amount of HVAC work for Home Depot but until recently, they have relied on a different electrical contractor,” John said.

Due to the ongoing relationship and the success of this recent electrical work, John says he is hopeful P1 will have a chance at becoming the Topeka Distribution Center’s preferred electrical contractor.

P1 putting our single-source capabilities to work yet again – congratulations to John and the team on a job well done!

Quick Facts

Project Team: (Top Row) Josh Ellis, Brent Varney, John Cropper
(Bottom Row) Chris Smith, Shaqune Mecham, Richard Rawlings

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