Some of you all know that I (Jeff) have been out of town for work quite a bit this fall, and will be gone more at times later this winter. I have (once) mentioned what I do for work but I think for those that don't see a lot, it would be nice to know whats going on. This trip I went to the Green Spring power plant. First some back ground on the plant. Green Springs is a very unique plant that is interesting to work on. As far as I know it is the only vertical impulse turbine in the United States. So the vertical part is easy, water turns a turbine which turns a generator on a vertical shaft. The impulse part is a bit more complicated to explain. I'll keep it simple, an impulse turbine is turned by a high pressure water jet. Much like a garden hose aimed at a bike tire causing it to move. A reaction turbine (which most all hydro power plants utilize) is like taking a ships propeller and sticking it in a pipe. The water flow through the pipe causes the propeller to turn which is connected to a generator. Green Springs has a penstock (pipe that conveys the water from the reservoir to the power plant) that is 3 miles long. That is really long compared to reaction plants. A head (the difference in elevation from the reservoir to the power plant) of almost 2000 ft, which produces almost 1000 psi at the plant. Again that is very high compared to a reaction plant. The generator can produce up to 18 megawatts, enough power to supply about 18,000 homes. For perspective the Hover Dam produces power the can supply about 2,000,000 homes.
So what am I doing there? The rotor poles need to be rebuilt. This is part of the generator. Its a fairly big operation involving taking the rotor up and out of the housing and then removing the poles. I was there to document the process and to learn how it is done. Next time we have to do this it is likely that the current employees will be retired and I will have to know how to get this done. Fun, fun.
This is a picture of the "Dog House" being craned off of the generator housing.
A coworker disassembling the generator shaft from the turbine shaft.
Me toward the end of a 13 hr work day. The coils are the rectangular things behind me arranged around a cylinder. Each is about 20,000 lbs.
Me again. I enjoy working at the plants and getting my hands dirty.