We enjoyed seeing everyone at the Hydrovision 2013 show in Denver. It was great to visit with old friends and new acquaintances. The top story of the show was the performance of the Lignum-Vitae Water Lubricated bearings at the Osage Hydro Power Plant. This is an incredible story and best told by the plant operator Phil Thompson. He was so excited about the performance of the Lignum Vitae Bearings he came to Hydrovision and Marla Barnes interviewed him first hand to verify this amazing story.
Phil Thompson was really struggling with his power plant.
After greatly increased bearing wear in one of the Osage 25MW Units using composites it was determined the material could not hold up to the excessive wear from the aging turbine.
Lignum Vitae North America LLC was called in to make recommendations for a fix after the turbine failed to operate for a one hour test after a composite bearing adjustment. It was determined the bearing wore out completely on the downstream side leaving the upstream bearing untouched. Lignum Vitae recommended a new stave configuration using a special grade of Lignum-Vitae specifically designed for this condition.
On start up the turbine displayed a total run out of about 3 mils that has held steady for over 9 months to date. This case study is a perfect fit for the unique ability of Lignum-Vitae to be adjusted to ZERO TOLERANCE in an effort to hold the shaft in position.
Previous composites required clearance between the shaft and bearing allowing an already imbalanced turbine causing instability verses running true. The self/water lubricated properties of Lignum-Vitae are a key benefit of this extraordinary material.
As a result of the first Lignum-Vitae bearing success with the Voith units the plant has now converted over 60% of their 242 MW capacity back to Lignum-Vitae over the last 9 months. A promise has been offered of total conversion back to Lignum-Vitae as the composites wear out.
If you have Main Guide Bearing problems with Ryertex, Thordon, Orcot or any composite/phenolic bearing or Oil Filmed lead babbetted bearings in your Francis or Kaplan turbine, stop by our booth and learn how we can save you in maintenance and bearing adjustment cost.
We provide bearings for all turbine diameters and offer an exclusive warranty. Call or write to get the full details!