4 MW, MA
Running Gear: 2 Vertical shaft Francis turbines with synchronous generators
Scope: Replacement of control system and exciters
This hydroelectric plant is located in central MA on a highly developed river, with multiple hydro plants operating both upstream and downstream of the project. Originally constructed in 1918 by a local manufacturing company, the project today consists of a concrete dam and headgate structure, two penstocks, forebay, trashrack and intake structure, and a powerhouse with two, 2 MW generating units, for a total capacity of 4 MW.
The project was owned and operated for many years by the local utility, until it was purchased by the current owner in 2017, as part of a sale that included a handful of other plants in the area. The investment plan for this portfolio of hydroelectric plants includes updating the controls and protection.
As purchased, the existing controls in this plant required manual starting and synchronization, and faults were frequent and difficult to diagnose. In 2018, PHT supplied a new control and automation system, new exciters, and some additional instrumentation and machine condition monitoring. The new PHT controls now provide automatic starting, automatic pond level control and unit dispatch, and better monitoring and protection. New Power-Tronics exciters replaced old and troublesome static exciters. The existing switchgear and wicket gate operators were reused. As is typical, PHT designed and assembled the hardware and control cabinets for this project at our shop in NC, and then traveled to MA for installation in late 2018. Among other standard features, the new PHT controls provide an easy to use touch screen user interface, remote access, and push notifications that allow for more effective operation of the plant.
This is the first project completed for this customer. As of 2019, PHT is working on a second and third project.
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