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Old 05-29-2019, 06:35 PM   #1
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Default Do you/have you worked in power generation?

I'm asking on behalf of my (sometimes) better half. She's a consultant and is working for a client that is in carbon brushes, slip rings etc. Here is what she's after:

I’m doing some market research and am hoping to speak with some people in North America who work in wind turbine maintenance or on-site power generation and primary power stations. Specifically, I’d like to learn more about maintenance programs and how they are delivered (internal teams or contractors), buying criteria for carbon brushes and slip rings (OEM or non-OEM) and how they are purchased (direct from manufacturer, distributor, etc.). I would just be looking for about 15 minutes or your time, and could alternatively provide questions via email if that’s easier. Any guidance would be welcome and appreciated.

Last edited by stuiec; 05-29-2019 at 06:46 PM. Reason: add detail
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Old 05-31-2019, 10:12 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stuiec View Post
I'm asking on behalf of my (sometimes) better half. She's a consultant and is working for a client that is in carbon brushes, slip rings etc. Here is what she's after:

I’m doing some market research and am hoping to speak with some people in North America who work in wind turbine maintenance or on-site power generation and primary power stations. Specifically, I’d like to learn more about maintenance programs and how they are delivered (internal teams or contractors), buying criteria for carbon brushes and slip rings (OEM or non-OEM) and how they are purchased (direct from manufacturer, distributor, etc.). I would just be looking for about 15 minutes or your time, and could alternatively provide questions via email if that’s easier. Any guidance would be welcome and appreciated.
In 2000, 2002, and 2004 I worked at Pacific Gas & Electric's Diablo Canyon nuke plant in California.
The work was performed according to carefully prepared and engineered work packages, and we were busy enough not to have much time to interact with other workers or learn about aspects of plant operation.
I have located for you what looks like a good publication dealing with the issues you mentioned.
Power Engineering dot com
I hope this helps.
Regards, - LL
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Old 05-31-2019, 10:21 AM   #3
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If it helps, virtually ALL of the wind generators being installed now are grid connected induction generators, so they don’t have brushes or slip rings any more. Lack of maintenance (or really, maintenance costs that nobody wanted to absorb) is what almost killed the small wind power industry and drove people to these larger towers and to using grid connected induction machines. About the only ones still using slip rings and brushes are “island mode” generators for people who can’t )or won’t) connect to the grid. So that is no really a “power generation industry” issue so much as a residential appliance industry.
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Old 05-31-2019, 10:53 AM   #4
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I haven't worked in power generation on the utility scale. However, I'd bet that manufactured brushes are in a market of manufacturers and very small industrial customers. Every plant I've had the pleasure of working at, when brushed motors and alternators were still the norm, we kept blocks of carbon brush material and used a bandsaw to make every brush we needed. I would bet lots of industrial shops with in-house electricians do.
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Old 05-31-2019, 01:39 PM   #5
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I've built power generation plants (Cogens), and did maintenance on industrial combined cycle HRSG installments. Rotating rectifier, and SCR's are/have replaced brushes, and slip rings on modern generators. Those things are relegated to the "rotating machinery" museum's.
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Old 06-01-2019, 11:03 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies guys.

@glen1971 do you run into much on the generation side of things down there?
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Old 06-03-2019, 08:55 AM   #7
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Thanks for the replies guys.

@glen1971 do you run into much on the generation side of things down there?
Most of the generators I've worked on are for emergency back-up, with a couple of exceptions up north.

I steered clear of the windmill side of things down here, as there looked to be WAY too many stairs for me.. lol.. Talking to a few guys down here, one of their big issues was the quality of wind. Apparently the wind in our area gusts too much (over 100 km/h (60 mph) for over 5 minutes) and the turbines often feather the blades and go offline so, that the torque doesn't rip them apart.
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Old 06-03-2019, 12:10 PM   #8
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I am an electrician working as a maintenance specialist for a nuke power plant. Our generating machines are brushless excitation. We do use carbon brushes provided by Helwig for some of our synchronous motors that supply condenser cooling water.


With regards to procurement, all material has to be purchased has to be processed through our inventory warehouse, and assigned special identification/tracking codes. Nothing that is to be used in the plant is allowed in, without going through this process.


It all goes back to adhering to the design of the plant. So when something needs replaced, it has to be a like for like. If a like for like cannot be found, then engineering then has to qualify a similar product, before it can be brought in and assume the same role as the obsolete part.
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