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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had a half-day electrical class in Portland this morning. My wife and kid wanted to spend the day up there, so they dropped me off in the morning, went to Ikea :rolleyes: and came and picked me up after the class was over. Then we headed out I-84 about 30 minutes east of Portland to check out Bonneville Dam.

Bonneville is the lowest of the 14 major Columbia River dams. Its output is about 1200 MW between two powerhouses (one in Oregon, one on the Washington side), which is kind of average for most of the dams on the river. It's dwarfed by the Grand Coulee Dam, of course, which I would love to visit sometime. This one is neat though because it's a short drive from Portland and is right in the Columbia River Gorge, one of the most spectacular scenic areas in the country. It's just a few miles upstream from Multnomah Falls.

Anyway, here's a few pictures.

From the visitor center platform. The turbine in the lawn there is one of the original ones that they replaced back in the 90s. They're big!



Closer shot of the turbine:



Surrounding scenery on the Oregon side. The Columbia River Gorge is where the Columbia cuts through the Cascade Mountains. The whole area is one ridiculous view after another. Lots of great hiking trails and waterfalls (none of which we visited today).



And across the river on the Washington side:



Powerhouse #1 (construction completed in 1937). Powerhouse #2 is on the Washington side and was built in the 70s or something and has an additional 8 generators.



Looks old



Powerhouse #1 turbine hall

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Here are some more:

Big-ass 300 ton bridge crane



I need a set of wrenches like this. Also, dig the art deco floor details



Old timey architecture



Display of an old mechanical governor from the 1930s. Couldn't begin to tell you how it works



Big sucka :blink:



Fish ladder, also part of the original 1930s construction. They take fish migration pretty seriously these days, and do regular salmon counts in the underwater viewing gallery. The peak is usually in September so we didn't see anything today. Last year they had a new record of 70,000 salmon in one day.

Also, since Bonneville is the lowest of all the Columbia River dams, there have been issues lately with sea lions swimming up the river and devouring the hell out of the salmon, even though it's like 150 miles to the ocean. Shooting the sea lions is the current controversy.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Okay someone comment on this awesome thread before it gets buried.
 

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I appreciate it bro but I've been living near and around dams my whole life. Lock and dam 11 has great fishing fwiw
 

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That hippy green alternative energy stuff will never take off.. it's too expensive to produce.



Cool pics man. Tell me more about this Ikea place.
 

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Very cool pictures. Seems to be a beautiful area. I drove over a dam once, on my way to 357 to work. That's the only time I've been around one.
 

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Great photos bud! First post here. I've lived around the gorge my whole life. Wonderful place if you can put up with the yuppies.
 

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Electron Flow Consultant
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Make the trip to Grand Coulee and take the dam tour. They have a cool laser light show that is displayed on the dam. We vacation at Lake Roosevelt every year, in Wilbur WA.
 

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you can see pride in the construction in these pics
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Make the trip to Grand Coulee and take the dam tour. They have a cool laser light show that is displayed on the dam. We vacation at Lake Roosevelt every year, in Wilbur WA.
Sometime in the next few years I'm going to take my wife to a show at the Gorge Amphitheatre. I saw Nine Inch Nails play there back in '99 or 2000 or so.

Best. Concert. Venue. Ever.

Probably see the show then camp out in the big party field next to the venue and get drunk and baked with everyone else (maybe score a threesome in the process). Next day would be a good day to drive up to Grand Coulee.... it's not too terribly far away from there :thumbup:
 

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IBEW L.U. 1852
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A threesome huh??

Yep....thats all I took from this thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
A threesome huh??

Yep....thats all I took from this thread.
Well it's going to take some planning and facilitation on my part. I'll butter her up with a drive out to a cool concert venue in the desert, show her a good time, camp out in the field with thousands of other people drinking and doing drugs, and hopefully it will just kind of happen.

If not I'll just roofie her.
 

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animal lover /rat bastard
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Well it's going to take some planning and facilitation on my part. I'll butter her up with a drive out to a cool concert venue in the desert, show her a good time, camp out in the field with thousands of other people drinking and doing drugs, and hopefully it will just kind of happen.

If not I'll just roofie her.
pics or it didn't happen

getting back to reality, you could've at least had her dress up in sexy outfits and pose next to the dam gear
 

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The propeller picture is pretty cool, note the cavitation in the blades, once in the sun light looks like a 1' sq area and on the blade facing the photographer.
The inline picture you can see the dippling of the metal what lookes to be on the outer edges of the blade, which is way better of the two cases.

The water in this case workes againest the blades and acts like sand paper and removes material! You can also think of it as mini-explosions againest the propeller.


cavitation
noun
1.
the rapid formation and collapse of vapor pockets in a flowing liquid in regions of very low pressure, a frequent cause of structural damage to propellers, pumps, etc.
 

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Doesn't matter that I spent years working on them, I still really find dams interesting.

I think an awesome semi-retired job would be to work on a dam like that or the Hoover or Grande Coulee where because it's a public site, they go to great lengths to maintain it well; I get tired of working in string-and-bailing-wire plants.

Anecdote Time:
Once worked on a site where they had a bridge crane installed in place to lift out the generator rotor out of place for repairs. Rotor weighed 21 tons but the bridge crane they bought and installed was only rated for 20 tons. Good job.

Also those mechanical governors are ridiculous. One of the last upgrades I did at the utility was ripping out one of those systems to replace it with hydraulic proportional valves controlled by a PLC. This was instigated by the fact that the original governor was built like a Swiss-watch: All kinds of aircraft cables and pulleys and weights and cams. And when it started misbehaving, absolutely nobody could figure out to fix it.

We call out a guy from the original manufacturer, he's like the last troubleshooter they've got left for these things. They fly this dude in from California at massive expensive and put him up in a hotel. He shows up, walks downstairs to look at the governor, comes back 10 minutes later, takes out his lunch, takes a big bite of an apple and says "Well, I'm all out of ideas!" Screw it, rip the governor out.
 

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IBEW L.U. 1852
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Well it's going to take some planning and facilitation on my part. I'll butter her up with a drive out to a cool concert venue in the desert, show her a good time, camp out in the field with thousands of other people drinking and doing drugs, and hopefully it will just kind of happen.

If not I'll just roofie her.
It never just "kind of happens"....at least not without lots of begging and pleading on my part...a whole lot of whining and promises and then bam, we got drinking one night with her best friend and.......

















Nevermind. I've already said too much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Doesn't matter that I spent years working on them, I still really find dams interesting.

I think an awesome semi-retired job would be to work on a dam like that or the Hoover or Grande Coulee where because it's a public site, they go to great lengths to maintain it well; I get tired of working in string-and-bailing-wire plants.

Anecdote Time:
Once worked on a site where they had a bridge crane installed in place to lift out the generator rotor out of place for repairs. Rotor weighed 21 tons but the bridge crane they bought and installed was only rated for 20 tons. Good job.

Also those mechanical governors are ridiculous. One of the last upgrades I did at the utility was ripping out one of those systems to replace it with hydraulic proportional valves controlled by a PLC. This was instigated by the fact that the original governor was built like a Swiss-watch: All kinds of aircraft cables and pulleys and weights and cams. And when it started misbehaving, absolutely nobody could figure out to fix it.

We call out a guy from the original manufacturer, he's like the last troubleshooter they've got left for these things. They fly this dude in from California at massive expensive and put him up in a hotel. He shows up, walks downstairs to look at the governor, comes back 10 minutes later, takes out his lunch, takes a big bite of an apple and says "Well, I'm all out of ideas!" Screw it, rip the governor out.
I don't know if it makes any difference, but for what it's worth, all the dams on the Columbia are owned and operated by the federal government or PUDs. I think the Army Corps of Engineers owns the lowest 4 or 5 including Bonneville.
 

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Arsholeprentice
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Make the trip to Grand Coulee and take the dam tour. They have a cool laser light show that is displayed on the dam. We vacation at Lake Roosevelt every year, in Wilbur WA.
I second that, Grand Coulee is pretty awesome. I grew up in Seattle and spent most of our spring and summer months in Eastern Washington vacationing. We did the damn tour a few times, but used to watch the laser show they did on the face of the damn almost every year.

A pretty cool site to see.

I work every now and then at a local damn. It is a pumping/generation plant in the Central Valley. I love getting the chance to work there, gets me out of my normal resi/commercial service stuff.:thumbsup:
 
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