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Reduced Cost Maintenance

Project ID: 6711
Principal Investigator: Benjamin Few
Research Topic: Improved Power Generation
Priority Area Assignments: 2014 (Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation), 2015 (Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation), 2016 (Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation)
Funded Fiscal Years: 2014 and 2015
Keywords: None

Research Question

How does Reclamation reduce its largest expense, operation and maintenance (O&M) costs, while simultaneously ensuring and enhancing plant sustainability and reliability?

Need and Benefit

The program research goal is to improve the reliability and operational efficiency of Reclamation power facilities. Costs for transformer/generator failure range from $1 million to $50 million per incident.

With improved equipment testing methods, more reliable plant operation is possible with less downtime required for failure diagnostics or misoperation analysis. Resulting reduction in maintenance costs and lost revenue will contribute to improved plant operating efficiency. Machine parameter and electrical characteristics information from field testing data will be shared with technical peers and will benefit Reclamation-wide maintenance, operation, and protection of large generators and motors. On a regional scale, this information will also support better power system modeling for prevention of costly blackouts (regional and local).

Reclamation has an extensive electric power infrastructure of approximately 58 powerplants and over 11 large pumping plants. This represents a substantial capital investment and variety of equipment spanning 10 decades.

Contributing Partners


Research Products

Working systems installed and running at Reclamation Facilities. Technical transfer to other Reclamation facilities will be made available.

This information was last updated on May 25, 2015
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