Develop Integrated Tools for Digital Excitation and Speed Governor Control Systems
Designing integrated tools into our existing in-house digital controller designs would simplify regulatory compliance while also reducing maintenance costs and revenue losses caused by generator outages. Highly trained control-system engineers must travel on-site with specialized test equipment to perform a large portion of troubleshooting/maintenance tasks for excitation and speed governor control systems. This scenario can be very costly when considering travel expenses, engineering costs, and, most importantly, lost revenue income when forcing generators to shut down while installing and removing specialized test equipment. However, this test equipment integrated into digital controllers would allow maintenance personnel to collect data and troubleshoot these complex control systems by using these built-in tools to diagnose system issues. This type of troubleshooting would not need highly trained engineers on-site if users were provided better tools with control systems. It would also not require taking the generator out of commercial service to install and remove equipment.
Need and Benefit
Reclamation operates hydroelectric generators connected to the Western US power system. It must operate its fleet of generators by the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) and Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) guidelines to reliably and adequately supply electric power in a manner to support stewardship of BOR facilities for the American public. Operating according to these regulatory guidelines can be extremely labor-intensive and cost-prohibitive.
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