Wartsila receives contract to supply seals for 7.8-MW Monroe hydro powerhouse in Nebraska

Wartsila has received a contract to convert oil-lubricated seals in the 7.8-MW Monroe hydro powerhouse with water-lubricated equipment.

The powerhouse is owned by Loup River Public Power District in Nebraska.

This work is intended to reduce lifecycle costs at the small hydro plant, and conversion of the first turbine shaft will occur in the summer of 2016, according to a press release. Conversion of the remaining two turbines is planned for 2017, along with installation of a water quality system. This system will provide lubricant water for the three turbines.

The existing turbine seals at Monroe are prone to grooving, leading to water entering the guide bearing, resulting in mechanical failure and turbine downtime, Wartsila says.

The work will take place in situ, so Wartsila chose seals and bearings with a split design. These segments can be installed in small spaces, the company says.

“Wartsila offered a complete package that we could not find anywhere else: seals, bearings and services from the same provider,” says Brad Morton, hydro superintendent with Loup River Public Power District. “All in all, this is a great combination that will improve reliability and reduce downtown, as well as future maintenance costs.”

Loup River is a public utility that also owns the 45.6-MW Columbus powerhouse. Both Columbus and Monroe are located on a canal system that diverts water from the Loup River.

Wartsila provides advanced technologies and complete lifecycle solutions for the marine and energy markets.

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Elizabeth Ingram is content director for the Hydro Review website and HYDROVISION International. She has more than 17 years of experience with the hydroelectric power industry. Follow her on Twitter @ElizabethIngra4 .

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