Notable Awards 

  Portland General Electric – Pelton U2
Portland General Electric – Pelton U2

Ivyland, PA – American Governor Company (AGC) has been awarded a contract by Portland General Electric (PGE) for Equipment and Engineering, Factory Acceptance Test, and Commissioning services to modernize the Unit 2 Woodward Mechanical Cabinet Actuator at Pelton powerplant in Eastern Oregon. This is the first of three units at this plant to be converted to digital control under the PGE Fleet “Hydro Governor Replacement Project.”

Jointly owned by PGE and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs (CTWS) the dam is located on native land on the Deschutes River, west of Madras, Oregon, in Jefferson County. After initial surveys done in 1949, the construction of the Pelton dam and powerhouse began. Completed in 1958, the plant contained three 32MW vertical Francis turbine-generating units. No one recalls how the plant and associated recreational lake got the name “Pelton” since this plant was originally built with S Morgan Smith turbines, GE generators and Woodward governors. There has never been any Pelton-brand equipment in the powerhouse.

The original Woodward mechanical governors at Pelton powerhouse had operated reliably since 1958 and AGC had supported PGE with spare parts, training, and technical support for many years. Even so, PGE elected to convert them to digital control in order to realize better remote control, communication and data sharing with PGE’s newly-upgraded Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System (SCADA). When complete, the governors and the SCADA system will share the same Allen-Bradley™ Control Logix™ Programmable Automation Controller (PAC) platform.

The scope of the governor modernization project includes Governor PAC control enclosure, ElectroHydraulic Interface (EHI), and redundant electronic speed and position feedback devices. The existing Woodward Permanent Magnet Generators (PMGs) will be modified to accept proximity probes for creep detection. The mechanical overspeed switch will be retained for fail-safe overspeed protection.

The new Governor PAC control enclosure will be inserted into the existing Woodward actuator cabinet, replacing the governor front panel. The new panel will feature a large color touchscreen, red Emergency Shutdown pushbutton, and local control switches. The Manual Control feature available at the existing front panel will be retained, and existing field wiring and plant devices will be re-used as much as possible to minimize cutover time. The PAC system will include a specialty communication module to simplify the integration of the governor with PGE’s SCADA system.


About American Governor Company
American Governor Company provides fully engineered digital governor conversion systems for hydro plants, including PLC-based digital controls, electro-hydraulic valve manifolds, hydraulic power units, electronic feedback devices and unit/plant control and monitoring systems. Installation, start-up, commissioning and field training services are provided by our staff of experienced governor specialists and field service engineers. American Governor also provides full support for legacy governor systems, including a complete line of replacement parts for all types of Woodward governors and a growing inventory of new and reconditioned parts and assemblies for other OEM governors. American Governor offers Field Service, Training, Retrofit kits and Technical Support for legacy governors. The Training and Repair Facility near Stevens Point WI offers factory repair services for governor pumps and permanent magnet generators as well as our annual Governor School and twice yearly Focus Classes. American Governor has provided more than 600 digital governor upgrades and has supported over 1,500 hydropower plants in North America.

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