Ivyland, PA – The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) awarded a task order to American Governor Company (AGC) for digital governor conversion equipment, engineering, commissioning, spare parts, and on-site training for eight (8) units at Fort Randall powerplant. This is the third major task order issued under a five-year blanket contract issued to AGC by the Omaha District. The award includes the addition of Automatic Air Admission systems.
“[O]n March 15, 1954. President Dwight D. Eisenhower spoke over the radio from the White House to 600 people gathered in the Fort Randall power house and then tapped a Western Union key to signal Governor Sigurd Anderson to start the generators. Anderson spun the giant turbine and the dam’s first generator began producing electricity. By June 30, 1956, the project was complete and the Omaha District Engineer reported that the Fort Randall project had produced more than 1 billion kw-hrs of electricity in the preceding 12 months. By the early 1970s, Fort Randall was producing over 2 billion kw-hrs of electricity annually.” Source
The Fort Randall powerhouse consists of eight 40MW turbine–generators. The Fixed-Blade Propeller turbines were built by Allis-Chalmers, the generators by Westinghouse, and the Mechanical Cabinet Actuator governors by Woodward. Despite the fact that governor spare parts, training, and technical support remain available from AGC, Omaha District elected to convert these mechanical governors to digital, in a manner similar to recent conversion projects in the Seattle, Portland, and Walla Walla Districts.
For maximum availability and minimum downtime, Omaha District specified a fully-redundant PLC control system: CPUs; power supplies; input/output modules; relays; signal conditioners; and feedback sensors. The new Allen-Bradley™ Control Logix™ governor controllers and accessory equipment will be inserted into the existing actuator cabinet. Existing field wiring and plant devices will be re-used as much as possible to minimize cut-over time. The new governor front panel will contain a large color touchscreen that provides enhanced local control and troubleshooting capabilities. The new governor system contains the latest governor algorithms and includes an event-triggered data collection function, developed in concert with USACE engineers and analysts, that stores a host of analog and digital data upon unit trip for future analysis. This ‘Sequence of Events’ functionality has been incorporated in all USACE digital governors.
While the plant will primarily be controlled remotely through the USACE’s SCADA system, a multiple-unit color touchscreen operator interface will be provided in the Control Room to enable operators to select and operate each unit individually, if desired. This touchscreen will mimic the functionality available at each unit governor’s touchscreen and eliminates the need for traditional Control Room meters and control switches.
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.