Winter 2020 Newsletter


Featured Event
Governor School 2020
Market News
Staying on Top of Things
Troubleshooter’s Toolkit
Once Per Revolution Bounce
Employee Spotlight
Bill Eberman
Recent Projects
Holyoke Gas & Electric
Featured Product
AGC1000 Digipid Replacement
Maintenance Tips
Dashpot Lab


Governor School – June 16 – 18, 2020 near Stevens Point, Wisconsin

Whether you’re an experienced governor technician or an apprentice, this annual training workshop will expand your knowledge of governors and hone your skills.

Governor School is staffed by our knowledgeable instructors, many with decades of real-world experience. The sessions are interactive and the instructors’ goals are to share their knowledge with you.

We have expanded on the classic Woodward Governor School to provide a combination of classroom and hands-on training sessions on many types of Woodward governors, oil systems, and auxiliaries. Due to demand, we have added a track for Pelton governors, and other governor types are available upon request. Digital governor classes range from legacy Woodward digital models to the latest PLC-based digital systems.

Don’t miss your chance to attend this greatly anticipated and highly rated training course. Join dozens of your industry colleagues at the “best, most useful, most in-depth class” on hydro governors available today.


“There is so much information available at this school that I can see where it would be great to come multiple times. Staff is incredibly knowledgeable. The training I received will help me greatly back on the job.

“Entire staff was excellent, true technical experts within the industry.”

“Great training environment. Instructors [are] very knowledgeable and personable.”

I feel more comfortable working with governors now. Thanks for the knowledge and hospitality.”

Register online by clicking the button above or download and complete the registration form (PDF) and email to or fax to +1-215-354-1782.

For more information, please contact Kelly Romanowski at 215-354-1144 or at

Can’t make it to Governor School? AGC can come to you!
We offer on-site training at your facility using your equipment. Learn more about our On-Site Training Services.


Staying on Top of Things

Complacency, or in some cases even neglect, can allow small problems to become large. Most Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) governor equipment was built to very high standards, designed for a very long life. Due to the durable nature of how hydropower governors were designed and built, they can continue to function satisfactorily even when not properly maintained or adjusted.

“I don’t know how many times we’ve walked into a plant and the governor, short of being dusted off, has barely been touched,” Matt Roberts, American Governor’s Head Engineer said. “Nobody remembers when it was last overhauled. So, one of the biggest challenges we face is just general awareness. A lot of times we don’t get called in until the governors are in incredibly poor shape. But, that’s OK: we know how to fix them!”

Although mechanical governors provide fine frequency control when properly maintained, mechanical governors can be compromised by neglect or misoperation. Roberts says, “Without adequate training of maintenance crews, governor performance will eventually degrade, resulting in problems like hunting, difficulty synchronizing, and excessive oil consumption. The governors themselves are very rugged and trouble-free; it’s just that the moving parts wear out over time. Knowing how and when to replace these parts is the only trick. It’s about staying on top of things.

Teaching Young Dogs New Tricks

Due to retirements, downsizing and attrition, utilities are losing the in-house mechanics who understood their legacy governor systems and performed periodic maintenance on them. New-hire mechanics have no knowledge base to fall back upon, which explains the rising popularity among many utilities of training programs such as our annual Governor School, a three-day course held each year in June.

With specialized training and knowledge transferred directly from knowledgeable governor specialists, new-hire mechanics can be trained to confidently perform every maintenance task on a mechanical governor, up to and including major overhauls.

Learn more about our annual Governor School and how you can register to acquire in-depth and hands-on knowledge about the equipment in your plant to keep it running smoothly for years to come.

Jump to: Featured Event, Market News, Troubleshooter’s Toolkit, Employee Spotlight, Recent Projects, Featured Product, Maintenance Tips


One Per Revolution Bounce

Once Per Revolution Bounce on mechanical governors comes from misalignment of the PMG to the drive for the PMG. It can also be caused by the drive bushings being excessively worn.

Once Per Revolution Bounce appears as a closing signal to the relay valve and causes the relay valve plunger to move downward. The downward movement is caused by the elliptical travel of the PMG drive gear. The rotor moves faster in one part of the drive cycle and causes the frequency of the PMG to appear to be travelling faster than normal speed at that moment in time.

Because the governor ballhead can react to a speed change of 0.01%, it is able to detect this variation in speed and reacts to send a signal to the relay (Distributing Valve) for the gates to close.

To determine if it is once per revolution bounce divide the unit RPM by 60 to find out how many cycles per second there are in the unit RPM. For example, if the unit RPM is 150 RPM this number divided by 60 is 2.5 cycles per second.

Watch the movement of the relay valve and if there are 2.5 movements in the closing direction of the relay valve plunger the unit has once per revolution bounce.

Align the PMG to the drive for the PMG. Also insure the PMG drive pins are not worn excessively.

Jump to: Featured Event, Market News, Troubleshooter’s Toolkit, Employee Spotlight, Recent Projects, Featured Product, Maintenance Tips


Bill Eberman Field Service Manager

Bill is the Field Service Manager at American Governor Company. He is experienced in the full extent of project responsibilities, from the engineering aspects of the bidding process, through design, factory, and field testing.

Bill provides hydraulic design engineering for systems ranging from pump unloaders through complete Hydraulic Power Units (HPUs) and Pressure Tanks. He provides on-site field service and technical support for multiple types of governor controls, as well as engineering support and documentation for proposals.

Bill has been involved in hydro projects for over 50 years. His first big governor job came in 1975, when he oversaw the commissioning and installation of the analog (very high-tech for the period) governors at the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s Grand Coulee Dam Third Powerhouse during its original construction. At that time he worked for the Cheston-Pelton company.

Since then, Bill has worked for Woodward Governor, Voith and now, American Governor. His resume of hydro projects is far too long to fit one page. If it’s a hydro plant in North America, there’s a good chance Bill has either been there or knows something about it.

An AGC Team member since 2004, Bill is a valued resource and a fount of information for legacy governor systems. During his career Bill has also mastered digital governors, making him one of our most knowledgeable and capable Field Service Engineers, no matter what type of governor the customer has.

Get to Know Bill

  1. What is your favorite food?
    Steak or Chinese.
  2. What is your favorite sport or sports team?
    Football and right now, the Packers (used to be the Bears).
  3. What is your favorite music and musician?
    I like all kinds of music, but my favorite is the Oldies. Favorite musician is Billy Joel.
  4. What is your favorite thing to do during your off-hours?
    I like hiking and reading (history and fiction).
  5. What kind of exercise do you get?
    Long walks, mostly, and some jogging
  6. If you weren’t working full time for AGC, what would you be doing?
    Probably be working for another governor company.
  7. Tell us something people think they know about you that is totally wrong?
    My wife says that most people think I’m a hard-ass but she doesn’t agree. After 45 years of marriage, she’s entitled to her opinion.
  8. If you could communicate one thing to everybody reading this, what would that be?
    Be a good citizen…and a patriot. That’ll go a long way to make this country better.
  9. Explain what life is like in Central Wisconsin?
    It’s a great place to raise a family. Plenty of cheese curds, brats, and beer. The people are friendly and sensible but the winters are a tad too long sometimes.
  10. Do you have the greatest job ever, or what?
    I DO think I have the greatest job ever. I’m very happy at what I’m doing because I get to utilize all the knowledge and experience I’ve gained working in the hydro industry for over 50 years.

Jump to: Featured Event, Market News, Troubleshooter’s Toolkit, Employee Spotlight, Recent Projects, Featured Product, Maintenance Tips


Holyoke Gas & Electric Governor Retrofit Project

Holyoke Gas & Electric (HG&E), in conjunction with the City of Springfield Water & Sewer Commission, has awarded American Governor (AGC) a contract to design, manufacture, and install the digital governor retrofits on two of the three units in service at the Cobble Mountain hydro station. Cobble Mt 1931

At present, Cobble Mountain has two Morris-Pelton #4 Governors on Units 1 & 3 rated at 13.6MW each, and a Woodward GM6 on Unit #2. The project’s scope will consist of supplying a new PLC Digital Governor, HPU, and servomotor modification to accept new high pressure servomotor cylinders.

The project includes the full replacement of the governors on U1 & U2, and includes all software, hardware, demo, and installation. The contract also includes installation and startup services.

Pictured: Vintage photo of Cobble Mountain, circa 1931.

Jump to: Market News, Troubleshooter’s Toolkit, Employee Spotlight, Recent Projects, Featured Product, Maintenance Tips, Featured Event


AGC1000 Digipid Replacement

American Governor’s AGC1000 offers an economical plug & play solution for the unsupported Neyrpic DIGIPID 1000 featuring improved remote control and monitoring and a reliable, supportable PLC control platform that will interface directly with your existing Alstom control valves.

The color touchscreen HMI provides an enhanced Local Operator Interface. The HMI performs no embedded governing functions but automatically establishes communication with the Governor PLC. Programming software is included to enable site staff to add or modify HMI screens as desired.

The detailed Installation Guide provides mounting instructions, wiring diagram, and procedures for set-up and calibration. Expert installation, start-up and commissioning services, and replacement hydraulic valves also available.

Control Features include:

Optional Features* available:
Automatic Synchronizing; Automatic Level Control; Automatic MW Control; Automatic Flow Control.

*Optional features may require additional hardware and/or a larger control cabinet. Download the AGC1000 brochure or Contact your regional office for more details.

Jump to: Featured Event, Market News, Troubleshooter’s Toolkit, Employee Spotlight, Recent Projects, Featured Product, Maintenance Tips


Dashpot Lab

One of the smallest assemblies in a mechanical governor is the Dashpot, and yet it provides a critical control function. With a properly calibrated dashpot, your mechanical governor will fully comply with all requirements of IEEE 125 and 1207, IEC 308, ASME PTC-29, and all NERC requirements.

A relatively simple apparatus, the Dashpot offers complex functionality such as governor feedback in the forms of Temporary Speed Droop (proportional gain) and Dashpot Reset Time (integral gain). Both Temporary Speed Droop and Permanent Speed Droop operate in parallel. The two aspects of Permanent Speed Droop are Relation of Gate position vs. Speed Adjustment and Frequency vs. Speed Adjustment. This functionality is provided perfectly with a correctly maintained and calibrated dashpot. If ignored however, controlling issues may result in sluggish or unstable operation.

The dashpot needle valve provides integral term, or dashpot reset time. Once again, complex functionality provided through simple apparatus. This however requires that the dashpot uses the correct control medium, T10 Transformer Oil or Mineral Oil, to achieve this. One of the most commonly missteps in the maintenance of the dashpot is using the wrong oil or not keeping the correct oil clean. You can tell that the gate position pointer (black hand) is installed correctly when the Dashpot Adjusting Lever is level and the needle is at 50%.

Additional functionality of the Dashpot includes:

One of the many breakout sessions at our Governor School is one that covers the maintenance, troubleshooting and calibration one of the Dashpot. The Governor School Dashpot Lab allows each student to have hands-on with their own dashpot assembly. Maintenance, Troubleshooting and Calibration are fully explained, demonstrated and then carried out with hands-on by each and every participant. AGC encourages your governor technicians to either attend this critical class at our Annual Governor School or we can bring this training to your site.

Jump to: Featured Event, Market News, Troubleshooter’s Toolkit, Employee Spotlight, Recent Projects, Featured Product, Maintenance Tips


Experienced technicians and apprentices alike will expand their governor knowledge and hone their skills with American Governor‘s annual governor training classes. Unlike textbook-only classes, AGC classes include plenty of hands-on sessions with live equipment.

Our trainers have decades of experience building, calibrating and repairing governors, oil systems and auxiliaries. Our Training Center features complete working examples of Gateshaft and Mechanical Cabinet Actuator governors, a 20 Series Pump, plus an Analog Mod II test stand, a fully-functioning Pelton mechanical cabinet actuator and many unique and instructive cutaway governor systems and assemblies. Our Turbine Simulator, Dashpot Lab, and Pelton simulator add a new dimension to hands-on training.

Governor School Brasil, Sao Paulo March 31 – April 2, 2020
Focus Class: Woodward Mechanical Cabinet April 21 – 23, 2020
Focus Class: Woodward Gateshaft April 21 – 23, 2020
Focus Class: Digital PLC Governors April 28 – 30, 2020
Governor School, Wisconsin US June 16 – 18, 2020
Focus Class: Pelton Mechanical Cabinet August 18 – 19, 2020
Focus Class: Woodward Mechanical Cabinet September 15 – 17, 2020
Focus Class: Woodward Gateshaft September 15 – 17, 2020
Focus Class: Digital PLC Governors Sept. 29 – Oct. 1, 2020
Focus Class: Woodward Analog November 3 – 4, 2020

Jump to: Featured Event, Market News, Troubleshooter’s Toolkit, Employee Spotlight, Recent Projects, Featured Product, Maintenance Tips