View Full Version : Old Hydraulic govenor for Powerplant generator

12-10-2003, 07:41 PM
I love it.. Tarnished Brass balls for flyweights, counterbalance, hydraulic throttle for the cylinder that controls wicket gates (input water flow to turbine wheel)
Notice the open frame generators that My helper nearly stuck a 30' aluminum ladder into with me on the other end. I was hollering my head off.

Note, govenor is abandoned in place. Modern equipment is used to control generator speed.

They have old electrical equipment left in place over a hundred years old. A old lamp and post is dated 1860?.. Wooden insulators in panels.. neat old stuff.

[This message has been edited by ibewgypsie (edited 12-10-2003).]

John Garner
12-10-2003, 09:33 PM
ibewgypsie --

Great picture! Thanks for sharing it.

I am curious . . . what powerplant? I tend to associate horizontal-shaft waterpower with impulse (Pelton-type) wheels, which characteristically operate with high heads at relatively low flow, typical of mountainous regions.

On the other hand, I think of lower heads and higher flows as going with reaction (Francis-turbine and similar) wheels and vertical shafts.

Also, do you happen to know if the orignal maker (or that maker's successor) still supports equipment of this vintage?


12-10-2003, 10:57 PM
We have a plant that still has its belt driven flyball type governors like that in service. 16 units, and none with an auto start chain. One that still needs operators! LOL!

Great pic!

How about one with a seperate turbine driven exciter? Saw one of those still in operation in Southern Ontario.

12-10-2003, 11:23 PM
Nice pic,I want one for my living room! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Are them Cooper split bearings on that unit?If they are I love those,real easy to deal with.

12-11-2003, 06:38 AM
Ocoee #1 power plant, Sorry I didn't post that. Located near copper hill, Tn, outside Cleveland Tn about 10 miles.

Ocoee #2 in 1949 had a runaway. Something jammed the wicket gates and forced open, brake could not stop unit. About 800+ rpm the turbine left the bearing blocks, went though the housing, went through the wall, went across the creek, went across the highway, went up the side of the opposing mountain. When the operator could not stop the turbine, he hid under a table. Everything that was inside was destroyed by fire and the falling wall except the table.

He came back on the anniversary of the event each year even after he retired and had his lunch there.

I have a picture of the gaping hole in the building from the archives, and the electrical destruction from inside. As soon as I scan I can post.

The shear pins in the wicket gates have been much improved since. Air monitored with pressure switch.

(IN case you didn't know, I am a IBEW electrician working a short job at TVA.. We are doing some mods at Ocoee) Motorcycle shop still has not sold enough to carry the 3 of us. Machine shop is sitting idle at the moment. (expensive tools rusting quietly)

If you can, take a tour of your local power plant, since 9/11 security has about tightened up to the point of stopping them thou. A real high percentage of plants are vertical units now. Each time one of them is taken down, Huge catfish abound in the bottom of the tubine. The rush-shutdown jobs abound with the smell of rotting fish. Some are saved each time, others are hauled out by the laborers.


[This message has been edited by ibewgypsie (edited 12-11-2003).]

Paul Gauthier
12-11-2003, 08:10 AM
Wow would they let you have the govenor, shined up it would look great in your parlor or office.

Paul G.

12-11-2003, 10:23 AM
Looks like one of the first Woodward Governors - made in Rockford Illinois. I used to work for them, as did my father. he has a few of the oldest ones hanging around his home, this one looks familiar.

Thing of beauty, and probably still under the "lifetime" warranty.

12-12-2003, 04:53 AM

No clue who rebuilds such old regulator equipment. Sounds like some of the replies know a lot more about it then me. I have been pretty busy there.

The neat thing about this plant, it was a coal burner at one time, pits, tunnels, very old concrete. No remaining machinery or equipment other then some switchgear and other oddities. At once it was a Tennessee power plant, Now TVA.

Today, the operator turned all 5 online, stepped out back and noticed two fishermen standing in creek. He immediately shut down units. Gave the fishing duo time to exit before they got washed away. When he restarted the water got up about to a level that would have been up to thier necks. He saved them boys a trip down the river without a boat. This prompted stories about fishing boats going through turbines at other plants, houseboats across spill gates, and lots of other interesting things. One Chickamauga boater had his boat up inside the flume going to the intake, when the unit came on (remote start) the boat didn't have power to exit and just banged around the tunnel, beating off the prow of boat, sinking and screaming for dear life the boater finally got the attention of a TVA policeman who radioed for help. They charged him for the rescue and the downed power production of the plant. They said he paid it happily since it was his mistake and warning signs are posted all over the dam.

Of course all these are stories that have two sides. I just heard one of them.


John Garner
12-12-2003, 04:15 PM
ibewgypsie --

Thanks for the reply.

I was trying to ask about factory support for the generator, not the governor, but obviously didn't state my question clearly enough.


12-12-2003, 08:48 PM
HUH John...

We rebuild, rewind, rework the generators as needed. We lost (IBEW) the winding work to the Millwrights at Racoon mountain, took them to the grievance procedure and got it back.

Lots of IBEW members have became Lazy slobs that just want a paycheck, as companies use other methods to get the job completed we will lose work. Not just the IBEW is at Fault, As a nation we have all became the problem. Work goes the the third world countries, Just like the steam generators purchased from Korea and installed At Sequoah nuclear plant, thousands of other items.

We do not own the work, do not own the workplace, we work because we produce, stop producing and making money for your employer you become unemployed. You keep the work by doing a good job in a timely fashion. A honest days pay for a days work.


Ps.. (time to get off my soapbox) I'm a old grey bearded electrician-instrument tech with a bad attitude recently.

[This message has been edited by ibewgypsie (edited 12-12-2003).]