Thordon Bearings will run a series of web-based technical seminars to help Canadian hydro power plant operators recognize and solve common problems with wicket gate bushings, turbine guide bearings, turbine shaft seals, and cooling water & filtration systems.

The first in a series of four 45-minute technical webinars, to be broadcast on May 27th 2022, at 11:00 EDT, will inform industry engineers of the best approach to recognizing and solving turbine control and regulation issues often related to wicket gate and linkage bushings.

Presenting a number of case studies where hydro plants have experienced stuck gates, broken shear pins and overloaded servos – all symptomatic of a potential bearing issue – Ryan Edmonds, Business Development Manager – Thordon Bearings, Hydro & Industrial, will offer advice on how to prevent repeated failures and reduce maintenance and replacement costs.

Edmonds explains: “Turbine regulation is difficult if gates are stuck because of bearing problems. Not being able to regulate the wicket gates can result in loss of control of the unit, which in turn can lead to more damage, resulting in lost revenue from down time or damaged equipment. This webinar will cover many root causes that are often missed, with a technical explanation as to how they might be resolved. This will also include tips that can save time and money. Practical examples will be shared by Thordon experts based on actual experiences seen globally, and solved locally.”

These technical sessions are particularly suited to operators of aging power stations, and for new maintenance technicians and engineers that want to broaden their knowledge of the mechanical systems affecting turbine reliability. There can be a lot of misunderstanding relating to bearings and seals, with operators often treating the symptom rather than the root cause of the problem.”

Subsequent technical sessions planned for the 3rd and 10th of June will look at the increasing popularity of water lubricated bearings and use of elastomeric materials for large turbine shaft seals, and how these innovations can solve a number of common issues encountered by turbine operators worldwide.

Greg Auger, P. Eng., founder of Millstream Engineering, adds: “We are bringing more than 30 years of experience in the hydro industry to this series of online technical seminars. The aim is to provide new insights and share our experience of the common challenges, which, hopefully, will help operators reduce downtime and maintenance costs.”

“Water-lubricated turbine guide bearings have been used since the earliest days of hydropower, but are now experiencing a resurgence in popularity because the environmental and maintenance benefits gained by eliminating the risk of oil/water contamination and improved access to the shaft seal assembly. Materials and design guidelines used for turbine bearings and shaft seals have continuously evolved and improved, so staying up to date on the latest developments is critical in order to implement the most reliable solutions in a refurbishment or overhaul project,” says Auger.

The fourth and final technical session in the series on June 17th, will focus on cooling water filtration systems used for bearing and seal cooling. Lubricating water is essential for a turbine bearing and shaft sealing systems, so understanding the available technologies in the marketplace is critical to selecting the best solution for each application. This webinar will provide an overview of the technical concepts behind different filtration technologies, including the similarities and differences in maintenance, efficiency, and help attendees to understand why it is so important to the longevity of seals and bearings.

Hydro plant operators can register to attend these free technical sessions by clicking here:

Left: Ryan Edmonds, Business Development Manager – Hydro & Industrial, Thordon Bearings
Right: Greg Auger P. Eng., Founder – Millstream Engineering (authorized Thordon Distributor)

About Thordon Bearings

Thordon Bearings designs and manufactures a complete range of journal bearing and seal systems for marine, clean power generation, pump and other industrial markets. These products are built using Thordon proprietary non-metallic polymer materials that are lubricated with water eliminating oil or grease usage, meaning ZERO risk of oil pollution to our rivers, lakes and oceans.  Thordon systems and bearings are available worldwide through over 75 agents and distributors.