1 February 2002
Electric Power Research Institute Awards Technology Development Contract
Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has awarded BalaDyne the first installment of a contract, estimated in excess of $500,000, to develop technology for real-time control of vibration on critical power generation equipment as it operates under changing conditions. An active balance correction device will be developed that can be assembled as two pieces over a shaft in less than one hour. The resulting technology will reduce imbalance-induced vibration on electric motor–driven pumps or other rotating equipment in power generation plants without requiring shutdown for manual field balancing.
According to Stephen W. Dyer, research manager for BalaDyne, the development of this technology is especially crucial considering the recent California power crisis. A report on the EPRI Web site cites direct economic losses to the nation due to power interruptions and inadequate power quality conservatively at more than $100 billion per year.
"This technology will lengthen time between equipment maintenance periods and reduce unscheduled shutdowns due to imbalance," said Dyer. "Such shutdowns can require many days for field balancing while reducing facility power output. Furthermore, active balancing during operation will eliminate the life-limiting motor start-ups required for field balancing. The 'split ring' clamp-on device to be developed will allow the active balancing device to be installed quickly on a shaft without disassembling the shaft bearings."
EPRI is recognized as a world leader in creating science and technology solutions for the energy industry and for the benefit of the public. Its technical program spans virtually every aspect of power generation, delivery, and use, including environmental considerations. Currently serving more than 1,000 energy organizations worldwide, EPRI draws on a global network of technical and business expertise to help solve today's toughest energy problems.
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