GE Power and Water Wheelbox Upgrade

General Electric Company

  • Provided comprehensive design service
  • Design intelligently addressed space limitations
  • VFD installed on mezzanine above lab area to save floor space
  • Existing motor foundation modified to accommodate larger motor without requiring extensive demolition
  • Existing mezzanine upgraded to support additional load of new VFD

Schenectady, New York

12,000 SF (test laboratory)

Creative design planning saved floor space and enabled uninterrupted operations during early phases of construction.

In 2013, SSOE provided comprehensive design services for a wheelbox upgrade for General Electric’s Steam Turbine Test Laboratory in Schenectady, New York. A leading manufacturer of critical high-speed rotating equipment for the power generation industry, GE Power & Water uses the test laboratory to perform vibration testing of turbine wheels.

One of GE’s major test systems, the wheelbox is a large evacuated chamber in which turbines are run through a range of operating speeds to determine bucket vibration response.

Wheelbox 2 SmallFor this project, SSOE performed the design for removing an existing 4,000 HP induction motor located in the Building 262 (B-262) wheelbox drive pit. Our design included removal of associated control and power control equipment and the eddy current clutch. SSOE also provided detailed design to support installation of the new 5,000 HP induction motor with associated new VFD and new isolation transformer. Modifications to existing switchgear, new motor power feed cabling to the switchgear, oil system connections, control system and vibration monitoring system, including associated wiring, were also part of the scope.

Working within an aggressive project schedule, SSOE addressed a number of project challenges, such as floor space limitations and the client’s need for uninterrupted use of existing systems and equipment during the early phases of construction. Creative repurposing of existing space, namely installing the new VFD on the mezzanine above the lab, helped us work within space limitations. Relocating system connection points and modifying system designs to allow for later installation enabled the client to use the existing equipment to complete current ongoing testing.

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