Tech Briefs

First reversible PTFE thrust bearing commissioned in North America

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) commissioned the first successfully reversible polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) thrust bearing in North America in October, at the 175-MW Sir Adam Beck Pump Storage Generating Station, on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, according to OPG officials.

Part of the Niagara Plant Group, the OPG facility utilizes Lake Erie as its drainage basin, fed by the Niagara River. Near Queenston, Ontario, the facility began service in 1958 and has six generating units.

North American PTFE Bearing LLC supplied the PTFE-lined, reversible non-eccentricity thrust bearing. According to published scientific data, PTFE is a fluorocarbon solid that is hydrophobic, meaning neither water nor water-containing substances wet PTFE.

OPG contracted Hydro Tech Inc. (HTI) for the design and supply of the new, split-thrust runner, and HTI also oversaw the assembly and installation of the thrust bearing and runner. The bearing is expected to operate at full load with a properly designed safety factor, according to OPG officials.

For the past several years, the thrust bearing was not achieving full–overhauling-the-third-power-plant-at-grand.html hydraulic thrust due to recurrent failures. The project involved design and supply of an improved runner plate and new PTFE bearing pads, as well as other design upgrades and a study of the oil film wedge across the bearing.

Case study catalogue available on Aboriginal hydro development

The Ontario Waterpower Association announces availability of a case study catalogue focused on Aboriginal capacity building in Ontario waterpower projects. The catalogue, called “Footprints to Follow,” describes nine projects that have significant Aboriginal ownership and participation, each representing a different and unique approach to waterpower development.

“One of the best ways to build capacity is to share experiences,” says Paul Norris, president of OWA. “These projects demonstrate the growing synergy between our industry and First Nation partners.”

The cases were chosen to highlight the spectrum of waterpower development in the province. OWA says that individually they provide examples of successes and collectively they serve to inform approaches to future projects. The catalogue is available at

Smart receives award for energy sector leadership

Lena Smart, vice president, information technology/chief information officer for the New York Power Authority, has received the 2014 Energy Sector Leader of the Year Award from EnergySEC.

Smart’s responsibilities include the protection of NYPA’s employee and cyber assets from hackers using cyber tools, social media and social engineering. She is recognized as a global energy industry expert on matters related to computer security, vulnerability assessment and management, critical infrastructure protection, and information management, NYPA says.

The winner of this award is chosen by a panel of information technology industry experts. The individual must be a senior energy executive responsible for cyber security, demonstrate concern for the protection of critical infrastructure, engage in active participation in industry associations, and demonstrate innovation and creativity in their approach to security challenges.

EnergySEC is a not-for-profit organization that provides support and advice to its utility industry members for securing their critical technology infrastructure.

OWA presents awards at annual conference

The Ontario Waterpower Association presented several awards during its annual general meeting and power conference in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada, in October.

— Ronald R. Dodokin Award: Paul Young, director of generation operations at Orillia Power Corp. This award recognizes the outstanding contribution of an individual to the advancement of waterpower in Ontario. Young has worked in the waterpower industry for more than 37 years, as both a consultant and an operator of facilities. He sits on the OWA board of directors and is working to develop new waterpower sites across the province for Orillia Power.

— Stewardship Award: Ontario Power Generation. This award is given to recognize those organizations that have demonstrated leadership in the waterpower industry. OPG was recognized for its tremendous achievements with the Lower Mattagami project, and the award was accepted by Senior Vice President, Hydro Thermal Operations Mike Martelli.

— Innovation Award: GreenBug Energy. This award recognizes those organizations that have shown leadership in innovation through the development of important advancements that will result in benefits to the waterpower industry. GreenBug Energy was recognized for its micro-hydro project on the Fletcher’s Horse Farm.

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