# How much electricity can a generator generate before it wears out?

by Psinter
Tags: electricity, generate, generator, wears
Thanks
PF Gold
P: 12,185
 Quote by anorlunda The electric generators at Niagara Falls served continuously for 111 years (if my memory is correct) with little more than a few drops of oil each year. They were retired, not because they wore out, but rather because modern turbine/generators are more efficient, and because there was not much market for the 25 hertz power that the original generators generated. The answer is that electric generators don't wear out; at least they don't wear more than any other machine with moving parts.
That's a proper little gem of information - cheers. Flickering light bulbs or whaaaat?
PF Gold
P: 3,684
 Quote by sophiecentaur That's a proper little gem of information - cheers. Flickering light bulbs or whaaaat?
I visited that site in early 1970's. Indeed the lights in old buildings with 25 (or was it 20?) hz power had visible flicker.

Hydro power is incredibly cheap.
At that time my father-in-law's plant nearby bought electricity delivered to their transformer for 1.8 mils per kwh.
Even then that was less than our nuclear fuel cost.
It's less than $\frac{1}{50}$th of my residential cost today.
But - regulation came along.
NY State took over and put an end to the economic benefit of proximity to hydro.
Lots of industry around Niagara Falls shut down. Father-in-law's plant got moved to Brazil.

old jim
P: 97
 Quote by jim hardy I visited that site in early 1970's. Indeed the lights in old buildings with 25 (or was it 20?) hz power had visible flicker. Hydro power is incredibly cheap. At that time my father-in-law's plant nearby bought electricity delivered to their transformer for 1.8 mils per kwh. Even then that was less than our nuclear fuel cost. It's less than $\frac{1}{50}$th of my residential cost today. But - regulation came along. NY State took over and put an end to the economic benefit of proximity to hydro. Lots of industry around Niagara Falls shut down. Father-in-law's plant got moved to Brazil. old jim
I pay a quarter (25 cents) per kwh. And one time it peaked to approximately 28 cents. Everyone was furious against the electric company, but since it's the only provider for the whole country they don't care about the customers. If that is the effect increase in cost of electricity in like 40 years I don't want to know how much it will be in 40 more years. Maybe $1.00 per kwh? There was a hydroelectric generator close to my place, but it got shut down and now they use petroleum based machines to generate electricity. Doesn't make any sense right. With all these green energy stuff I don't get it either.  Quote by NascentOxygen You anticipate a very short life span? Yeah, but it will be enough.  Quote by SteamKing AC or DC generators can be self-excited, which means that a separate current is used to create an electro-magnetic field. Such devices do not use permanent magnets. Didn't know about those, now I know because I googled. P: 589  Quote by sophiecentaur Did you get the reference? This thread puts me in mind of the "Trigger's Broom" idea - same broom but six new heads and four new shafts. I had not heard of "Only Fools have Horses", nor the "Ship of Theseus". So, I just found the "Triggers Broom" scene on YouTube, watched it, and nearly fell out of my chair laughing! Thanks  Sci Advisor Thanks PF Gold P: 12,185 @Jim What's a "mil"?$1/1000?
PF Gold
P: 3,684
 Quote by sophiecentaur @Jim What's a "mil"? \$1/1000?
Precisely.

Sorry - I forgot you fellows aren't on decimal currency...

My cost here in rural Arkansas (mid US) is about 14 cents per kwh. Plus meter charges, taxes, etc etc etc. We are a mix of coal and hydro .
Tennessee Valley Authority is a series of hydro dams along Tennessee River.
An old timer in a TVA hydro plant once remarked to me: "We sell that rain three times before it gets out of state".

old jim
Thanks
PF Gold
P: 12,185
 Quote by jim hardy Precisely. Sorry - I forgot you fellows aren't on decimal currency... My cost here in rural Arkansas (mid US) is about 14 cents per kwh. Plus meter charges, taxes, etc etc etc. We are a mix of coal and hydro . Tennessee Valley Authority is a series of hydro dams along Tennessee River. An old timer in a TVA hydro plant once remarked to me: "We sell that rain three times before it gets out of state". old jim
Only since 1972 !!!! But no one over here, afaik, uses "£mils".
Did you never travel to the UK and spend money? It's a great place to fall ill with no private insurance (dig dig) and the weather can be really lovely. Plus we know how to make really good beer - it goes on . . . . . . .

Sorry - that wasn't supposed to include a lurve icon. I don't know where it came from and I can't edit it out.
 PF Gold P: 7,363 I have serviced hydro-turbines that have been in service since the days of electrification in Maine. Usually, the Lignum vitae bearings had worn, causing some run-out, and I specced in some Thordon bearing materials (widely used in marine vessels for tail-shaft bearings). A little water for lubrication and cooling, and you're good for another 100+ years. BTW, for obvious reasons (oil in the river) you don't want oil-lubricated bearings in hydro generators. Lignum vitae was the go-to in the old days because it lasted really well with water lubrication/cooling. Thordon sleeve bearing materials filled that niche really nicely.
 PF Gold P: 28 I remeber going to open house @ dads workplace in Buffalo NY during the '70s and being amazed @the machinery. (he worked @ Buffalo forge in the city) As I grew older and became an electrician I started learning that the whole plant was 25hz. A few years ago national grid decided to shut down the 25hz system. I've been working in the WNY area for 25 yrs and only once ran into 25hz equip. and that was only some cheap building owner wanting to reuse 25hz xfrms when his 60hz xfmr went down. Those things sure do have a LOT of iron in them, and it was interesting working with the old timers to test it and get it set up.
PF Gold
P: 3,684
 Sorry - that wasn't supposed to include a lurve icon. I don't know where it came from and I can't edit it out.
We took to whistling London Derry Air.

Thanks for the Thordon tip turbo - I hope there's an inboard motorboat in my future.
If I recall lignum vitae was used for ship propeller shafts well into 1960's.

Wirenut - my father-in-law was at Carborundum in Niagara Falls.
They made Carborundum abrasives and Fiberfrax refractory insulation.
Huge electric arc furnaces to melt the silica sand.
Part of that plant was 25 hz

Thanks guys , interesting how paths cross.

Sophie - I enjoy the dig.
I expect our medical industry to be nationalized. I could go on a political rant now but that's for another forum -
www.market-ticker.org.

old jim
 Mentor P: 41,104 Whelp, I think we've wandered far enough now. The OP hopefully has his answers. Interesting conversation though....

 Related Discussions Electrical Engineering 3 General Physics 9 General Engineering 1 Electrical Engineering 4 General Physics 4