Generator repair requires perseverance
Earlier this year, representatives of one of the biggest and oldest companies involved in subsea cable repair and installation around the world contacted us from England. They asked if we could rewind and repair a large generator for a ship in...
Earlier this year, representatives of one of the biggest and oldest companies involved in subsea cable repair and installation around the world contacted us from England. They asked if we could rewind and repair a large generator for a ship in their fleet. We were the sixth
company they contacted; the previous five companies had said they could not do the repairs.
We eagerly took on the job of rewinding and rebuilding the 1,600 kW generator. It proved to be a challenging task, but we are driven by challenges. It was not an ordinary generator: it was an
old unit manufactured in Europe – the nameplate was written in French.
The stator was rewound with form-wound coils in groups of eight continuously wound units. Typically, form-wound coils are wound individually and then connected to each other, after installation, into groups as required. We could only guess that, originally, the coils had been wound continuously in groups of eight because space restrictions would not allow for the connections to be made after the installation of all the coils.
To our surprise, we found out that North American coil manufacturers cannot make coils this way; the equipment required to do so would be very expensive, we were advised. If some place in the world were equipped to do so, the cost for one set of coils would be more than double the original cost, making the rewinding and repairing of this old generator unfeasible. However, the cable repair and installation company needed a solution, as it would be too expensive for it to retrofit the ship with a new generator.
Ultimately, we decided to have one set of single coils manufactured. We installed and connected each coil as required in a very restricted space. Completing the job required perseverance, patience and skill. Thanks to our dedicated team, we accomplished what five other rewind shops would not attempt.
The ship is now on the Pacific Ocean, and its crew is back to repairing underwater cables.
Cosimo Geracitano is with Electro Motors Co. Ltd., Port Coquitlam, BC. For more information, visit www.electromotors.ca.