On Monday, July 26, 2010, Pioneer Motor Bearing Company hosted, organized and moderated a Workshop on Hydroelectric Thrust and Guide Bearings as a pre-conference event on the eve of HydroVision International 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA.
The workshop was attended by close to 30 people, from nearly as many companies, including operating hydroelectric plants and major OEM’s (original equipment manufacturers). Fred Wiesinger (Technical Services Manager, Pioneer Motor Bearing) moderated the event encouraging active participation with several short case histories. Dr. Chris Ettles (Professor Emeritus, RPI, New York) opened with some notes describing the fundamental parameters for thrust bearing sizing. Chuck Wiley (retired Chief Engineer, Hoover Dam, United States Bureau of Reclamation) responded to audience discussion of oil deposits with a description of his previous program for oil sampling and monitoring. During a discussion of emerging technologies related to bearings, Bob Knox (retired Technical Director, Michell Bearings) outlined experience with PTFE as a thrust bearing liner. Dr. Lyle Branagan (Engineering Manager, Pioneer Motor Bearing) illustrated the results of anisotropy on the appearance of thrust bearing surfaces after service. Many participants expressed an interest in a longer workshop on the subject.