Essex Hydro Plant Response

Essex Hydro Plant Response - producing up to 2000...

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Jim Stanley Prof. Flomenhoft CDAE 06 December 1, 2009 During the class trip to the hydroelectric plant in Essex, we learned about the structure of the dam, its effects on the river, how the power is relayed to the grid, and how the plant actually generates electricity. The hydropower project was completed in 1917 to provide electricity for the Burlington streetcar systems. The dam itself is 594 feet long, and 55 feet high, utilizing rubber bladders that can be filled with air to control how much water flows over it, which helps control the level of the river upstream of the dam, mitigating some of the effects of the fluctuations of the river. Prior to the installation of the rubber bladders in the 1990s, the river level would rise and fall up to eight feet depending on electricity demand; now the water level is maintained to within inches. The plant consists of four generators with a head of 66 feet, each capable of
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Unformatted text preview: producing up to 2000 kilowatts, driven by Francis turbines, as well as four diesel generators rated to 1000 kw each, which are used to supply extra power during periods of high demand. The thing that surprised me about the plant was the degree to which it was automated. Whereas the plant used to require a large number of employees to maintain and monitor it constantly, now the plant’s function is monitored and controlled remotely, and requires only one employee to maintain it. It was also interesting hearing about how well the Vermont Grid as a whole responded to the Northeast Blackout of 2003. When it became apparent that the outages were spreading, the decision was quickly made to isolate Vermont’s grid from the national grid, thereby preventing the blackout from spreading to Vermont....
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This note was uploaded on 04/13/2010 for the course CDAE 006 taught by Professor G.flo during the Fall '09 term at Vermont.

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