Overhauling 50-year-old generators
April 25, 2013
ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. -- The Defense Generator and Non-Tactical Rail Center in Utah, better known as DGRC, is currently overhauling and retrofitting large generators for a foreign military sales contract.
The two generators and their control van are being stripped of their internal components, many of which are original to the more than 50-year-old equipment. The housings will then be cleaned, painted and fitted with new, state-of-the-art electronics capable of generating 4,160 volts per generator.
"These generators were built back in the late '50s or early '60s, so everything is getting updated," said Kregg Knight, chief of the Industrial Management Branch for DGRC.
Powering the newly upgraded generators will be 16-cylinder electro motive diesel engines.
The engines are large and capable of operating the locomotives also built at DGRC, which is a component of Anniston Army Depot.
Knight said this overhaul cycle is the first time 4160 generators have been rebuilt in the requested configuration, which required numerous research and development conversations with the end users in England.
"It has been quite a learning experience for us to take something on this scale and work with a gentleman overseas to make sure we have the right parts and requirements," said Richard Martinez, of DGRC.
The power plant will serve as a source of backup power for a Royal Air Force installation.
Martinez and Knight said the generators are very large, the largest DGRC has worked on in the last decade.
"Other generators we've worked on have been smaller in nature and more mobile," said Martinez. "So, this project is unique as far as the scope of work."
The control van being overhauled is capable of regulating three generators and will be outfitted with electronics enabling it to be monitored from a remote location.
Because of the differences in electrical current between the United States and Great Britain, the workforce of DGRC had to research which parts would work best with the equipment in a country using electricity delivered at 50 hertz, rather than the 60 hertz Americans are accustomed to.
One generator is already complete. The second generator and control van are currently being overhauled. Their completion is expected this summer.