GRDA Donates Power Plant Model to OSUIT

GRDA Donates Power Plant Model to OSUIT

Sara Plummer

PRYOR, Okla.-Grand River Dam Authority has donated a steam turbine generator model to Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology’s Advanced Industry Training Center at MidAmerica Industrial Park in Pryor. The model will help OSU Institute of Technology students learn how to operate and maintain turbines and generators through a simpler, scaled down version, enabling them to become better familiar with power plant technology.

“A power plant’s most important and expensive assets are the turbines and generator,” said Ken Egnor, plant superintendent for Grand River Energy Center. “A full-scale system is very large and complex and could overwhelm students.”

GRDA estimates the monetary value of the model at $80,000, in its current state. The average price for a new model is approximately $300,000.

“The generous donation greatly enhances OSUIT’s program offerings and clearly demonstrates GRDA’s commitment to education,” said Dr. Sheryl Hale, associate vice president of Workforce & Economic Development at OSUIT.

OSUIT at MidAmerica Industrial Park has been a standard-bearer for creating instructional environments using industry-caliber equipment for students to experience a seamless transition from classroom to career. Through its strategic partnerships with business and industry, OSUIT-MAIP has been able to secure the latest technology so that students can learn on the same high-tech equipment they will operate and maintain in the future. These efforts are producing measurable success in providing a quality workforce for regional companies in the state as well as within the park.

The GRDA model demonstrates a high-pressure turbine, an intermediate-pressure turbine and a low-pressure turbine as well as turbines, generator, exciter and auxiliary equipment and color-coded piping systems. It will allow students to interact directly with the piping systems that maintain lube oil to the bearings, seal oil systems that keep the hydrogen gas inside the generator for cooling it and other systems, such as the jacking oil pumps that give a lift to the turbine rotor to rotate it on the turning gear.

The model replicates GRDA’s BBC unit, which was manufactured in Switzerland in 1985, and provides similar layouts and systems that are seen in all coal-fired power plants worldwide. This model also shows the valves that control the steam flow to the turbines and the safety measures that protect a turbine/generator.

GRDA, headquartered in Vinita, Oklahoma, is the nation’s 16th largest public power utility based on generation. GRDA op­erates a diverse portfolio of hydro, coal, natural gas and wind generation to pro­duce reliable electricity that reaches into 75 of 77 Oklahoma counties.