Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Electrical Accident May Disable Washington State Ferry For Two Years
KING 5 News ^ | 09 November 2012 | Susannah Frame

Posted on 11/09/2012 6:51:48 PM PST by zeestephen

If a new engine "commutator" has to be built by General Electric, the Walla Walla could be out of service for up to two years. An electrical surge caused huge chunks of steel and copper to melt, as well as holes to be blasted through the six foot diameter engine part.

(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: washingtonstate
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-63 next last
A massive charge of electricity accidentally entered a motor under maintenance on board the M/V Walla Walla. The commutator is the largest portion of the drive motor.
1 posted on 11/09/2012 6:51:57 PM PST by zeestephen
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: zeestephen

Dang it! I hate it when that happens....

Rode the Walla Walla many, many times.


2 posted on 11/09/2012 6:53:20 PM PST by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: zeestephen

Oh, Susannah...it’s a MOTOR that failed, NOT an ENGINE! But you’re a dame, what would you know?


3 posted on 11/09/2012 6:57:33 PM PST by ProtectOurFreedom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: zeestephen

Sounds like they put full power to one of the motors with its rotor locked. Sounds like it was in that situation for more than a few seconds.


4 posted on 11/09/2012 7:00:35 PM PST by Steely Tom (If the Constitution can be a living document, I guess a corporation can be a person.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ProtectOurFreedom

Maybe if you gave her equal pay FOR THE EXACT SAME WORK she would do a better job!

/sarc


5 posted on 11/09/2012 7:09:54 PM PST by Dr. Pritchett
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: zeestephen

The same Washington State that voted for same sex marriage-gee, what a surprise.


6 posted on 11/09/2012 7:12:30 PM PST by fortheDeclaration (Pr 14:34 Righteousness exalteth a nation:but sin is a reproach to any people)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: zeestephen

The Washington State Ferries are near perfect example of state controlled industry. It is like the Soviet Union is running the system.

These 70 year old tubs are rusty buckets.

The whole fleet should be sunk and used as an artificial reef for the benefit of sea life and fisheries.

The state bans private companies from offering competition, thus insuring union workers job security.


7 posted on 11/09/2012 7:13:34 PM PST by garjog (Heroes Died. Obama Lied.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Steely Tom

Seems like they would have noticed the lights dimming with all of that current shorting out.

Once you let the magical smoke out of electrical devices, they never work again. (^;


8 posted on 11/09/2012 7:13:37 PM PST by Clay Moore (The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of a fool to the left. Ecclesiastes 10:2)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: ProtectOurFreedom
"But you’re a dame, what would you know?"

Indeed. And one who scrawls for MSNBC.

Get me a beer, woman, and wash my shorts.

9 posted on 11/09/2012 7:17:55 PM PST by SnuffaBolshevik (In a tornado, even turkeys can fly.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: zeestephen

“And look for the union label....”


10 posted on 11/09/2012 7:20:06 PM PST by RetiredTexasVet (The law of unintended consequences is an unforgiving and vindictive b!tch!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ProtectOurFreedom
Oh, Susannah...it’s a MOTOR that failed, NOT an ENGINE! But you’re a dame, what would you know?

You might be interested to know that the article does NOT refer to it as an engine, but the summary does. Perhaps they cleaned up their own mess.

11 posted on 11/09/2012 7:25:58 PM PST by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: ProtectOurFreedom

Sorry, the “engine” goof is mine.

I cut and pasted some sentences.

I think “engine” came from “engine room.”


12 posted on 11/09/2012 7:30:18 PM PST by zeestephen
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Clay Moore
What dat smell coming from?
13 posted on 11/09/2012 7:31:45 PM PST by pterional
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: zeestephen

I wonder if he was one of them that moved up from San Francisco.


14 posted on 11/09/2012 7:35:45 PM PST by tsowellfan (Allen West for Speaker!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Clay Moore
Seems like they would have noticed the lights dimming with all of that current shorting out.

Yeah, that occurred to me too. But they may have been using shore power. If they test those motors under full load as part of the qualification procedure, those mains could have sourced many megawatts steady-state without too much complaint.

Looking at the pictures, it's obvious that the rotor was locked. One set of commutator bars is completely melted. Adjacent bars are coated with flash products but not themselves melted. Quite a lot of copper — by which I mean pounds of it— appears to have been vaporized.

The only other possibility I can think of (and this goes beyond my knowledge of large motors) is that perhaps they somehow managed to energize forward and reversing circuitry at the same time. I say that because it looks like the current actually travelled laterally, from end to end, the long way, through the commutator bars. All the brush holders are smoked, and the carbon brushes appear to have burned away. Perhaps half the brushes are used for forward and half for reverse... that seems a bit old fashioned, but who knows how old these propulsion plants are. They mentioned "boilers" in one of the stories, which indicates they're kind of long in the tooth.

If they had actually put full voltage to the motor with the rotor locked, one would expect that the rotor windings corresponding to the energized commutator bars would also be melted, or at least have been heated to red hot. That would have severely damaged the rotor itself and the adjacent windings. No such damage is shown in the pictures or mentioned by the story's "sources." In that case, I would thin we'd be looking at a lot more than a commutator rebuild.

Once you let the magical smoke out of electrical devices, they never work again. (^;

Yup. Putting new smoke back into a motor with a six-foot diameter commutator would cost some real money, I'm guessing.

15 posted on 11/09/2012 7:36:07 PM PST by Steely Tom (If the Constitution can be a living document, I guess a corporation can be a person.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Drango

Sounds like a “smoke test” gone bad.


16 posted on 11/09/2012 7:39:54 PM PST by Roccus (.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: garjog

No private company would provide WSF service levels.


17 posted on 11/09/2012 7:44:10 PM PST by sbMKE
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: garjog
I wonder if any other state monopoly services will be suffering capability destroying accidents like this in the near future?

Not that I would advocate anyone deliberately doing anything like this of course...

18 posted on 11/09/2012 7:47:07 PM PST by null and void (The One can steal an election, but no one can steal our country.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Steely Tom

It seems like they would just reverse polarity to reverse rotation.

I think you are correct, the commutator was locked and they forgot that fact when they went back online.

I have never worked with motors anywhere near that size bit did get to see the results years ago of what happens when you bring a hydroelectric generator online extremely out of phase with the grid.

Buddy of mine bought a new truck with some of the overtime he got.


19 posted on 11/09/2012 7:47:22 PM PST by Clay Moore (The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of a fool to the left. Ecclesiastes 10:2)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: zeestephen

Ah HA! Apologies to Susannah. Stephen, put down the Barbie Dolls and go pick up an oily wrench!


20 posted on 11/09/2012 7:58:04 PM PST by ProtectOurFreedom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: zeestephen
Here's the link for 15 close up photos - http://www.king5.com/news/investigators/New-photos-show-extensive-damage-to-MV-Walla-Walla-177937191.html
21 posted on 11/09/2012 7:59:18 PM PST by zeestephen
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Drango

We also when we lived in Bremerton and rode to work in Seattle on it a few times.


22 posted on 11/09/2012 8:01:04 PM PST by RetiredArmy (November 6, 2012: The day the United States Republic DIED.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: zeestephen

Looks like Todd Shipyard is going to be breaking out their check book.


23 posted on 11/09/2012 8:01:53 PM PST by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Steely Tom

24 posted on 11/09/2012 8:05:11 PM PST by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: fortheDeclaration
The same Washington State that voted for same sex marriage-gee, what a surprise.

Well, at least the ferry is on the same side of the state as the liberals who voted that abomination in. On my side of the state, conservative side, in my county I think the vote was 6 to 1 against the depravity.

25 posted on 11/09/2012 8:05:17 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not Nurture tm)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Clay Moore

I am using this place to ask the Wa. Freepers if they know of a condo for rent or sale in the Lynnwood or Edmonds area. We moved here from Denver in April and cant get settled. We are at Taluswood apts. Too small. All our immediate neighbors have moved because they raised the rent. We are seniors. To get into a senior apt you have to be rich or below $$ limit to get gov. assistance. We are in between.
I havent ridden the walla walla yet but we are sure enjoying this great state. Thanks


26 posted on 11/09/2012 8:07:46 PM PST by LookingUp
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: garjog

You’re pretty ignorant of our ferry system for a Washingtonian. Go on the ferry website and check the ages of the vessels. Three were built in the late 50’s. four in the 60’s and all the rest are newer, right up to last year. Of course, you probably don’t use them much, rather, depending on the rest of us to pay for your floating bridges across the lake.

Yeah, I’m pissed. I’m pissed at everybody this week!


27 posted on 11/09/2012 8:07:54 PM PST by beelzepug ("0bama is a feckless crapweasel")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Clay Moore
I have never worked with motors anywhere near that size bit did get to see the results years ago of what happens when you bring a hydroelectric generator online extremely out of phase with the grid.

Buddy of mine bought a new truck with some of the overtime he got.

I too had a friend who worked on small hydro stations. He told me about being inside the mechanical housing of a 2MW axial-flow machine when the generator went out of sync due to a problem with the PLC programming for the inlet guide vane actuator. He said the vibrations were severe.

28 posted on 11/09/2012 8:08:36 PM PST by Steely Tom (If the Constitution can be a living document, I guess a corporation can be a person.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: ProtectOurFreedom

I confess.

I’m a book worm, not a grease monkey.

I actually do know the difference between a motor and an engine.

Never heard of a commutator before, so I thought maybe others were in the same boat, uh, ferry.

I was thinking “engine room” would help people locate the story in their mind’s eye.

Bad decision.

Cool story, though.

I’m excited to see so many people are interested.


29 posted on 11/09/2012 8:09:37 PM PST by zeestephen
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: steve86

Ferries, man, ferries! Not fairies! They’re very different.


30 posted on 11/09/2012 8:14:51 PM PST by beelzepug ("Why bother creating wealth when you can just redistribute it?")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: steve86
As I recall, in 2008 or 2010 we voted to privatize the ferries.

I think the initiative lost by 2-1.

I guess people figured the massive fare subsidies would end.

Off the top of my head, I recall that every person who rides the Sounder Train is subsidized $29.

Good luck privatizing that, too.

31 posted on 11/09/2012 8:16:31 PM PST by zeestephen
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: beelzepug

“Go on the ferry website and check the ages of the vessels. Three were built in the late 50’s. four in the 60’s”

When I said that they were 70 years old I was using ironic exaggeration.

If our state had rational leaders instead of idiot Demo-slimes the system would have been privatized long ago.


32 posted on 11/09/2012 8:18:19 PM PST by garjog (Heroes Died. Obama Lied.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Steely Tom
that seems a bit old fashioned

Yeah, I'll say.

Is there no such thing as a brushless (i.e. electronically commutated) motor at this scale? This is basically diesel-electric we're talking about? I Imagine the electronic controller would cost huge $$$ but would be far more efficient in the long run.

33 posted on 11/09/2012 8:20:18 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not Nurture tm)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: zeestephen

I’ve ridden both the Walla Walla and the Sounder Train (on rare trips to Puget Sound) and certainly enjoyed them as a tourist. And I do thank the good citizens of Western Washington for subsidizing my trips!


34 posted on 11/09/2012 8:23:58 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not Nurture tm)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: Steely Tom

Where did you find pictures? I was hoping for photos, but the linked article had none...


35 posted on 11/09/2012 8:28:59 PM PST by TXnMA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: zeestephen

Sounds like a product defect.


36 posted on 11/09/2012 8:29:55 PM PST by DallasDeb
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: steve86
Is there no such thing as a brushless (i.e. electronically commutated) motor at this scale? This is basically diesel-electric we're talking about? I Imagine the electronic controller would cost huge $$$ but would be far more efficient in the long run.

Right. But (a) these vessels are government-owned and -operated, so there's no competitive pressure, and (b) they need a lot of reliability on these engines.

One of the YouTube videos of the MV Walla Walla shows that they use the forward-facing engines for breaking in the last few seconds before the vessel docks. They need those motors to spin up or reverse direction in just a few seconds, and it's a life-and-death thing. Maybe they feel that sticking with technology that's ancient but foolproof is a better way to go.

It sounds like these motors are like the motors that are used in elevator drives, only scaled way up. Motors of that type have to be able to deliver very stable operation down to fractions of an RPM, deliver high torque at low RPM, and be very very reliable. I've noticed that elevator motors have large commutators (large compared with the rotor diameter) like the motors on the MV Walla Walla.

37 posted on 11/09/2012 8:30:57 PM PST by Steely Tom (If the Constitution can be a living document, I guess a corporation can be a person.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: zeestephen

Sheesh...nothing a little WD40 and a chisel can’t fix.


38 posted on 11/09/2012 8:31:52 PM PST by ProtectOurFreedom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Steely Tom
Steely,

Saw your screen tag...

“If the Constitution can be a living document, I guess a corporation can be a person.”

Montana just voted a state Amendment that says a corporation is not a person, therefore it has no Constitutional rights.

I believe their intention is to challenge campaign finance laws in the Supreme Court.

It seems like that creates some alarming issues.

For instance, if a corporation has no rights, why can't the state of Montana seize a Walmart store and distribute all the merchandise to the poor?

39 posted on 11/09/2012 8:36:10 PM PST by zeestephen
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: LookingUp

“ask the Wa. Freepers if they know of a condo for rent or sale”

Check out Kirkland. It is a great little city to retire. You can walk to everything.

Maybe pricy, so check out Juanita on the lake. Beautify and also walkable.

Down town Bellevue has a lot of new condo and apartment buildings going on. Also, walkable.

Now if you want to get away from liberals, I suggest moving to Wenatchee. This is a retirement haven. Everything is close and the prices are lower. People are really nice and it is conservative. My mom moved there and she loves it. Everything is so close and she has everything that she needs.


40 posted on 11/09/2012 8:36:43 PM PST by garjog (Heroes Died. Obama Lied.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: zeestephen

Ever since Clinton, the Left seems to simply ignore laws they don’t like, including language in the Constitution itself. Obama has put this practice on a fast train to oblivion.

Well, I guess some would say Roosevelt started it.


41 posted on 11/09/2012 8:43:58 PM PST by Steely Tom (If the Constitution can be a living document, I guess a corporation can be a person.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: zeestephen

Ever since Clinton, the Left seems to simply ignore laws they don’t like, including language in the Constitution itself. Obama has put this practice on a fast train to oblivion.

Well, I guess some would say Roosevelt started it.


42 posted on 11/09/2012 8:44:14 PM PST by Steely Tom (If the Constitution can be a living document, I guess a corporation can be a person.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: TXnMA
TX,

See my post #21.

The close up pictures are at the KING5news.com website.

I linked the address, but it got split, and part of the exact address is below the photo.

Really good pictures if you're an engineer or mechanic and understand what happened.

That does NOT include me.

43 posted on 11/09/2012 8:45:22 PM PST by zeestephen
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: Steely Tom

I’d certainly be willing to take on the job of selling all that surplus junk copper to the metals recycler...


44 posted on 11/09/2012 9:00:55 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not Nurture tm)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: garjog

Agree with your comments on Wenatchee, but having been in this area for almost 60 years I’ve watched Wenatchee and Ellensburg become increasing infested with Puget Sound and California liberals. Compared to (even) smaller towns in eastern Wa they are almost beyond saving. The wind farms alone brought over a large number of liberals and vacation houses brought a bunch of the others (mostly Microsoft-Amazon-Starbucks types).


45 posted on 11/09/2012 9:07:33 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not Nurture tm)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: zeestephen

Two years to rebuild the engine? Must be a government job.


46 posted on 11/09/2012 9:11:34 PM PST by mtg
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: steve86

“Wenatchee and Ellensburg become increasing infested with Puget Sound and California liberals.”

There is no escaping the liberal take over of our nation.

But, compared to Edmonds, Seattle and Kirkland, Wenatchee is a conservative haven.


47 posted on 11/09/2012 9:12:29 PM PST by garjog (Heroes Died. Obama Lied.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: zeestephen

Two years to fix a motor? Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged world is coming to life by leaps and bounds.


48 posted on 11/09/2012 9:30:56 PM PST by TigersEye (Who is John Galt?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: zeestephen
Many thanks!! I've done a lot of failure analysis -- but my experience is in microelectronics. Damage on this scale scares the (pick your own term) out of me!

With those brushes vaporized like that, they had a pretty good carbon-arc furnace going for a while. Any exposed skin within ten yards would have received nasty ultraviolet flash burns. Very good thing no one was in the vicinity!

When I was in high school, I built my own carbon arc furnace. My comment re UV skin burns comes via sad experience: I used an arc welder's filter to shield my eyes -- but it didn't protect the rest of my face. I got a quick lesson on why arc welders use full face shields instead of goggles like acetylene welders... :-(

At close range, that carbon arc flash would have been like being exposed to a nuclear bomb!

49 posted on 11/09/2012 10:38:14 PM PST by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias... "Barack": Allah's current ally...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: zeestephen

The parallel carbon arcs probably explain that long, continuous melt zone, as well.


50 posted on 11/09/2012 10:45:58 PM PST by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias... "Barack": Allah's current ally...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-63 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson