Upskill your team with invaluable, hands-on-intensive hydro governor training workshops

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Upskill your team with invaluable, hands-on-intensive hydro governor training workshops


March 28, 2022


Gerald Runyan, Legacy Governor Expert, Emerson


Upskill your team with invaluable, hands-on-intensive hydro governor training workshops

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Regular training is critical for maintaining reliable legacy governor equipment. These intricate and precise machines can provide NERC-level primary frequency response but only if they are properly maintained, tuned and periodically calibrated. The lack of vital hands-on training during the global pandemic has been a major loss for the hydropower industry worldwide.

Over the past two years, hands-on workshops moved from inside plants or an OEM’s classroom to behind computer screens without actual equipment to work on. Some utilities also postponed routine maintenance to minimize the risk of virus transmission among their employees. Thanks in part to a robust vaccination program, we are all adjusting to the “next normal” and can resume taking care of both our personnel and plant assets.

Hydro utilities, private and public alike, are seeing decades of governor knowledge dissipate and disappear due to retirements or budget cutbacks. “Doing more with less” has become even more ubiquitous as recent years have seen dramatic changes in the workforce. Despite the movement toward digital transformation, there are still thousands of mechanical governors currently in service in hydro plants all over North America. Sooner or later, these legacy mechanical governors will need to be serviced, and newer plant technicians likely lack the knowledge and skills necessary to confidently overhaul and maintain this equipment: that’s why proactive, hands-on governor training plays a critical role. Reskilling and upskilling the hydro workforce following the pandemic is crucial to recovery and for long-term success.

Emerson will host its first Governor School workshop in three years this June at its Hydro Governor Training & Repair Center in Amherst, Wisconsin. Whether the applicant is an apprentice technician or a decades-in-the-making expert governor mechanic, this intensive workshop will enhance their knowledge of legacy governors, digital controls, and all relevant ancillary equipment. The intensive and interactive workshops feature both classroom theory and intensive hands-on learning, making them ideal for the plant technicians who are responsible for tuning, adjusting and troubleshooting governor fleets.

Emerson’s trainers have decades of experience building, calibrating and repairing legacy Woodward governors, oil systems and auxiliaries. The governor training and repair center features Woodward Gateshaft and A-Actuator governors, Woodward 20 Series and XX Herringbone gear pumps, and Woodward and Pelton Permanent Magnet Generators (PMGs), as well as working examples of Woodward and Pelton Mechanical Cabinet Actuators.

Governor School classroom instruction utilizes cutaway examples of a Woodward distributing valve, permanent magnet generator and XX Herringbone gear pump, while hands-on instruction will center around a working, pressurized Woodward Mechanical Cabinet Actuator, Woodward Gateshaft Governor, and PLC-based digital governors. In addition to demonstrating how they work, real-world problems will be programmed into the governors and attendees will be challenged as a group to resolve them. The dashpot lab has over a dozen Woodward dashpot assemblies for attendees to disassemble, clean inspect, reassemble and test with the guidance of our governor experts. Intensive troubleshooting sessions combined with smaller class sizes are what make the workshops so effective for maintenance crews.

It is crucial to ensure teams are equipped with the critical knowledge and skills to keep the plant running reliably, and to remain fortified against future disruptions. The technical workshop format at Emerson makes it a great choice for learning governors from scratch or refreshing a team’s knowledge and boosting their experience. Check out Governor School workshop taking place this June!

To learn more about Governor School, email or register online