Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Electrical Bearing Solution For A Water Treatment Plant

Aegis Electrical Bearing Damage in a Water Treatment Plant

Electrical Bearing Solution For A Water Treatment Plant

By: Aegis

A new Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Center was opened in the city of Hutchinson, Kansas, in 2009. 17 pump motors, all controlled by variable frequency drives, are used in the plant to move water through the treatment process and to the city’s supply towers.

Chronic Pump Motor Failure in a New Water Treatment Facility

Two months after the plant came online, the pump motors’ bearings began to fail. It started with a 250-hp vertical pump motor that began to squeal. The manufacturer replaced that motor’s bearings, but soon other motors developed the same problem.

Something was clearly wrong.

Aegis Electrical Bearing Damage in a Water Treatment Plant

Some of the many VFD-driven vertical hollow shaft motors at Hutchinson WTP

What Was Wrong with the Motors?

The plant turned to a new motor repair contractor, Independent Electric Machinery Company. Independent Electric found the cause of the problem. The drives controlling the motors were creating voltage on the shaft. That voltage caused arcing through the bearings, producing pitting, roughening, and eventual failure. Luckily, Independent Electric had experience with electrical bearing damage.

What Was the Solution?

In fact, they had developed what they call the Vertical Motor Solution. This consists of isolating the thrust bearing and installing an AEGIS® Shaft Grounding Ring at the guide bearing. The AEGIS ring bleeds voltage safely off the shaft before it can arc and the insulation prevents circulating currents.

In all, ten vertical pump motors had been damaged before they got the Vertical Motor Solution. After that, AEGIS rings and bearing insulation were installed on the other seven pump motors.

The bearings haven’t failed since.

Aegis Electrical Bearing Damage in a Water Treatment Plant

An AEGIS Shaft Grounding Ring mounted inside the guide bearing retainer of a vertical pump motor

Why Choose AEGIS® Shaft Grounding Rings

This ordeal made an impression on Dan Biby, an engineer who helped design the plant and dealt with this problem.

He said, “We use the rings on all jobs to eliminate downtime, replacement, and installation costs. Installing rings can prevent these problems altogether. And the cost is insignificant when compared to the total project cost.”

Over the years, motor manufacturers have become aware of this problem. Nowadays, both vertical and horizontal motors are available with AEGIS rings factory-installed. In fact, US Motors (Nidec) has made AEGIS rings standard in their Vertical HOLLOSHAFT® Inverter Duty motors (WPI and TEFC models).

AEGIS Shaft Grounding Rings have a 2-year extended warranty against bearing fluting damage. No other form of shaft grounding offers a warranty like this.

To learn more about AEGIS shaft grounding and best practices for electrical bearing protection, sign up for a training. They offer monthly live training webinars, and – pandemic restrictions permitting – they can also visit your facility to review your exact application.

Related Articles

Related Whitepapers

How to select a variable speed motor

Variable speed motor primer part 2 This paper is the second of a series intended to assist persons involved in specifying, purchasing or applying variable…

RedRaven Resolves Mission-critical Water Supply Challenges

As the world moves toward a low-carbon economy, water will play an increasing role in supporting clean technologies. That makes it critical for energy transition…

Meeting the challenge of transferring dangerous liquids without common pitfalls, expenses

Moving industrial fluids from one point to another is essential to the health of the worldwide economy. There are a variety of methods to transfer…

What is meant by inverter duty and what sort of motors can meet these demands?

This paper is the first of a series intended to assist those persons involved in specifying, purchasing or applying variable speed motors. A question-and-answer format…


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join the #PumpTalk Community

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Empowering Pumps & Equipment, 2205-C 7th Street, Tuscaloosa, AL, 35401, You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact