With over 100 EPC power projects in the US in the last
decade alone, and over 296,000 MW of international
experience under our belt, we can bring your project to
life. Our experts provide innovative solutions to meet
your unique project requirements whether big or small.
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partners to bring innovative thinking and new solutions to the industry,
so partnership with WSU’s ASL was a natural ft. Likewise, WSU’s
ASL was built with the goal of collaborating with industry partners
to develop solutions to real-world problems. Tus, it was a win-win
for our two organizations to pair up.
Scientists with WSU’s ASL provided the project with the needed
institutional expertise and focus, as well as the laboratory setting to
conduct small-scale testing to refne and adjust the fuid mixture.
Avista and WSU’s ASL initiated the project with three main criteria:
1. Te fuid properties (viscosity, lubricity, etc.) needed to be highly
stable across a wide temperature range.
2. Te lubricant had to have a long lifespan.
3. Te fuid had to be inherently biodegradable. Meaning, in the
presence of water it begins dissolving and rapidly breaks down
into benign components.
Associate Director and Senior Scientist Hergen Eilers at WSU’s
ASL put it best when saying, “Making a bio-hydraulic fuid is a
difcult thing to do. We are developing a fuid that, when in the
equipment, is stable, high-performing, and long-lasting, but if it
escapes into water, should break down immediately. Tese are two
very contradictory requirements.”
Even with that challenge, the team marched forward and developed
a nontoxic, biodegradable vegetable-oil-based alternative fuid that
addresses the defciencies of the current varieties of vegetable-based
products on the market today. Tese include limited lifetime and
reliability due to performance issues in cold weather and breakdown
due to heat.
An initial proof test was conducted from early 2014 through the
fall of 2016 in a non-critical trashrake system at Avista’s 10-MW
Upper Falls hydroelectric project. Te plant, which was built in
1922, was chosen as the site for this test because it was conveniently
located in downtown Spokane on the Spokane River. WSU’s ASL
The test simulator for the bio-hydraulic fluid is set up at American
Governor Company’s facilities.