Team MEGA’s MEGA Hammer will solve the issue of geothermal pump impeller/collet installation. Currently, the installation process requires a mechanic to swing a hammer while running. This is a tremendous safety hazard and inefficient process.
The MEGA HAMMER will streamline this process by performing the task with hydraulic rams mounted to a frame that can be mounted to a pump rebuild table. The hydraulic pump will be powered by pneumatics from a preexisting source. The operator will be able to control the amount of force applied to the pump components to insure safety at all times.
Proof of Concept
Team MEGA’s Proof of Concept is to test the amount of force required to press a collet on a pump shaft until it is fully seated in an impeller. The original concept had two hydraulic cylinders placed in parallel that provided approximately 100 tons of force. The PoC was created to measure the amount of force needed to insert a collet into its impeller seat until it is within proper Ormat assembly specifications. The PoC will be conducted in a machine shop using a hydraulic press. An impeller was donated along with a section of pump shaft, collet, and a collet driver by Ormat Technologies. The impeller will be placed on an aluminum cylinder inside the press and the collet placed around the piece of shaft and slid into the impeller. The driver will be placed around the shaft on top of the impeller. The press will put pressure onto the driver, pushing the collet inwards until seated.
The MEGA Hammer is a product designed to improve the centrifugal pump rebuild process currently used by Nevada geothermal power suppliers. The MEGA Hammer will be easily adapted into rebuild cycles because it can be operated by existing technicians using standard knowledge and skills. Worker safety is of the utmost priority for the product replacing the existing, high risk industry standard methods of applying extreme forces required to properly seat pump components.
The MEGA Hammer is designed to be used as a tool in geothermal pump repair and production shop environments. The product will be built using A500 Structural steel to ensure proper strength and durability in extreme industrial environments. Lifting eyes are strategically placed on the hammer to facilitate easy transportation and placement using common overhead bridge cranes. With proper maintenance of the hydraulic system, the MEGA Hammer will have a 20-year useful life. The hammer will include all necessary instructions, safety decals and comply with all applicable OSHA standards.
The purpose of the MEGA Hammer is to provide a safe and effective method to install and remove multi-staged centrifugal pump impellers. The current installation process is both unsafe and inconsistent. The MEGA Hammer is safer than the current process as it utilizes hydraulic pressure to supply the force required instead of relying on a human-powered slide-hammer. In addition to being a much safer product, it will also be more efficient and consistent because it attaches to existing stationary pump assembly jigs. The greater safety and productivity offered by the MEGA Hammer is a significant improvement over typical methods and will be offered at a reasonable cost.
The MEGA Hammer’s steel frame was assembled and fabricated by Wolf Machine Shop in Reno, Nevada. They cut all the steel stock and then welded to drawings specs. The hydraulic system was then outfitted at Ormat’s shop by Ormat employees. This involved mounting the hydraulic cylinders to the steel frame and then running the proper fittings and hydraulic hoses back to the foot peddle hydraulic pump.
Testing and Results
Before the testing process was able to begin, the pump components needed to be assembled. First the suction, discharge, pump bowl, and shaft were assembled in that order. The collet, collet driver, and pushbar were then installed over the shaft. The MEGA Hammer was set onto the pump table and secured with 4 bolts. The rams were attached to the pushbar. The hydraulic foot pump was connected to a pneumatic source.
With the assembly set up, the testing process began with Ian Diem pressing on the hydraulic foot pump. The hydraulic press slowly pressed against the pushbar which pushed on the collet. Not only did the MEGA Hammer successfully do what it was designed to do, which was to install the collet to Ormat’s collet stick-up specifications of 0.15 inches.
The MEGA Hammer did have a minor setback. Team MEGA faced some ram alignment issues, but was able to overcome the issue by adjusting the pushbar and complete the testing.
The MEGA Hammer was a much safer method, than the current human-powered slide hammer method. The MEGA Hammer also proved to be more efficient and saved significant amounts of time. The MEGA Hammer will cut the pump rebuild process as well as providing a safer work environment.
Ormat’s employees, including Team MEGA’s mentor were very pleased by the MEGA Hammer. Overall the MEGA Hammer’s design matched the purpose it was made for.
The MEGA Hammer went through one test due to the set up taking up about 2 hours. There was also no quantitative data for the results needed in this testing process.
Meet the Team
I have graduated from Albert M. Lowry High School, attended the University of Idaho and am nearing completion of my BSME from University of Nevada Reno.
I was born in Carson City and have grown up in Winnemucca Nevada for most of my life.
After graduation I plan to continue working as a Research and Development Engineer at Speed of Air Combustion Technologies.
Completed my minor in business administration at UNR.
I grew up in Perkasie, Pennsylvania then moved to Shingle Springs California before moving to Reno for college. I also briefly lived in Melbourne, Australia and Saratoga, California.
After graduation I plan to continue working as an engineer for Ormat Technologies and eventually pursue a master’s degree in business administration.
Graduated high school
I was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii on the island of Oahu.
After graduation, I plan on pursuing a career on being an Imagineer for Disney.
Graduated high school
I was born in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, then lived in Newport News, Virginia, moved to Fallon, Nevada, then graduated from Spring Creek, Nevada.
After graduation, I plan on eventually working for Ford Motor Company.
My greatest academic accomplishment is the near completion of my degree in Mechanical Engineering.
I was born and raised in Ely, Nevada.
After graduation I plan on pursuing a career in the oil fields of Texas. DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS!
Thank you to:
Ormat Technologies for sponsoring our project and letting Team MEGA use your workshop to test the MEGA Hammer.
Wolf Machine for MEGA Hammer fabrication.
Remarc for letting Team MEGA use your facility to conduct the Proof of Concept testing.
Wipi for providing useful and important parts and fasteners to complete Team MEGA’s product.