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Mechanical Power II

Course Number: RET 122
Transcript Title: Mechanical Power II
Created: March 15, 2012
Updated: December 19, 2014
Total Credits: 5
Lecture Hours: 40
Lecture / Lab Hours: 0
Lab Hours: 30
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement: No
Satisfies General Education requirement: No
Grading options: A-F (default), P-NP, audit
Repeats available for credit: 0
Approved delivery mode:


RET 120, EET 112

Course Description

Introduces the process of power generation. Discussion includes construction techniques involving cranes, rigging, and mechanical alignment procedures. Assemble a functioning scale model of a power generating turbine and participate in a safety workshop at a local wind farm. Prerequisites: RET 120, EET 112.

Intended Outcomes

Upon finishing this course, students will:

  1. Be prepared to work in the power generation field understanding the process of power generation and the assembly, maintenance and operation of the machinery.
  2. Be knowledgeable about safety processes and procedures and be prepared to work safely around cranes and other heavy machinery.
  3. Be prepared to work safely alone and within a team on power generation projects.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Evaluation is done by midterm and final exams, quality of lab work and of a term project.

Texts and Materials

  • Smith, Jamie C., Ed., 2006, Fundamentals of Technology: Principles of Mechanisms, Version 4.01. TII Technical Educational Systems, Mundelein, IL.
  • A custom textbook will also be created consisting of selected chapters and articles from journal, manual, textbook, and Web resources, copied with publishers’ permission.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  • How to assemble a scale model of a functioning wind turbine.
  • Principles and logistics of cranes and rigging.
    • Center of gravity of crane-load systems.
    • Lever principles as applied to crane and load:
      • Tipping axis
      • Fulcrum
      • Load
    • Wind loading
    • Blocking, outriggers
    • Maintaining clearance of power lines
    • Rigging:
      • Converting between US Standard Weight System to metric weight system.
      • Slings:
        • Load edge related to sling.
        • Types and characteristics.
        • Hardware and correct use of lifting capacity.
          • Eyebolts and hoist rings.
        • Sling inspections and safe handling.
      • Types of hitches and lifting capacities.
      • Wire rope, synthetic web, and round slings.
      • Removal-from-service issues:
        • Inspection and removal
        • Capacity loss
  • Crane safety
  • Mechanical alignment:
    • Pipes with flange alignment
    • Shaft-to-shaft alignment procedures
    • Centerline alignment
    • Two 3" pipes with flange alignment
    • Types of misalignment
    • Two-plane alignment
    • Run-out correction
    • Preparation of driver and driver unit
    • Alignment operations
    • Coupling types
    • Bearings - types, float, installation best practices
    • Calculating for alignment
    • Alignment specifications and tolerance
    • Tools:
      • Straight edge, feeler gauge (single/double), taper gauge (gap gauge), Cliter spark plug gauge taper.
    • Measurement of alignment
    • Surface alignment method
    • Tools for alignment:
      • Porta power, jacks, etc.
      • Laser alignment
  • Basic maintenance and operation of a wind turbine.
  • Basic mechanical theory as applied to gear ratios and gearboxes.
  • Application of mechanical theory as applied to levers, wheels, axles, pulleys, and other mechanisms to wind turbine construction.
  • Propeller blade pitch - hydraulic/motor type.
  • Propeller blade yaw -nacelle rotation, motor type and actuator.
  • Drive trains, drive lines, U joints, and transmission.
  • Towers
  • Introduction to tools of the trade:
    • Wrenches, torque wrenches, hammers, screwdrivers, grease guns, DMM, porta power, other miscellaneous tools, and dirty grease disposal.
  • Airframe aerodynamics (wind - surface boundary effects on propellers, air foils, and rotors).
  • 3-Phase power line connections.
  • Substations
  • Generator-Power line setups (no substation)