Shutdown of the
West Desert Pumping Project



The Shutdown Process

    Utah's Great Salt Lake West Desert Pumping Project was shut down June 30, 1989, after operating successfully for more than two years. A long-term, or "mothball," shutdown procedure for the Pumping Plant proposed by Dresser-Rand was accepted by the state. After meeting with representatives of equipment suppliers, i.e. DresserRand Engine-Process Compressor Division, Cummins Northwest, Ingersoll-Rand Pump Group, etc., the Dresser-Rand Services Division implemented the preservation steps. Extensive preservation methods requires monthly inspections by qualified individuals and periodic internal inspections of preserved equipment.
The shutdown process took about eight weeks and cost approximately $200,000, which was within the project's budget. The process included securing the Pumping Plant; dismantling, preserving and storing tools, systems and control devices; and inspection and maintenance of the project site.
The following are some of the shutdown procedures for some of the major components at the Pumping Plant site.
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Pumping Plant Shutdown
  • Engines and Pumps - Because the Pumping Plant was to remain in place as insurance against future flooding around the Great Salt Lake, disassembly or removal of the three large engines and pumps were not options.
  • Control Panel - The circuitries of the Dynalco scanners, Moore SLD controllers, and Allen-Bradley PLC-4 were removed and stored in the plant. Open ports of the pneumatic safety shutdown and end devices were plugged, and the pneumatic circuitry of the engine and control panel are maintained under a slight positive pressure charge of nitrogen gas. The panel was covered with plastic to prevent dust contamination and volatile corrosion inhibitor (VCI) paper was placed inside the engine-mounted wiring junction box.
  • Frame and Running Gear- The crankcase, valve train and accessory drive components of the engines were protected through a combination of procedures. During the last 30 to 60 minutes of each engine's operation, a three-phase rust inhibitor was added to the engine oil. After engines cooled, valve covers, crankcase doors and other access covers were removed and a solvent-based rust inhibitor was sprayed on all engine internal components. VC1 capsules were placed in various locations inside each engine to augment the rust inhibitor protection. Fuel gas injection valves were removed and solvent-based inhibitor was sprayed into power cylinders, then replaced against original gaskets. Protective oil was poured into push rod tubes, and hydraulic lifters were removed, dipped in protective oil, bagged and tagged for location, and placed in the rocker arm area of the cylinder heads. The valve stem lubricator reservoir, pumps and tubing were filled with protective oil. In addition, electric motors for the valve stem lubricator and auxiliary oil pump were wrapped and covered with plastic to prevent dust contamination. Crankcase breather piping was also sealed with plastic.
  • Lube Oil Piping- The engine oil/rust inhibitor mix was left in the engine oil sump and piping. A reconfigured pneumatic auxiliary oil pump is periodically operated with the small air compressor to recirculate the engine oil/inhibitor mix through the gear reducer.
  • Drive Line and Brad-Foote Gear Reducer - Exposed, unpainted portions of the quill shaft were coated with protectorant, and quill shaft bearings (pedestal bearings) were drained and refilled with protective oil. During the last 30 to 60 minutes of the unit's operation, a three-phase rust inhibitor was added to the gear oil to be carried to all moving parts. Internal components were sprayed with solvent-based rust inhibitor. The gear oil/rust inhibitor mixture is to be circulated periodically. A RASKEL pneumatic pump is used for this task. The brine side of the heat exchanger was washed with fresh water and allowed to dry.
  • Ingersoll-Rand Pumps - The grease distributing tubes of the Farval grease system were disconnected from the measuring valves and capped, as were the inlet ports on the valve blocks. The main grease supply lines were also disconnected at the unit's reversing valve. In addition, the electric motor was wrapped in paper and plastic, the reversing valve and grease pump were purged of grease and sealed, and the pump drive gearbox was filled with protective oil. The grease reservoir and bulk grease transfer pump were cleaned and sealed, the bulk grease pump motor lubricator was filled with protective oil, and the microprocessor circuitry was removed and stored in a controlled environment. VC1 paper was placed inside the circuit boxes.
  • Brine Cooling Water System - The brine pump motors were removed and stored. Brine pump rotating elements and casings were removed, flushed with fresh water, and stored inside the engine room. Piping also was flushed.
  • Fuel Gas Supply Pipeline - The natural gas fuel supply remains connected to the engine room. Natural gas is used to power a small generator in the Pumping Plant. Isolated fuel headers on the three engines are under positive nitrogen gas pressure.
  • Air Compressors and Piping - Motors on the air compressors were wrapped in paper and plastic, and the entire piping circuit, including air receivers, was isolated from the air compressors. Rust inhibitor was added to the air compressors' crankcase oil. Air intake filters were removed and inlets were sealed, and cylinders and valve decks were sprayed with preservative. The piping circuit for instrument air received similar treatment.
  • Siphon Break Valves - Rubber on the butterfly valve was cleaned and coated with preservative. The actuator assembly was removed and stored in the engine room. A VCI plug was fitted to each end of the pneumatic cylinder, and protective oil was added to the linkage box. Handwheel threads were wrapped with paper and plastic. The siphon break was sealed with reinforced plastic.
  • Cummins Gas Engines - VCI paper was placed inside the housings for the monitor panel and timing shift unit. Protection for the crankcase, valve train and accessory drive units of the frame and running gear required a combination of procedures. During the last 30 to 60 minutes that each engine operated, three-phase rust inhibitor was added to the engine oil. Valve covers and access covers were then removed and the engine's internal components were sprayed with solvent-based rust inhibitor. Crankcase breather piping was sealed at the engine. An actuator was removed and stored. Turbochargers, however, were left on the engines. The Altronic III ignition units, ignition coils and high and low tension wiring were removed and stored in a controlled environment. Exhaust piping outlets and air filter inlets were sealed with reinforced plastic and various other elements were sealed. The entire cooling system has been maintained under positive nitrogen pressure.
  • Pumping Plant Building - The pump/motor for the building's potable water system was removed from the underground storage tank and stored in the service building. The storage tank was drained, tank openings were sealed, pipes were disconnected, and the tank was filled with nitrogen gas. The indoor pressurized water tank and Pennwalt hypochlorinator was disconnected from the piping system and filled with nitrogen gas. All water pipes were drained and blown out with compressed air. The wastewater system was sealed and the septic tank was pumped. Roof vents for the wastewater system remain open. Other elements of the building that were sealed include the HVAC system, safety and emergency lighting systems, control room electrical enclosures and doors, windows, and ventilating grilles. Tools and other equipment were either boxed for storage in the building or removed to other storage areas.
    The Pumping Plant is inspected monthly by staff of the Division of Water Resources and periodic evaluations are made on the condition of engines, pumps and other equipment at the Pumping Plant site.
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Reactivating the Pumping Plant

   In the event the West Desert Pumping Project is reactivated, the startup process could take between 8-12 weeks to accomplish. In addition to reversing the shutdown procedure, many pieces of equipment would need to be partially or completely dismantled and inspected. A percentage of this equipment would likely require replacement because some of the control electronics may be outdated; it would be more efficient to replace it with current technology.
    Reactivating the Pumping Plant would require startup services to be contracted with Dresser-Rand
or another qualified mechanical services company. Estimated cost of reactivating the Pumping Plant is $250,000 to $300,000. The Pumping Plant would not be reactivated unless it were operated for one or more years. The State Legislature would also need to appropriate a yearly operating budget of approximately $2 million.
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