What The Heck Happened At Plant Bowen?

What The Heck Happened At Plant Bowen?

Posted in the Rockmart Forum

sammigirl

Cedartown, GA

#1 Apr 4, 2013
An explosion at the plant. I hope everyone is ok!
Shadow

Covington, GA

#2 Apr 6, 2013
Not much word from Ga Power. News media saying an explosion in the generator - conflicting accounts on whether the unit was off line or being brought off line. Of course, the news also said the explosion was in the "cooling tower". I don't know much about power plants, but even I know that's not possible.

Back to the generator, they are cooled with hydrogen gas. Probably something associated with that. I know a few old boys who work out there - might give them a call later.
polkster

Rome, GA

#3 Apr 6, 2013
Shadow wrote:
Not much word from Ga Power. News media saying an explosion in the generator - conflicting accounts on whether the unit was off line or being brought off line. Of course, the news also said the explosion was in the "cooling tower". I don't know much about power plants, but even I know that's not possible.

Back to the generator, they are cooled with hydrogen gas. Probably something associated with that. I know a few old boys who work out there - might give them a call later.
OSHA is investigating
Shadow

Covington, GA

#4 Apr 6, 2013
You can Google "Plant Bowen Explosion" and there are some pictures out there. Explosion blew a lot of the siding off. Very lucky someone didn't get hurt bad or killed.
sammigirl

Cedartown, GA

#5 Apr 6, 2013
Shadow wrote:
You can Google "Plant Bowen Explosion" and there are some pictures out there. Explosion blew a lot of the siding off. Very lucky someone didn't get hurt bad or killed.
Yes they were very lucky! Only one minor injury.
Shadow

Covington, GA

#6 May 11, 2013
Heard through the grapevine they are calling it human error and that several employees got terminated. Does anyone know who all got fired?
Who cares

Rockmart, GA

#7 May 11, 2013
Shadow wrote:
Heard through the grapevine they are calling it human error and that several employees got terminated. Does anyone know who all got fired?
Who cares, it was an accident. Get a life!
Chiming In

Tucker, GA

#8 May 11, 2013
Who cares wrote:
<quoted text>
Who cares, it was an accident. Get a life!
Well, I care! How can they report that it was an "accident" caused by human error, when it is still under investigation? Funny to me that it isn't being reported very much. Since the Feds are still investigating, I'm wondering if it wasn't a thwarted terrorist attack! They're being way too hush hush about it. IMO
Is be highly upset if I had been working there and was fired for "human error", if still being investigated.
Whatever

Rockmart, GA

#9 May 11, 2013
Chiming In wrote:
<quoted text>
Well, I care! How can they report that it was an "accident" caused by human error, when it is still under investigation? Funny to me that it isn't being reported very much. Since the Feds are still investigating, I'm wondering if it wasn't a thwarted terrorist attack! They're being way too hush hush about it. IMO
Is be highly upset if I had been working there and was fired for "human error", if still being investigated.
I do work there and it is not a terrorist attack, it was human error and the investigation is still going on because they are trying to figure out how NOT for this to ever happen again!
Scott Johnson

New Bern, NC

#10 May 13, 2013
They were coming down for a maintenance outage. When they need to work on the generator, they purge the hydrogen out with CO2 -- when they're sure all the hydrogen's out, then they purge again with plain air and open the generator. The steps have to be done in exactly the right order with careful monitoring, because hydrogen is explosive in concentrations between 4 and 75% in air. If a step was skipped here or the monitoring wasn't correct, hydrogen and air could have come together and caused the explosion.
When they put things back together, again the process has to be carefully planned and monitored. First they flush out all the air with CO2 -- there can't be any air left in the generator housing to mix with hydrogen. They monitor the outflowing gas and when it reads 100% CO2, then they pump in hydrogen and monitor until they no longer read CO2 coming out.
It's delicate, but the advantages of hydrogen make it the perfect coolant. It's 14 times less dense than air so it has almost no resistance to the rotor, and it's thermally conductive so it carries away heat well.
sammigirl

Cedartown, GA

#11 May 13, 2013
Scott Johnson wrote:
They were coming down for a maintenance outage. When they need to work on the generator, they purge the hydrogen out with CO2 -- when they're sure all the hydrogen's out, then they purge again with plain air and open the generator. The steps have to be done in exactly the right order with careful monitoring, because hydrogen is explosive in concentrations between 4 and 75% in air. If a step was skipped here or the monitoring wasn't correct, hydrogen and air could have come together and caused the explosion.
When they put things back together, again the process has to be carefully planned and monitored. First they flush out all the air with CO2 -- there can't be any air left in the generator housing to mix with hydrogen. They monitor the outflowing gas and when it reads 100% CO2, then they pump in hydrogen and monitor until they no longer read CO2 coming out.
It's delicate, but the advantages of hydrogen make it the perfect coolant. It's 14 times less dense than air so it has almost no resistance to the rotor, and it's thermally conductive so it carries away heat well.
Thanks Scott! Interesting stuff. So glad no one was seriously injured. It could have been way worse. We have a lot to be thankful for.
billy bob

Carrollton, GA

#12 Aug 29, 2013
Scott is 100% right. Piss poor communication between shift teams and erroneous marking of completed tasks led to the disaster. all parties were fired and more heads will roll when the investigation is over - mostly management. the guy who flipped the switch was not at fault. he was doing right according to the information he was given which was unknowngly at the time false information.

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