French River Land Company's Website!



French River Land Company's Home Page!

Poetry of Power

FRL History

Hydrolec Disassembly

Hydrolec Rebuild

Key Personnel

Machine Shop

News Page

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Bill Munch


Rebuilding 120" Niles Boring Mill

For Sale


Alternatives Hydro

Anasagunticook Lake Dam Replacement-    C.Fay & W.Fay

Appleton HEP-Jim Lichoulas

Appleton Wisconsin Anniversary

Badger Pond Dam Removal

Senor Bonifettis' sites in Chile

Chittendon Falls

Claytor Dam

Collins Bascule Dam

ESAC WORKS      July 1985

Fiske Mill

1852 Fourneyron

Golden Pond Hydro

Harry Terbush Sites

Hunts Pond

Indian River Rebuild


Jaffery Fire Protection

Konkapot Creek

Lake May Pelton Wheel Removal

Livermore Falls

Martinsville Hydro


Shaker Mill Dam

Silk Knitters- Ron MacLeod

South Village Dam

Sparhawk Mills

Tannery Pond

Tannery Rebuild

Turners Falls Generator Rewind

Valatie Falls

Valley Paper


Admitting Air to Turbine Runners Improves Efficiency, S. Logan Kerr

Air Admission to Hydro Runners, David Cox, USCOE, Kerr Dam

The Banki Water Turbine Mockmoore and Merryfield

Barrel Stave Bearing Repair

Bishops Method- STABGM Program

Blade Design Kovalev

Blade Pitting- Boving LTD 1930

Cavitation- Accelerated Research, Allis Chalmers Research

Cavitation & Vibration of a Draft Tube

Cavitation- Prevention & Reduction, Allis Chalmers Research

Causes & Effects of Cavitation in Hydraulic Turbines

Chain Turbine by: Nguyen Minh Duy

Chain Turbine Mechanics- Discussions with Duy

Characteristics of Modern Hydraulic Turbines-Chester Larner

Comparative Tests On Experimental Draft Tubes- C M Allen & I A Winter  1923

Design of an Overshot Waterwheel

(by Carl Weidner)

Design of Pelton Buckets

Design of Small Water Turbines for Farm and Small Communities

Design of the runner of a Kaplan turbine for small hydroelectric power plants: Timo Flaspöhler

Draft Tube Design

Draft Tubes of Hydro-Electric Stations by M. F. Gubin

Draft Tube Tests

Ejection into Tailraces of Hydropower Plants: S. M. Slisskii

Erection & Alignment of Vertical Waterwheel Generator Units-R.O. Standing

Evolution of Hydraulic Prime Movers-Byron McCoy

Fall Increaser- Henry Ford

Fall Increaser Herschel Venturi Tube

Fall Increaser Moody Ejector Turbine

Fall Increaser Hydraulic Jump Apron

Flashboard Pins

Gatecase Design- Kovalev

Generator Shaft Design Calculation- Olav Hodtvedt

Governor Theory for the Plant Operator

Graphics of Water Wheels- William Fox

Hydraulic Motors- M. Bresse & F. A. Mahan 1869

Hydraulic Turbine and Governor Field Erection Information

Hydraulic Turbines- Robert Long Daugherty

Hydraulic Turbines by Arnold Pfau

Hydraulic Turbines Gelpke & Van Cleve

Hydrokinetic Energy in Massachusetts, William D. B. Fay

Hydrostatic Beam Analysis

Impulse Turbines  by Ely Hutchinson

Interference fitting a large runner shaft

Kaplan Blade Design NACA Air Foil- Report No. 460

Kaplan Blade Design NACA Air Foil- Report No. 628

Kaplan Design- Kovalev

Kaplan Design Marko Kogovsek.xls

A Laboratory Study to Improve the Efficiency of Crossflow Turbines- N. Aziz & V. Desai

Low Head Hydroplants, Emil Mosonyi

Meggering Generators

Meggering      Earth Resistance

Motors as Generators for Microhydro, Nigel Smith

Miroslav Nechleba

Natick Dam Powerhouse Calcs

Operation & Maintenance of Hydro-Generators

Out Gassing of Cross Flow Turbines

Parallel Operation of Turbines Analysis

Pelton Design- Daugherty

Powerhouse Design- Miniwatt Hydro

Powerhouse Design- Natick Dam

Power Plant Inspection


Rake-Newport News

Rack Design-Chicopee-Olav Hotvedt

Rack Design- PHI- Bill Fay

Rack Design-PHI-Brian French

Rack Design-PHI-Ken Smith

Rack Design-ASCE

Rack Design- Hydraulic Institue of Munich

Rack Design-Flow Induced Vibrations

Rigging a large generator

Selecting Hydraulic Reaction Turbines BUREC

Shafts- Kovalev

Shaft Couplings

Snows Improved Water Wheel Governor

Standard for Hydraulic Turbine and Generator Shaft Couplings and Shaft Runout Tolerances

Stoplog Design Calculation

Stoplog Structure Design Calculation

Stress Analysis of Hydraulic Turbine Parts, BUREC- F.O. Ruud

Some Fluid Flow Characteristics of a Cross Flow Type Hydraulic Turbine- Durgin & Fay

Tenth Census of the US, 1880, Water Power of the US, Part I- Professor Trowbridge

Tenth Census of the US, 1880, Water Power of the US, Part II- Professor Trowbridge

Tests on a Kaplan Hydraulic Turbine

Theoretical Conditions Related to an Open Channel Flow Linear Turbine- Ishida & Service

Theory of Turbines- De Volson Wood

Treatise relative to the Testing of Water-Wheels and Machinery, James Emerson 1879

Trash Rack Differential Equations 2L/3

Trashrack Differential Equations General Solution f(x)

Turbine Water-Wheel Tests- Robert Horton

Turgo, A High Speed Impulse Turbine- Paul Wilson

Vortices at Intakes

Water Hammer-Lorenzo Allievi-Text

Water Hammer-Lorenzo Allievi-Figures

Water Hammer-ASME Symposium 1933

Water Hammer _ Norman Gibson

Water Hammer-E.B.Strowger

Waterpower Engineering-Daniel Webster Mead

Water Turbines Contributions to Their Study, Computation and Design-S.J. Zowski

Water Wheel Design- Ken Smith



White Hydraucone Regainer

Wooden Penstocks


Bradway Turbine  (progressive gate)

C.P.Bradway Turbine

Brook Waterwheel

Charmilles Turbines

Christiana Machine (register gate)

Dayton Globe

Electric Machinery Company (EM)

English Pelton


Essex Turbines

GE WW Vert Gen

GE Springbed Brg

GEH 527C

Gilkes Turbines


Head Gate Hoists- S. Morgan Smith

Holyoke Hercules

Hunt Cat 29 A&B

Hunt cylinder

J & W Jolly       (cylinder gate)

Kingsbury  Brg

Leffel Bulletin 38

Leffel Bulletin 54

Leffel Hoppes Unit

Leffel Laboratory Unit

Leffel Miscellaneous

Kingsbury Catalog C-1

Lombard Direct-Connected Oil Pressure Governors Bulletin N0. 113 October 1st, 1912

Lombard Governor

Lombard Governor Company Type T Instruction Book

Lombard Governors for Waterwheels and Steam Engines-1902

Lombard Water Wheel Governors Catalouge 26

Michell Bearings

Pelton Wheel (1909)

Pelton Wheel (1925)

Ridgway Perfection Water-Wheel

Rodney Hunt

Samson PamK

Smith Bulletin 110

Smith Power Tables

Smith Kaplan

Smith Power

Smith Pelton

Smith Develop

Smith Turbines: Bulletin 105

Swain Turbine

Trump Hydraulic Turbines

Trump Turbines

Tyler Turbine

Vertical Shaft Water Wheel Driven Generators- General Electric

Wellman Seaver Morgan

Westinghouse Small Vertical Waterwheel-Driven A-C Generators, July 1944

Westinghouse WW Generators

Woodward Governor



Smith Alternative Energy:



Small Turbine Manufacturers Websites:


French River's Mission

French River Land Company (FRL) develops small and micro hydro resources.  As hydro developer, French River provides the unique experience, engineering and craftsmanship to build and operate hydro projects in the Northeast. 

FRL was incorporated on February 10, 1992. Since 1992, French River has owned the dormant South Village hydro project. In June of 1997 FRL purchased the Tannery Pond Hydro Project in Winchendon, MA. It went on line in June of 1999 to satisfy FERC license requirements. Due to contract negotiation problems, with Templeton Power & Light, it did not commence commercial operations until May of 2004. At that time, Will & Celeste negotiated a new power sales contract, with with the Massachusetts Electric Company. They received their first check from the Massachusetts Electric Company in June of 2004! This was the first cash flow the site had earned in over 50 years!! (see the Tannery Pond sidebar) In December of 2003, Celeste and Will Fay purchased the entire stock of FRL. In March of 2004, FRL purchased Golden Pond Hydro in Ashland, N.H. This site was last operated in June of 2002 when it was badly damaged by a lightening strike. On January 3rd of 2008, Golden Pond Hydro began commercial operations with a signed contract with the Ashland Electric Light Department. It took almost four years, of weekends, to rebuild the badly damaged and thoroughly worn out tube turbine (see the Hydrolec disassembly, Hydrolec Rebuild and Golden Pond Hydro sidebars).

Celeste N. Fay is the President of  FRL and her brother, William D.B. Fay is the Vice President. Celeste and Will are recent graduates of WPI with BS Degrees in Civil Engineering. Celeste and Will have several years of power plant, O and M experience with D. Hobbs Contracting and Swift River Hydro Operations Company and have worked extensively with their father.  FRL has the tools, equipment and shop facilities to fabricate and repair hydroelectric equipment, regardless of its age or design.

William K. Fay P.E., FRL's Chief Engineer and General Manager, is a licensed hydro engineer who has inspected 80 dams for the Massachusetts Dam Safety Division and is authorized by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to perform Part 12 inspections of licensed hydropower facilities.  He and his children, Celeste and Will, have rebuilt many small hydro plants located throughout New England.




March 28th, 2013


We had a babbitt radial bearing that needed to be repoured. In addition the intermediate shaft where the bearing journal is located needed to be refinished. We received a quote of $7000 to pour and machine the bearing. We decided to do it ourselves. Here is how we did it:

Will has detached the main shaft. We have rigged it out of the pit. The half coupling on the end of the shaft is attached to the top of the runner with 1 1/2 inch studs and nuts. The shiny surface is the scoured bearing journal.

You are looking down at the top of the Francis runner. My foot is resting on the flange where the stuffing box is bolted down. The runner has not dropped into the draft tube because Leffel turbines incorporate a step in the bed ring that prevents the runner from dropping.

Will has installed the turbine main shaft into our Poreba roll lathe. The center hole on the generator end was not exposed to water and was still usable. He indicated the turbine end in the four jaw chuck.

Here, Will is polishing the finished journal prior to removing the main shaft from the lathe.

Here is the radial bearing prior to melting the old babbitt out of the cast iron housing.

Here is some of the babbitt that I melted from the bearing. Previously we scrapped out a GE motor and I kept the bearing journals for their babbitt. Notice the snow white color of the Leffel babbitt. When I subsequently melted the babbitt from the GE bearings it was a beautiful golden color. We melted the two babbitt metals together in a ladle and thoroughly mixed the metals.

In order to pour the molten babbitt into the bearing, we took a chunk of old shafting and turned it down. For most of its length we turned it 1/4 inch less than the main shaft diameter. We stepped it up to the inside diameter of the the housing bore, for about 3/4 inch. We than stepped it up to the original diameter of the round stock.

Will is turning the faux turbine shaft that will be clamped in the cast iron bearing housing.


This is a view down the bearing bore of the cast iron housing after I had melted out the bearing. Note the square holes in the surface of the bore used to mechanically lock the babbitt in place. I wire wheel brushed the bore and decontaminated it with electric contact cleaned prior to pouring the molten metal.

Will is using the forklift truck to lower the assembled and sanitized bearing housing onto the faux shaft. Just prior to this he lit the oxyacetylene torch with just the acetylene jet. He used the heavy carbon smoke to coat the faux shaft to prevent the babbitt from sticking to the shaft.

Here is the faux shaft bolted in place for sizing. We added aluminium flashing separators. The separators were clamped between the bearing halves and extended to the faux shaft. These were added so that after the molten babbitt cooled, we could separate the two halves of the split bearing.

We used a babbitt pot and two propane berthas connected to barbecue grill tanks to melt the babbitt. We are using a foundry ladle to hold the molten metal.

We are passing the ladle to Will.

Warren is supervising the pouring of the molten babbitt into the bearing housing. Note the aluminium flashing used to separate the two sides of the bearing.

This is the next morning. The carbonized faux shaft has been extracted from the newly babbitted bore.

Will has successfully split the housing in half.

Will is checking the bore diameter after taking a pass with the Bullard vertical turret lathe.

Looking down the babbitted bearing bore while it is being turned with a carbide single point tool.

Here is the finished bearing. Note the horizontal and vertical grooves machined into the surface of the babbitt. They are used to distribute the oil around the turning shaft. Note the two vertical holes drilled into the bearing housing on ether side. This bearing has an unusual pumping system. The bearing housing is stationary. Beneath the bearing housing is a cast iron bowl that mounts to the shaft and rotates with it. The bowl is filled with oil. A precisely bent brass tube is attached to the bottom of one hole. Its other end points into the oil. As the shaft rotates the oil and bowl, the oil is forced into the tube and is pushed to the top of the bearing. The oil spreads out and drops into the clearance between the shaft and the beating. The excess oil drops back into the bowl through the diametrically opposite hole.

This is the bent piece of brass pipe that forms the entrance to the pump. It is resting on one half on the split bowl.

I am demonstrating how the pump pipe is installed and how it works.

Another view of the finished bearing prior to rigging it into the hole.

Will has re-installed the main shaft. It has been bolted to both the generator shaft and to the top of the runner. He has rigged the two halves of the bearing housing into the pit. He coated the bearing journal with blueing compound and turned the generator shaft. He re-split the bearing and scraped the high spot off of the babbitt bearing surface with a bearing scraper. He has now re-assembled the bearing. Note the bronze stuffing gland beneath the bearing. The rotating oil bowl has not been installed at this time.

January 23, 2013

Our brand new, Kiser turbine arrived yesterday.

Here, the guys have uncovered the gatecase and runner. They have inserted a 30 ton strap through the blades in preparation for the excavator to unload it.

Here, the new runner is hanging by a single large shackle from the excavator.

We are transporting the new gate case to the lockup at the transformer yard.

A birds eye view of the discharge end of the new runner.

Both pieces ($450,000) are tucked safely away behind the fence.

January 16th, 2013, added the following sidebars:

Added, "Erection and Alignment of Vertical Waterwheel Generator Plants" by R. O. Standing, Niagara Falls, Ontario, January 15th, 1951.

Added, "Hydraulic Turbine and Governour Field Erection Information", NEMA Hydraulic Turbine Section, June 12th, 1953

Added, "Generator Shaft Design Calculation", Olav Hodtvedt, September 20th, 1985.

December 30th, 2012

Added sidebar: Admitting Air to Turbine Runners Improves Efficiency, S. Logan Kerr

Will and Celesty have taken apart the little GE generator. It started making a thumping noise. They found out the gear pump that circulates the oil in the lower radial bearing had failed and the babbitted bearing seized. Here they are removing the cover from the thrust chamber.

Here, they have dismantled the Kingsbury bearing chamber to inspect the upper radial bearing and thrust shoes for signs of damage that may have occurred from the lower bearing failing.

Celesty and Will have just rigged down one half of the lower radial bearing oil pan. The powerhouse is being kept above freezing with a propane mushroom heater. The heat does not penetrate into the wicket gate chamber. It was really cold. Will's hands are turning blue!!

Here, Will and Celesty have jacked down the lower radial bearing and split it in half. They have removed one half and are rigging the second half out from under the generator. What a greasy mess!! Each half ways about 150 pounds.

Here is a photo of our new Kiser stainless steel gate case. Note that both the outer stay vanes and the wicket gates have been fitted to the crown cover and stay ring.

Here is a photo of our new Kiser stainless steel runner. They have just turned the outside circumference of the crown of the runner and the outside circumference of the skirt ring.


We are preparing to fly the Number One Generator over to the Number Three generator pedestal. We are getting ready for when the penstock will be done at the end of January. The new, Kiser, runner and gate case, delivery got delayed to mid November, then to mid December and now it is supposed to be delivered in early January. We need to have at least two units operational so we are marrying the good generator to the good turbine. When the Kiser turbine comes we will install it in the turbine pit. Then, when the rebuilt Westinghouse generator comes back from Maine, we will install the rebuilt by Stoltz Electric generator to the new Kiser turbine. This is a view of the lower guide bearing with the lubricating gear pump installed and half the crankcase installed.

We are flying the newly assembled rotor to its new location.

The rotor is almost down!

The last adjustments are being made.


The contractors, North East Infrastructure of Hudson, MA. are making progress on the penstock. The river has come up and they still need to pour the last two penstock footings. They have made a circular coffer dam in the river bed and have been continuously pumping it out while they build the final set of forms.


Look at these heroic guys working in the middle of a river, with 700 square miles of drainage area, during flood stage and its 18 degrees Fahrenheit!!! The foreman and driving force on the project is Brad Baker. He is an ex US Marine Sergeant who learned how to command men. He is easy going and very polite but when he wants something done his crew does not hesitate. He and his crew are tough as nails. That is him manning the pumps. Previous to this I watched him walk across the five foot deep water, in full waders and climb over the wall of the coffer dam like it was a walk across the parking lot on a sunny day!!

Another view of the coffer dam.

This poor welder is doing all of the welding on these 45 long joints inside and outside.

We tickled the big girl's exciter but there was no current. Will is inspecting the brushes on the slip ring. He stoned the slip ring surfaces until they were bright. We tried to excite her again and the current came right up to 60 amps DC.

Here, Mike Desrouche and John Remington are crouching beneath the No. Three rotor. They have bolted the two halves of the lower guide vane together in preparation of raising it into place with threaded rod.

Here they have raised the bearing into place on four threaded rods high enough so that John Remington can install the ring of 0ne inch bolts


Here are four newly minted Lignum Vitae quarter blocks. They Lignum Vitae arrives in the shop as a log. Warren cuts them into end grain blocks. He machines the blocks and cuts tongue and grooves into the sides of the blocks with the big Cincinnati milling machine. He spreads glues on the tongue and groove sides and compresses them in the 150 ton hydraulic press. After they dry, he line bores them with the Lucas horizontal boring machine and installs the threaded rod tie bolts. Finally, he mills off the corners. If you do not mill the corners off, the longitudinal corner of the wood wedges itself into the edge of the cast iron quarter block assembly and tears the cast iron asunder.

Two giant excavators moving a piece of new penstock.

The penstock is slowly moving along in spite of high water. Note the pipe is supported by ring stiffeners mounted on concrete footings.

The excavator is bringing a bucket of concrete up the river to a penstock footing form.

Poor picture of a pour. The guys are vibrating the concrete into the form as the excavator drops the concrete out of the bucket.

October 29th, 2012


Pepperell Penstock Replacement:

Here is our grody old wooden penstock. It is 500 feet long and 13 feet in diameter. It has concrete cradles every six feet to support the weight of the water. It is 70 years old and causes us to lose sleep at night. We are spending $ 5,000,000 to replace it in steel and make other improvements.

Here the wooden penstock is gone. The Jersey barrier coffer dam keeps most of the water out of the work area.

Here this enormous excavator is attempting to install the steel adapter piece into the forebay wall.


Draft Tube Rebuild:

This plant had its draft tube fall off.

Will has de-scaled the draft by sand blasting it with black beauty. There were many sections that had broken off. Will went down in the discharge pit with scuba gear to retrieve the individual pieces. He has spent a week welding the pieces back onto the draft tube.

We are in the process of priming the draft tube.

We could not find all of the pieces of the skirt. We are having them fabricated and will weld them on afterwards.

The draft tube is being lowered into the tailrace.

Will is retrieving the rigging off of the draft tube. Subsequently, my wife Karen ran the crane. Will attached a snatch block to the back of the discharge pit and reeved the crane cable through the snatch block back to a plate hook clamped to the draft tube. While Karen pulled on the cable, Will guided the draft tube beneath the power house.

Here we have sucked the draft tube up to the steel throat liner. We had to slice the draft tube longitudinally several times to lift the cone vertically in the conical hole. We welded in staging and installed a blower system for fresh air. Will spent another week inside the draft tube welding the seams back together and welding the upper circumference of the draft tube to the steel throat piece.




Here is a photo of Will ready to weld inside the draft tube. He has to climb the ladder and squeeze threw the pressure case man hole. He than squeezes threw the draft tube manhole, grabs onto the runner and swings down onto the staging. The blower provides clean air in Will's face while he welds. We opened the wicket gates and the welding fumes are sucked up the penstock and up the vacuum vent pipe like a chimney.




January 16th, 2013, added the following sidebars:

Added, "Erection and Alignment of Vertical Waterwheel Generator Plants" by R. O. Standing, Niagara Falls, Ontario, January 15th, 1951.

Added, "Hydraulic Turbine and Governour Field Erection Information", NEMA Hydraulic Turbine Section, June 12th, 1953

Added, "Generator Shaft Design Calculation", Olav Hodtvedt, September 20th, 1985.

December 30th, 2012

Added sidebar: Admitting Air to Turbine Runners Improves Efficiency, S. Logan Kerr

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Last modified: 07/09/13