I've toured the Robert Moses power generation station in Niagara Falls a
number of times. The turbines are at the bottom of the dam to take
advantage of the water's pressure. The generators are on the top floor
of the structure to facilitate installation/replacement. The two are
connected by a massive shafts. You're correct, the water (hopefully)
doen't come near the generators.
Actually, large-capacity turbine-generators are typically H cooled to
enhance conductivity. One does not smoke in the vicinity... :)
I'll keep an eye on it. I expect some sparks (nature of the beast), but
this was a rather large one that filled the motor chamber. Now it only
does it when I let go of the switch before it's come up to speed. (I'm
curious now. If it starts again I'll have to put an ammeter on there,
take a few readings, then clean the brushes.)
"The potential difference between the top and bottom of a tree is the
reason why all trees have to be grounded..." -- Bored Borg on
Electric brake shorts out the motor winding and it generates
current in the winding in reverse - generating voltage - and sparks
if the brushes are not smooth on. The short isn't hard, but soft
through a low resistance value.
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