Eco Fluid Center Ltd. (formerly Utility Service Associates)

Eco Fluid Center Ltd. (formerly Utility Service Associates)

Eco Fluid Center Ltd. has a strong user focus provided by individuals who worked for utilities themselves. When possible we also only use other services and products from those who have specific experience with power station applications. We currently provide VSG a `green` grease for hydroelectric stations, MOV Long Life a radiation resistant grease for nuclear power plant motor operated valve actuators as well as MOV Extra a lubricating grease for fossil fired plants. Also a fire resistant hydraulic fluid for steam turbine control systems. Keywords: green grease, biodegradable grease, renewable lubricating greases, sustainable lubricating greases, green lubricants, low toxicity lubricants.

Company details

58 Garnock Avenue , Toronto , Ontario M4K 1M2 Canada
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Business Type:
Technology
Industry Type:
Energy
Market Focus:
Internationally (various countries)
Year Founded:
1993
Employees:
1-10
Turnover:
less than $1,000,000 US

This company also provides solutions for other industrial applications.
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Eco Fluid Center Ltd. has a strong user focus provided by individuals who worked for utilities themselves. When possible we also only use other services and products from those who have specific experience with power station applications.

Consequently, our goal is to provide the best possible and most cost effective service or product. If we cannot offer one ourselves then where possible we will make suggestions or find out where you can get them.

We are available for phone and e-mail inquires at no cost. Our primary area of expertise is power station lubricants including steam turbine oils, reactor lubricants, pump, fan and motor applications as well as phosphate ester control fluids. Services and products can also be provided on bearing, seals and couplings including analysis, rotor dynamics and condition monitoring. Plus, it can be cradle to grave including fluid reclamation, purification, filtration and recycling.

The applications can be in hydroelectric, fossil, nuclear, combined cycle or even wind turbines. We have worked on them all.

Benefits of Condition Based Maintenance

Study found that 33% of the money spent on maintenance was being wasted. Now with better condition monitoring the work can be scheduled to reduce failures and reduce costs.

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Utility Services Associates, and a sister company Fluid Research Centre got their start in 1993 with the down sizing incentives being offered to employees of Ontario Hydro. About 4,900 took either voluntary separation or early retirement. Ken J. Brown, the principal of these businesses, was of those taking voluntary separation after being at OH for 17 years. Plus having previously worked on lubrication and wear the opportunity was used to offer services that had not previously been readily available to other utilities.

The Experience Base

First, Ontario Hydro in spite of its name was one of the larger operators of both nuclear and thermal plants. Total assets were about $40 billion, annual revenue about $6 billion and installed capacity 28 GW. On the nuclear side there were 20 reactors in operation with the eight 900 MW units at Bruce on Georgian Bay being the largest. For the thermal stations, these were mainly coal fired although there is a large oil fired station which is soon to be on natural gas. The largest coal fired station has eight 500 MW turbines at Nanticoke GS on Lake Erie. In addition, there are also hydroelectric stations ranging from single turbines that have been in operation for almost a hundred years, to new multi-turbine stations being built.

This is being mentioned as this company and now companies, was different than most because it designed and built the stations. Plus, it had a very large research facility that supported the operation of these units. The advantage of this was that it permitted a very wide range of experiences and information to be obtained in a very short period of time. Activities ranged from designing, writing/reviewing specifications, tender reviews, commissioning and day to day operation of the stations. Also, this is not restricted to any one station or type of equipment and included visits to almost all the nuclear and thermal stations as well as many of the large hydraulic stations.

Background

Received a BASc (73) and a MASc (76) in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. Emphasis was on materials and design courses. Also had the opportunity to play varsity rugby and hockey for the Faculty of Engineering team. Waterloo is fairly unique because it has a co-operative program and work terms were spent in both manufacturing plants and mining facilities. This included hands on experience making mufflers using presses, QA work with Goodyear tires and four work terms with Texas Gulf at their Northern Ontario ore concentrator and zinc plant. The mining company work included one term in the machine shop, one as a pipe fitter and two in the Engineering drafting office. The 4th year project at Waterloo was on the lubrication of wire in a Waterbury double blow cold hearing machine and graduate work was on the design, construction and operation of a test rig to study impact and sliding wear of Zircalloy-4. This is a nuclear reactor material with the work funded by AECL.

In 1976 Ken joined the Power Equipment Department of the Design and Construction Division of Ontario Hydro and in 1993 was a Senior Design Specialist in the Equipment & Rotating Machines Section, Engineering Analysis Department, Nuclear Technology Services, Ontario Hydro Nuclear. Assistance was provided to the Corporation on tribological aspects of equipment for nuclear, fossil and hydraulic power station. This covers operation, failure investigations, maintenance procedures and design aspects for lubricants, fire resistant fluids, lubrication, bearings and wear for all equipment. Specific equipment varies from nuclear motors, steam and gas turbines to mini-hydro stations and wind turbines. Responsibilities also included being the improvement facilitator for the Department which involved training by 3M and Ontario Hydro, providing training to others and being part of the improvement process.

Outside Activities

To provide assistance to standards organizations and to ensure that utility needs were being meet, have been and/or is a member of the following;

  • SCC Advisory Committee for ISO TC28 on Petroleum Products and Lubricants
  • CGSB Committee on Lubricants
  • International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), SCC, Technical Committee 10
  • ISO/IEC Working Group Technical Committee 10 Working Group 2 preparing standards and specifications for steam turbine oils and fire resistant control fluids
  • Vice-Chairperson of the Associate Committee on Tribology of the National Research Council of Canada

In activities relating to the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers which is the largest such interest group, has served in the following capacities;

  • Membership Chair, Director, Vice-Chair and then Chair in both 81/82 and 88/89 for the Toronto Section
  • Vice-Chairperson and later Chairperson of the Power Generation Industry Council
  • Chairperson of an NRC-ACOT/STLE Committee organizing a 'Hydraulics & Robotics' seminar, Sir Sanford Fleming Building, May 28-29, 1985, Toronto, ON.
  • Member STLE Board of Directors from 1983-1988 with specific responsibilities Director/Sponsor for the Editorial and Publications Committee and then for the Technical Committees and Industry Councils.

Currently assisting the Toronto Section as a Publicity Chair and on the 2004 Local Arrangements Committee. Has given numerous presentations and papers to STLE and others. In 1993 was elected as a Fellow of the STLE, the first Canadian to be so honoured and in 2004 was awarded the STLE's highest honour, the P.M. Ku Meritorious Award, for service to the STLE.

Utility Service Associates and the Fluid Research Center offer tribological trouble shooting services, training, testing, specialty lubes and high performance filters. Clients mainly include hydroelectric, fossil and nuclear power plants but also industrial plants and companies providing products to these sectors.

Specialty Products

  • 'Green' Lubes, Procedures And Products
  • Biodegradable, Coupling And MOV Greases
  • Recycled Oils And Fluids
  • Oil And Air Filter Elements
  • Fire Resistant Fluids And EHC Control Fluids
  • Purification Media For Phosphate Esters
  • Energy Conserving And Long Life Lubes

VSG is a 'green' vegetable oil based grease primarily for hydroelectric plants. It is the only 'green' grease approved by OPG and HQ for wicket gates.

Users include Arizona Public Service, BC Hydro, Bureau of Reclamation, City of Seattle, Eastern Ontario Power, Hydro Quebec, Churchill Falls (Labrador) Corp., Landsvirkjun (Iceland), Manitoba Hydro, Newfoundland and Labrador Power, Ontario Power Generation, Orillia Power Generation Corp., Ottawa City Center, Synex Wolverine LLC and TVA.

MOV Long Life that is a grease for motor operated valves used in nuclear power plants. This is a premium high performance grease that has been extensively tested under both normal and accident conditions (heat, water and radiation).

Users include many of the nuclear stations in the US and Canada as well as those in Sweden, Spain, Argentina and Mexico. It is also the Limitorque factory fill and is used by actuator repair shops such as Georgia-Western.

MOV Extra is a grease for motor operated valves used in fossil and industrial applications. It has outstanding mobility for improved low temperature performance. Users include many fossil stations as well as actuator repair shops such as Pinnacle Actuation.

Also available are other greases, 'green' lube and hydraulic oils are well as dielectric fluids that may be more 'environmentally friendly'. The greases have no added heavy metals, such as lead and zinc, nor added chlorinated compounds. The oils are generally considered to be readily biodegradable and can be based on canola oil or polyglycol.

Services

  • Specialized Lubricant Testing
  • Second Opinions
  • Interpretation Of Lube Test Results
  • Training For Technical Staff
  • Root Cause Analysis on Lubes, EHC Fluids, Bearings, Filters, Gears, Couplings, & Seals
  • Lube Surveys And Optimisation
  • Setting Up Condition Monitoring Programs
  • Day To Day Technical Support
  • Reducing Tribological Losses & Waste

Users of the technical services include many of the stations with our products but also Aircraft Appliances and Equipment Limited, Duke Power, EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute), Forsythe Lubrication Associates, Forsythe Technology Inc., NitroChem, NS Power, NB Power, Noria (Diagnetics), West Windsor Power, and Vectren.

For EPRI, FluidCenter was the sole contractor who prepared their 2002 report 'Electrohydraulic Control (EHC) Fluid Maintenance Guide'. This benchmark work on the fire resistant fluids used in the control systems of steam turbines contains photos, equipment details and many analysis reports to help operators trouble shoot and prevent problems.