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prime mover

1. n. [Drilling]

The source of power for the rig location. On modern rigs, the prime mover consists of one to four or more diesel engines. These engines commonly produce several thousand horsepower. Typically, the diesel engines are connected to electric generators. The electrical power is then distributed by a silicon-controlled-rectifier (SCR) system around the rigsite. Rigs that convert diesel power to electricity are known as diesel electric rigs. Older designs transmit power from the diesel engines to certain rig components (drawworks, pumps and rotary table) through a system of mechanical belts, chains and clutches. On these rigs, a smaller electric generator powers lighting and small electrical requirements. These older rigs are referred to as mechanical rigs or more commonly, simply power rigs.

See: drawworksrotary table