Safety in numbers1 January 2003
IWP&DC gives a brief overview of the information shared at the 12th International Seminar on Hydro Power Plants
FROM 27-29 November 2002, the 12th International Seminar on Hydro Power Plants took place at the Vienna University of Technology in Austria. On behalf of the organisation committee Professor Matthias, head of the Institute for Waterpower and Pumps, was pleased to welcome more than 150 delegates from 14 countries. The opening address by Professor Lauria from Sao Paulo dealt with the role of water power in Brazilian development. Following this, 33 papers were presented and discussed in the course of eight sessions.
Sponsored by andritz AG, EVN, Kelag, Verbund and va-tech Hydro, the main subject area of the conference was safety of hydro power plants. Austrian consultants J Schedelberger and H Mayer discussed the safety of technical equipment from the perspective of mechanical engineering. The authors took the view that in Austria the construction as well as operation of hydro power stations show high safety standards in a worldwide comparison. A. Lemmerer followed by reporting on experience using Reliability Centered Maintenance in the sector of the Energie AG Oberösterreich hydro power plants.
P. Angerer of Institute for Waterpower and Pumps, went on to analyse cost and durations for the repair of component failures. He presented a calculation scheme to optimise replacement and refurbishing measures. The optimisation includes global parameters and trends and estimates a technical and economic development of the system.
W Pinkas and J Werderits from Andritz AG spoke on principles and concepts for evaluating the safety of components and structures. They presented examples of the practical application of several methods from the recent past and glanced at the future of the methods. J Seeliger from Gerling Consulting emphasised that condition monitoring systems are an instrument to ascertain safe and effective plant operation. In many cases, the lack of expert staff with special knowledge can be balanced by utilising new communication techniques in the area of telemaintenance. E Doujak, Institute for Waterpower and Pumps, presented a scoring system for the evaluation of gates. Accidents through flooding and wrong operation with respect to maintenance of gates and weirs in the past show that there is still a high need for such a system. This scoring mechanism combined with the recommended time of inspection of gates and weirs gives the owner and operator more possibilities to control the condition and maybe the remaining lifetime of the installed components and the whole structure.
L Kwapisz from the Polish academy of Sciences discussed a strength analysis of penstock bifurcation in hydro power plants. It was suggested that the investigation results can be helpful when determining the proper rate of the flow cut-off and recommending the strengthening precautions to be applied in places of maximum stress concentration in order to prevent future penstock ruptures. R Huber from the Institute for Testing & Research in Materials Technology emphasised the need to consider residual stresses evaluating existing pressure pipelines. The limits of evaluation of the residual stresses in praxis were demonstrated.
P R Thackray then introduced the need for reliable operation of auxiliaries. He said the system design and layout concepts developed by PB Power have been instrumental in the success of many schemes both in the UK and overseas, and in general, many pumped storage plants have subsequently been operated for more than was originally credited. H Buchmaier from voith-siemens Hydro Power discussed aspects of the run-away speed of Kaplan turbines. From his information it is possible to apply more differentiated criteria for dimensioning of the rotating parts instead of using only the maximum possible speed without consideration of its influence to the total load collective.
Several papers referred to new development in the field of Pelton turbines. R Maldet (Tiroler Wasserkraft AG) and C Pfurtscheller (Geppert) presented the welded Pelton runner for the substitution of the runner at Schmirn hydro power plant. The steps to this solution and the results of the intense discussions between the partners of this project were described. P Duflon reported on the programme of the VA Tech Hydro group to design and build 3-jet horizontal Pelton units, while P Lowys introduced a new concept of a Pelton runner from alstom Power Hydro using separated buckets securely enclosed between two hoops.
Other papers presented on the conference referred to case studies, hydro-generators and valves in hydro power plants. The series of papers was completed by an informative exhibition.
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