The turbines, generators and other hydro plant-related equipment installed throughout the IID network will undergo initial and follow-up assessments to determine the best way to improve overall system and individual unit performance.

‘By using a single source methodology on our modernisation/upgrade project, IID will benefit from using a consistent approach to immediate and future maintenance and operations performance,’ said Henryk Olstowski, Generation Superintendent, Imperial Irrigation District. ‘With the planned methodology, we expect to change out or upgrade equipment in a way that brings all equipment up to the latest performance standards while reducing our long-term total costs.’

Under the terms of the partnering agreement, IID will have access to ge-hydro‘s technology including fish friendly turbines and environmentally friendly oil-less hubs for Kaplan turbines, digital governor upgrades from Global Control Systems (formerly Woodward Services), and condition monitoring systems from Bently Nevada (acquired by GE in 2002).

IID’s upgrade and modernisation plans include complete water-to-wire recommendations and equipment changes designed to improve unit efficiencies and capabilities across the seven sites and 12 units it operates.

Following the initial system assessment and evaluation, specific equipment and operational improvements will be recommended to IID for budgeting and planning purposes. Shipment of equipment for the projects is expected to begin in 2004 and will continue until IID’s goals of increased efficiency, capacity and availability have been achieved across the entire installed hydro generation base. Commercial operation of the first unit is expected in late 2004 or early 2005.

New turbine equipment will be either a Kaplan or Propeller design and will vary in size from 2MW to nearly 20MW. Generators requiring modernisation will be wound with new coils or bars to upgrade and improve unit availability. The agreement also covers control systems, excitation systems, transformers and other electrical and mechanical balance-of-plant equipment and components. Engineering services will include unit assessments for current condition and remaining life capacity, energy studies to identify and quantify capacity gains and economic evaluations to identify potential operational gains and improvements.