Hydroelectric power stations enjoy inherent technical, economic, and environmental benefits that make them an important part of both the present and future of the renewable energy mix. This is particularly true for developing countries, where growing demand for power is complemented by significant untapped hydro potential. Meanwhile, for countries with an established hydroelectric capacity, increased plant life and assured safety with the lowest environmental impact are key factors in hydropower engineering.
Hydroelectric power plants have unique structural integrity problems compared with other industries. This stems from civil engineering issues such as concrete encasement of components, the physical size of components and low temperature operation. And, while hydroelectric plants benefit from long operating lives, this brings its own issues with ageing asset management.
TWI can assist with maintaining the operating efficiency of existing hydropower schemes through defect assessment and mitigation, while also offering specialist inspection and a confidential, impartial, and independent service in a competitive industry. This operational support is built on years of full project management experience, and TWI’s weld repair procedure and development capabilities mean that the life of existing large or small hydropower electricity generation assets, including pumped storage, can be extended by delaying or even removing the need for the expensive replacement of current resources. This single-point access to the world-class structural integrity, materials, inspection, repair, and fabrication expertise is just part of what TWI can provide for plant operations. While TWI has a wealth of experience in this area, we can also provide feasibility studies to investigate new technologies and repair methods.
Given TWI’s proven track record in hydropower solutions, including risk based asset life assessment and optimisation methodology, RiskWISE, is ideally suited for use on pressure systems. When deployed as part of an asset investment planning strategy during the power station design and construction phase, RiskWISE can realise benefits for hydropower projects similar to those seen when employed in other industries.
TWI has a demonstrable track record in penstock, spiral case, bucket and wicket gate integrity, inspection and repair development supported by advanced inspection and NDE techniques, and you can find out more via our NDT, Engineering Critical Assessment, coatings for wear protection and weld repair web pages. Our experience includes Francis, Pelton and Kaplon turbines.
Finally, should things go wrong, TWI's asset management and hydropower consultants allow us to effect independent and confidential failure investigation, using due dilligence from an impartial standpoint, allowing your plant to return to operation, minimising costly outages.