Case Study: Preventing Major Incidents in Hydro Power Plants

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Enes Zulovic
Specialist Hydropower Engineer
Acutel Consulting

The paper provides Case study how major incident in underground hydro power plant capacity of 450 MW prevented by in house diligent engineering.  Its story about finding engineering solution for the penstock self-exciting resonance, detail site testing and implementing proved solution state-wide. Presentation of the powerful video of occurrence and stopping the penstock resonance taken during site test will provide additional experience about the resonance. This is example of real works how knowledge, practice proved engineering and corrected maintenance activities are the best measures how to avoid such catastrophic incidents. The past failures will provide many lessons learned to prevent similar incident, we hope this paper will be helpful and inspiring for ensuring the steady and safe operation of existing and future hydro power plants. Recent incidents Sayano Shushenskaya Russian (75 people killed, damages in billion dollars) in 2007, Oroville dam spillway incident (200, 000 people evacuated, 800 million repair cost) in 2017, California, USA are event happened.

Finally, it provides some comprehensible recommendations (knowledge database, preparing technical specifications, design review, real root cause analyses, maintenance activities, condition monitoring, protection, people training, publishing papers and attending conferences, etc.) to avoid severe incidents in hydro power plant. To solve serious problems and phenomena researchers, power companies and hydro turbine manufacturers have all come together to collaborate. This is the challenge of the whole hydro power industry to work together on technical problems that everyone has in common, still required proven solutions. Evolution of “best practice” must continue by supplementing current practice with new approaches, as appropriate.

Enes Zulovic, Specialist Hydro Power Mechanical Engineer, Acutel Consulting, Tasmania, Australia; CPEng MIEAust has more than 35 years of international experience in hydropower generation and has been with Acutel Consulting since 2014; before he was employed by Hydro Tasmania since 1996.

He has proven knowledge, skills, competencies, and experience in vibration problem analyses, shaft and bearing alignment, hydro power modernisation projects, turbine and other hydro mechanical equipment, asset risk management, problem solving of hydro engineering challenges and Root Cause Analyses (RCA) and Reliability Centred Maintenance. Other expertizes are preparation and review of tenders and technical specifications, factory and site commissioning, hydro knowledge trainings, pressure pulsations (draft tube and penstock), air admission and design of the oil vapour elimination systems. He has been lucky to work on interesting hydro plants with different vibrations problems to solve successfully and to become an expert.

Enes has published 16 engineering papers (Hydro Vision International Conferences, Hydro Review Worldwide [HRW], Hydro Power Engineering Exchange, [HPEE]), Austorque Machines, Sydney, and VANZ covering topics in his field of hydro power engineering expertise.

In 2009 Winner as a team member of the National Institution of Engineers Australia Engineering Excellence Award for achieving “World Class Hydro Machine Operation” and Tasmania Engineering Excellence Award 2009. Presented paper “Tungatinah Vibration station” (co-author) at HPEE 16, Hobart Tasmania, 11-16 August 2014, was voted as the Best HPEE conference paper. At Hydro Vision International Conference 2015, Portland, Oregon, USA; Technical papers of the year, First Place; Equipment & Technology, the Winner: “A Novel Approach Solving High Intermittent Vibrations following Modernisation and Upgrade Project” by Enes Zulovic, Acutel Consulting, Tasmania, Australia.