Innov’hydro project

barrage hydroélectrique

In collaboration with EDF, GE Renewable Energy, PXL Seals et INPG, INTESENS is developing a collaborative project to meet the new challenges of hydroelectric power plants called Innov’hydro.

The issue

The project led by Intesens and its partners responds to a recurring issue identified within hydroelectric dams: the difficulty of monitoring the regulation of the valves and its mechanical arms that allow the turbine water flow rate to be adjusted.

During maintenance operations, hydroelectric production equipment is equipped with extensometry instrumentation to facilitate deformation measurements.

Currently, these measurements must be carried out on site by wired data acquisition chains that must be physically connected to a computer.
This method can be very limiting since it is necessary to leave the computer and the acquisition chain on site, which is very expensive if you want to have continuous measurements.

Therefore, these deformation measurements are punctual and do not provide visibility over time.

The solution

The objective of this project is to allow continuous and remote monitoring of the mechanical systems of a hydroelectric power plant.

The new technical solution consists in making deformation measurements using strain gauges permanently installed on the mechanical arm of the turbine. These gauges are associated with a connected sensor that transmits data remotely.

During a maintenance intervention, the connected solution will be installed in parallel with the classical measurement instrumentation for a first analysis of the system by comparison.

Afterwards, the solution will be left on site to take remote measurements and perform continuous monitoring.

The benefits

The data collected will allow the monitoring of the evolution of the calibrations after the equipment has been put into operation or the evolution of the forces suffered due to deterioration of the mechanical systems.

The solution may be used for specific problems or installed for long-term monitoring that will allow maintenance teams to intervene at the most appropriate times.

In the future, this solution may be used on various equipment in a hydroelectric generating fleet.

New experiments are currently underway at several sites to establish a first relevant database.