Most hydroelectric generating units are operated using only the information provided by the manufacturer, which is a theoretical projection of the turbine’s performance based on design criteria. Without actual field unit performance data to determine the best operating conditions, most units typically operate at between 1 and 5 percent less than their best operating point. Consequently, these units are not generating the highest power for their available water resources. This translates into an avoidable loss in revenue and a diminished return on investment. In fact, even a 1% deviation from the best operating point can equate to millions of dollars in lost revenue over the life of the unit.
KGS Group offers flexible and cost-effective turnkey solutions in three main areas to maximize your revenue generation and return on investment:
• Operational optimization and support;
• Investment decisions support; and
• Acceptance tests
Precision testing of turbine efficiency measurements will determine actual unit Performance characteristics and the most efficient operating point for optimizing unit operation. Operating a unit at its best operating point also extends the life of the unit and reduces the downtime for costly repairs. Results of unit performance test results can also provide a unit operating rating table, determine acceptance test criteria for new and rehabilitated units, and assist with assessing unit upgrade investment decisions.
Testing can determine the actual unit performance characteristics and best operating point in accordance with the IEC 41 and ASME PTC 18 Test Codes. Available test methods include:
• Pressure time method (gibson test)
• Index test using the winter kennedy piezometer taps (relative test)
• Velocity area method using current-meters
• Acoustic methods (time of flight, scintillation)
• Dye dilution