Maintenance of large components of hydropower plants

Hydroelectric plant, Villarino

Our team participated in the rehabilitation process that Iberdrola carried out for the first time for two of the three low-pressure valves of the Villarino de los Aires hydroelectric plant (Salamanca), an installation on the Tormes River. The valves, which measure five metres in diameter and weigh a total of 81 tonnes, are located in two caverns 100 metres below the surface.

The rehabilitation involved the replacement and upgrading of drive parts, and the application of anti-corrosion treatment to the valves. In addition, some of these parts were redesigned to ensure improved valve operation in the decades to come.

Iberdrola relied on CT for different phases of this rehabilitation, from the structural verifications of the original and new elements incorporated, the design and calculation of tools to remove and handle the components, generation of assembly, maintenance and procedures for the rehabilitation, to the generation of new implementation plans and design of new parts.

In terms of technology, the Villarino plant has six reversible sets with a total of 810 megawatts (MW) of power, which on average generate close to 1,200 Gigawatt hours (GWh) per year. The plant’s 6 turbines that allow it to move up to 32,000 litres every second, with the highest arch dam in Spain (202 metres) and its 2500 cubic-hectare reservoir made it a milestone in civil engineering when it was built half a century ago.

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