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Design key to long term performance and reliability

Good design works. Good hydraulic design not only works but also ensures sustained functionality. Controlling vital water infrastructure calls for good hydraulic design.

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Good design works. Good hydraulic design not only works but also ensures sustained functionality. Controlling vital water infrastructure calls for good hydraulic design.

CMA has an enviable record of designing and delivering the equipment and process solutions for long term reliability and performance.

The project involved designing a new Hydraulic Power Unit (HPU) to control a 6-metre x 6-metre water supply pipeline gate valve in a hydro-electric power station.

It also included upgrading the series of sensors and transducers that are installed upstream and downstream of the gate to measure water flow.  For CMA, designing a HPU is not unique; the real skill lies in achieving the balance around how it fits into the site’s existing operations.

The power station was brought on-line in the mid-1970s and has been operating continuously since then. This complete overhaul will be the first major change to the operating systems in 50+ years of service.

While the site has seen various component and equipment repairs and overhauls since its commissioning, these have been poorly documented. Therefore, site visits and functional tests were required to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the system’s operation, establishing a reference point for the site’s operating systems.

Once the reference point was determined the CMA team designed and selected the optimal equipment to keep the site operating as the customer required while utilising contemporary world-class technologies.

The HPU will control a gate that regulates water flow into a series of turbines in the power station. Additional position and load sensors have been incorporated to vastly improve the system’s accuracy and reliability.

Accuracy of control is critical to the facility’s operation, as any excess or overspeed flow could lead to the turbines shutting down.  Moreover, in emergencies such as a pipeline failure downstream, the gate must completely close within 45 seconds to avoid overflow problems.

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