One of the oldest methods of generating renewable energy is hydro power, where the energy of the flowing water is captured with hydro turbines to generate electricity. Hydro power is continuous energy source with the ability of fast power adjustment which makes it reliable and flexible source of electricity. To keep the hydro power plants in excellent condition with reasonable costs, the modern knowledge-based maintenance management with digital solutions is the answer. The benefits of the knowledge-based maintenance management are shorter maintenance outages, anticipation of disturbances and higher availability to maximize the green electricity production. Pumping stations and hydroelectric power plants are usually located at a distance. Issues caused by the remote location can be solved by artificial intelligence and remote monitoring. Today, hydropower is operated remotely and in the future, maintenance will also be carried out remotely. The transition to 15-minute settlement has posed challenges for the durability of the technology. In situations more challenging than what we are facing at the moment, specialist expertise is needed to be on site to quickly remedy the situation.
Digital sensors and controls are increasingly being used to improve and optimise the performance of hydroelectric plants and their auxiliary equipment. Digital solutions can reduce operating costs while increasing the plant's efficiency and availability, improving the transparency and securty of operations.
Hydroelectric plants can take advantage of artificial intelligence and IoT sensors for the early detection of deviations or potential failures. Caverion Intelligence is a solution for predictive maintenance, which combines data from machine learning and existing process data to improve performance of the plant.
Hydroelectric plants have a long lifespan of over 100 years, and their installed systems are expected to run for decades before they need replacement. Dam safety is ensured through proper maintenance and safety proceedures, ongoing upgrades, and regular inspections by qualified experts.
Have you ever stopped to think about how some of the most iconic architectural structures of cities and regions are linked to dams and hydroelectric plants?
From the Hoover Dam in the United States to the Norwegian hydropower plant of Øvre Forsland and the Tammerkoski power stations in Finland's Tampere (in the picture here), the hydroelectric dams have often been designed by very famous architects and have become a symbol of the city and regions they are in!