Major Hydraulic Turbine Operation and Maintenance Problems Experienced by the Corps of Engineers

by G. Paul Willis, US Army Corps of Engineers, Portland, OR, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Water Power '87


The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers is the largest owner/operator of hydroelectric power generating facilities in the United States with 344 generating units, having an installed capacity of 20,000 megawatts (MW). With so many hydraulic turbine units, numerous major operation and maintenance problems have been experienced. A few of the more significant problems and their respective solutions or current status of analysis are described. The Corps' vertical Francis and propeller-type hydraulic turbines, as well as their slant-axis propeller units, have experienced major operating problems and component failures. The problem areas discussed in this paper are as follows: a) Kaplan propeller blade operating mechanism failure; b) Propeller runner blade cracking; c) Guide bearing failure; d) Main shaft cracking; e) Main and stub shaft bolted connection failure; f) Spiral case weldment deficiency; g) Unstable unit operation; and h) Operational performance deficiency.

Subject Headings: Structural failures | Hydraulics | Turbines | Maintenance | Shafts | Failure analysis | Cracking | Welding | United States

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