Dardanelle Turbines

by Thomas W. Plunkett, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Dallas, United States,
Billy J. Moore, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Dallas, United States,
David K. Strickland, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Dallas, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Waterpower '91: A New View of Hydro Resources


The Dardanelle turbines located at river mile 205.5 of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System, are experiencing an unusual amount of wear in the blade trunnion bushings. Oil seal leakage, increased bearing clearance, and bronze particles in the runner hub oil are symptoms of the abnormal wear. Investigation of very similar Kaplan turbines, designed in the same time period by the same turbine designer for a project in the state of Washington, indicates the possibility of a catastrophic failure should the units overspeed to runaway speed. Considering the likelihood of a high bushing wear rate under existing conditions and the possibility of catastrophic failure, engineering is underway to prepare for a programmed on-site turbine repair or replacement to begin as soon as possible. Three options have been analyzed to engineer a solution to the problems, i.e., (1) Repair-in-kind, (2) Replacement of runners and (3) Emergency repair. Economic analysis indicates that replacement is the best investment for the ratepayers/taxpayers. The replacement option with a benefit to cost ratio of 14.4 is extremely attractive because it allows a 16 megawatt or 13 percent increase in power plant capacity with 4.5 months and 9.0 months less downtime per turbine and generator respectively.

Subject Headings: Turbines | Power plants | Failure analysis | Hydro power | Rivers and streams | River systems | Navigation (waterway) | Disasters and hazards | Arkansas | Washington | United States

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