January 2021 - by Dr. Samuel Rey-Mermet, Anthony Gaspoz, Daniel Biner
The electrical market prices fluctuations are driving the ageing rate of hydropower infrastructures. Starts and stops, as well as pressure oscillations, mechanically stress the penstocks and pipelines. In contrast to valves or turbines, penstocks are very difficult and costly to refurbish or replace. Therefore, hydropower infrastructure operators seek to optimize the maintenance to extend the operation life and safety of their infrastructure. In this work, scientists from the HES-SO show how the use of a numerical clone helps to achieve this by assessing the degradation of the penstocks and other components.