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JHP & Associates to upgrade turbine runners at California hydro project

Isabella Partners has placed an order for two new runner replacements with JHP & Associates, Inc., a turnkey equipment solution provider with its own engineering and designing capabilities from China for its clients in the hydro industry.

The original two 8-MW Francis turbine-generator sets were installed at Lake Isabella Dam in 1989, near Bakersfield, California. Both units were made by one of the two largest turbine-generator manufacturers in China, and represented the best technology China had to offer at the time, a press release states.

After three decades of operation, the owner started to look into repair or replacement options for the runners. The owner conducted thorough research, contacted multiple factories and went to China to investigate the potential manufacturers for the runner replacement, as well as for future projects. JHP was the only firm that proposed and guaranteed an improved design for the replacement runners, JHP reported.

Using the most advanced CFD and manufacturing technology China has to offer today, the newly designed 1686 mm runner will have a better profile so that water can be more evenly distributed, therefore smoothing the water flow inside the runner, greatly reducing the potential for cavitation and increasing runner efficiency. The chosen design will also decrease pressure fluctuations inside the water passages, decrease vibration and improve the stability of the turbine generator unit.

The overall efficiency will be significantly improved throughout the full design flow range compared to the existing one, according to a press release.

The contract also includes the replacement of the discharge ring, draft tube connecting pipe and complete new mounting nuts/bolts. Including the CFD, the delivery is scheduled for July 2011.

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