GEI Consultants selected for two penstock projects

BOSTON, Mass. 6/13/12 (PennWell) -- Boston-based GEI Consultants Inc., has been selected for several projects involving penstock replacement and assessment, HydroWorld.com has learned.

GEI says it will provide services for one project in Michigan and two in California.

In Michigan, GEI was selected by U.P. Hydro LLC to provide re-commissioning services for the water conveyance system at is 2-MW Cataract hydroelectric project in Marquette County.

The system was constructed in 1923 and has operated continuously until 2008, when concerns about its reliability and potential for failure caused it to be removed.

Now, GEI will provide a new steel penstock in addition to providing site data collection services and a structural assessment for the project. GEI worked with UP Hydro to address penstock leak (breach) detection and automated intake flow control requirements for the proposed conveyance system.

GEI's other projects include work at the 118-MW Moccasin and Holm penstocks in Tuolumne County, Calif. The facilities are owned by Hetch Hetchy Water and Power (HHWP).

The Moccasin plant is a critical component of San Francisco's municipal water delivery system. Meanwhile, the 160-MW Holm hydropower plant provides electricity to the city's rail system.

GEI will provide HHWP with a phased engineering evaluation of the physical condition and future serviceability of both the Moccasin and Holm penstocks and attached structures.

The condition assessment included a Potential Failure Modes Analysis (PFMA), detailed external inspection, preliminary hydraulic transient analyses, limited nondestructive and destructive testing of the penstocks, and preliminary structural assessments of the penstocks and concrete thrust blocks.

A planned second phase will include a focused internal inspection, destructive testing of metal coupons, transient hydraulic pressure measurements, and final structural analyses.

The final results will be included in a comprehensive summary report that will be used for future maintenance and capital improvement planning for HHWP.

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