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FEMA releases guide to filters for embankment dams

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, offers a new document: Filters for Embankment Dams - Best Practices for Design and Construction.

FEMA says this electronic document provides procedures and guidance for best practices concerning embankment dam filter design and construction and represents an effort to collect and disseminate current information and experience having a technical consensus.

This document - prepared as part of the government's National Dam Safety Program, which is led by FEMA - is intended for use by personnel familiar with embankment dams, such as designers, inspectors, construction oversight personnel and dam safety engineers.

NDSP is a partnership of U.S. states, federal agencies and other stakeholders to encourage individual and community responsibility for dam safety. FEMA's mission is to support U.S. citizens and first responders to ensure that the nation works together to build, sustain and improve its capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate all hazards.

- To download or print the document for free, visit www.fema.gov/library and enter "filters" in the keyword box under search criteria.

Trelleborg offers app on ISO tolerances

Trelleborg Sealing Solutions has released its ISO Fits & Tolerances app for use with android phones. The iPhone app had exceeded 15,000 downloads as of May.

The app provides results based on the International Organization for Standardization's 286 System of Limits and Fits. Users enter the nominal diameter needed and select the tolerance classes for bore and shaft. The app provides the complete ISO fits definition with all relevant values, including the type of fit. Tolerances are shown for the most commonly used ISO tolerance classes, along with graphs to illustrate these classes by bore and shaft.

Users can access an automatically updated library of Trelleborg Sealing Solutions films and animations on YouTube, and clicking a "contact" allows users to e-mail or be connected to the company's website.

The app was originally developed for sealing applications but can be used in a wide range of design situations, says Wolfgang Heinrich, project manager web and mobile for Trelleborg Sealing Solutions.

The app is available in English and German for free on Google Play.

Trelleborg Sealing Solutions develops, manufactures and supplies precision seals for the industrial, aerospace and automotive industries.

New hooped Pelton turbine runner to be installed at Castaic

Owners of the 1,250-MW Castaic pumped-storage plant on Castaic Creek in California are using a new hooped Pelton runner designed by Alstom.

This plant began operating in 1978 and contains seven generating units, six of which are pumped-storage units with the seventh being a conventional 55-MW unit. Upgrade work on the plant began in 2001. This May, plant owner the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power awarded a contract worth about US$30 million to Alstom for rehabilitation work on Unit 7 at the Castaic facility.

Under terms of the contract, Alstom will design and install a hooped Pelton runner. This design features buckets supported by two separate hoops. Alstom says this arrangement minimizes the fatigue stress at bucket fixation, thus reducing the inspection and maintenance costs and maximizing plant availability. The company also says this type of hydro unit is capable of providing the same hydraulic efficiency levels as a standard Pelton unit. In addition, with this design it is possible to replace individual buckets when repairs are needed, instead of replacing the entire runner.

As part of this work, Alstom also will provide a new generator, exciter and controls for the unit.

Commissioning of this rehabilitated unit is expected to occur in 2014.

Canadian Hydropower Association launches new website

The Canadian Hydropower Association recently launched its redesigned website.

The updated site was unveiled at CHA's 2012 Forum on Hydropower in May and offers both a new look and enhanced functionality.

CHA has also changed its URL to CanadaHydro.ca to better establish the organization's presence on the internet. E-mail addresses of Jacob Irving, president; Munaf von Rudloff, operations manager; Yvonne Jack, finance and administration consultant; and general inquiries also have been changes to reflect the new URL.

CHA says its previous website address of www.canhydropower.org will continue working, redirecting browsers to the new URL, while the transition takes place.

SIDUS Solutions opens new office in Houston

San Diego-based SIDUS Solutions LLC announced the opening of its new Houston office as part of the firm's 2012 expansion plans.

Local sales and operations activities will be headed by Chris Howerter. Howerter joined SIDUS Solutions in October 2011 and brings with him more than 14 years' experience in engineering and business development for harsh environment and subsea products, having worked for both Oceaneering and MacArtney Underwater Technologies. He also has experience in the space, subsea, defense and medical industries.

The Houston office will handle sales and engineering services.

SIDUS Solutions is a manufacturer of subsea cameras, lights and positioning devices, as well as a systems integrator of topside marine and harsh environment surveillance systems.

The Houston office will also represent partner company Top Side Offshore Technology and its various product lines, including Orlaco surveillance products and APIteq visualization solutions.

PennWell offers Hydropower Glossary

If you have employees new to hydro, or if you're looking for a handy reference to hydro terms, you'll want to get this tool: the Hydropower Glossary.

The glossary is a 12-page booklet containing definitions for about 300 terms commonly used in conjunction with hydropower. Members of the advisory board for Hydro Review magazine helped develop the definitions.

Terms defined in the glossary cover a variety of themes, including civil structures, electrical issues, environment, equipment, and hydraulics.

- To order the glossary for US$25, contact Foster Printing at (1) 866-879-9144, E-mail: pennwellreprints@fosterprinting.com. Discounts are available for 10 or more.

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