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Tech Notes

Toshiba completes first phase of expansion program

Toshiba Hydro Power (Hangzhou) Co. Ltd. (THPC) completed the first phase of a four-year, 170 million renminbi (US$25 million) expansion. This first phase is operation of a generator coil shop at THPC’s manufacturing facility in Zhejiang, China. The remainder of the expansion involves increasing the size of THPC’s assembly and machining shop and building an advanced hydraulic research laboratory with a hydro turbine model test facility.


Toshiba is operating a 9,000-square-meter generator coil shop at its manufacturing facility in Zhejiang, China.
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THPC, a unit of Toshiba Corp. of Japan, owns and operates casting, welding, assembly and machining, and coil shop facilities to manufacture hydro generating equipment. The new 9,000-square-meter coil shop contains advanced equipment for production of electrical components.


Waterpower XVI offers technical plant tours

Attendees of the Waterpower XVI conference in Spokane, Wash., United States, July 27-30, 2009, can take part in three technical tours of hydroelectric facilities.

The 6,809-MW Grand Coulee project is the focus of a pre-conference tour on Monday, July 27. Grand Coulee, owned and operated by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation, is on the Columbia River in Washington. This project is the largest hydroelectric facility in North America and features three powerhouses. Grand Coulee ensures flood control in the spring and provides sufficient flows for anadromous fish. The project also provides water to irrigate about 670,000 acres. Reclamation plans to overhaul six turbines in the Third Powerplant, which have been in service since the mid-1970s. The overhaul will involve work on the generators, turbines, shafts, and auxiliary equipment.

On Tuesday morning, July 28, the conference offers a tour of the 71-MW Long Lake facility, owned and operated by Avista Corporation. Long Lake, on the Spokane River in Washington, began operating in 1915. When completed, the 213-foot-high dam at the facility was billed as the “world’s highest spillway dam” and the turbines were the largest — both in size and capacity — of any in existence at that time.

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The Long Lake project is on the National Register of Historic Places, in recognition of its historical architecture and engineering. The project features a combination of old and new equipment. All the generators, turbine casings, and penstocks are original equipment. The utility rewound the generators in the 1950s and the replaced the turbines in the 1990s.

Delegates on this tour will return to the Spokane Convention Center for lunch and a presentation on the history of the Avista Corporation.

The post-conference technical tour begins the morning of Friday, July 31, and ends at noon Sunday, August 2. The tour includes visits to four hydro projects in Washington, Montana, and Idaho: Boundary, Box Canyon, Cabinet Gorge, and Noxon Rapids.

Participants first will visit the 1,050-MW Boundary project on Friday morning. This project, owned by Seattle City Light, is on the Pend Oreille River in Washington. Seattle City Light is going through the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) relicensing process for the facility. The application for the new license must be filed with FERC by September 2009.

The next stop on the tour is 72-MW Box Canyon on the Pend Oreille River in Washington. Owner Pend Oreille Public Utility District is in the midst of an extensive overhaul and upgrade that involves replacing the original turbine runners with “fish friendly” models, rewinding generators, replacing governors, upgrading excitation equipment, and adding turbine and equipment automation capabilities. The upgrade will increase plant capacity by 18 MW.

Saturday, delegates will tour the 265-MW Cabinet Gorge and 466-MW Noxon Rapids projects on the Clark Fork River, which make up Avista Corporation’s Clark Fork Project. Construction of Cabinet Gorge in Idaho was completed in 1952, and the utility concluded at $35 million rehabilitation of the facility in 2007. At Noxon Rapids in Montana, Avista is in the midst of a $35 million rehabilitation that includes replacing the turbine runners in four units, refurbishing bearings, replacing wicket gate operating system bearings with greaseless bearings, and replacing stationary wearing rings. This work is expected to be complete in 2012.

— To register for a tour, go to: www.waterpowerconference.com. To request a conference brochure, which includes details on the tours and registration information, E-mail: hydroreview@pennwell.com. Tour participation is limited; pre-registration by June 5, 2009, is required.


Alstom Hydro opens technology center in India

Alstom Hydro opened a Global Technology Center at its Vadodara hydropower manufacturing site in Gujurat State, India. Researchers at the center focus on two areas specific to the Indian hydro market:

Researchers at this center will work closely with Alstom’s Global Technology Center in Grenoble, France, says Alstom Hydro President Philippe Cochet.


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