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AFORE2013, Nov.

4-7, Jeju, Korea

QUALITY CONTROL IN WELDING REPAIR OF PELTON RUNNER


Amod PANTHEE1*, Bhola THAPA2, and Hari Prasad NEOPANE2
1

Turbine Testing Lab, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Kathmandu University, Dhulikhel, Nepal
2

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Kathmandu University, Dhulikhel,Nepal


* corresponding author (amodpanthi@ku.edu.np)

Abstract
The hydropower plants are the most economic source of sustainable energy with its operating duration of 50-100 years and
turbine design life of 15-20 years before failure. But in extreme sediment erosive environment of Himalayan rivers, the
runner material erodes reducing the efficiency and increasing the risk of operation. Therefore, runners require welding repair
to build up the eroded surface. The choice of repair or rehabilitation is the function of cost, and in Nepal repair is chosen due
to low cost consideration.
Welding repair of the hydrualic turbines does not impair the properties of material. But, it can be catastrophic when carried
out improperly. Such problems has been observed in Khimti Hydropower and Chilime Hydropower in Nepal. The fatigue
cracks extending upto 110 mm deep, Figure 1, Table 1, was revealed during the inspection of the runner in Khimti
Hydropower. Similarly, the cracks along both sides of splitter, extending upto 200 mm, were revealed by MPT in welding
repaired runner of Chilime Hydropower, Figure 2, Table 2. Therefore, quality control during repair of runner is essential to
achieve the desired properties and avaoid catastrophic failures.
In addition, the cost factor is an important part to be considered during repair. The excessive deposit of weld material, shown
in Figure 3, increases both the stress in the runner and cost of repair which is not desired. The total weight of welding deposit
before and after final polishing is 340 Kg and 130 Kg during the repair of Pelton runner of Khimti Hydropower. During the
stress relieving of the runner after welding, the temperature requirements in the runner is not in accordance with the
recommended conditions, Figure 4, which does not give the desired mechanical property. The quality control measures used
in repair of runner and the area of improvement to increase the overall quality during repair is discussed in this paper.

Figure 1: Root Crack Excavation in Pelton Bucket of Khimti Hydropower in Nepal

B10

60x180x110

B12
B21

60x80x75
70x150x85

Width

Table 1: Crack Size after Excavation of Petlon Runner of Khimti Hydropower in Nepal
Bucket Number
Crack Size after Excavation (mm)
Length
B3
40x100x70
B6
70x120x65

Depth

AFORE2013, Nov. 4-7, Jeju, Korea

(a) Bucket 17 Left Half


(b) Bucket 17 Right Half
(c) Defect Location
Figure 2: Cracks Revealed by MPT in Pelton Bucket of Chilime Hydropower in Nepal
Table 2Crack Size in Pelton Bucket of Chilime Hydropower in Nepal :
.N.S
.Defect No
(DL)Defect Leneth
(D)Distance
(L)Leneth
1
01
mm 180
mm 100
mm 10
2
02
mm 175
mm 55
mm 15
3
03
mm 200
mm 45
mm 20
4
04
mm 190
mm 90
mm 20

Excessive Weldine Deposit

Profile
Splitter

Grindine

towards

Figure 3: Excessive Welding Deposit upto 22 mm against required maximum thickness of


16 mm during Repair

700

Temperature (0C)

600
500
400

Measured Temperature
during PWHT

300

Recommended PWHT
Guideline

200
100
0
1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 31 33 35 37 39 41 43
Time (Hour)
Figure 4: Temperature during Heat Treatment of Pelton Runner