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CESI models to improve structural safety of hydropower plants in Brazil

CESI models to improve structural safety of hydropower plants in Brazil
29 . Nov . 2021

Enel Green Power operates more than 33 small- and medium-sized hydropower plants in Brazil. Several of these power plants were built more than 50 years ago, therefore Enel Green Power started a multi-year program to review and improve the safety conditions of the most aged.

In this respect, CESI has been chosen to support the project, thanks to the Group’s know-how and expertise in structural and safety analysis of hydroelectric plants. In particular, CESI’s involvement has been requested for the Paranapanema Power Plant 31,5 MW/17 m water level, on river Paranapanema in the Sao Paulo state, and Torixoreu Power Plant 2,5 MW/5,2 m water level, on Sao Domingo River in the Mato Grosso state.

In both cases CESI analyzed the current situation of the dams and studied the best solutions to improve the safety condition and optimize the operational cost. Specifically, for Paranapanema the problem was particularly complex due to the presence of bridge passing over the dam, presenting aging issues and due to climate change, which is dramatically changing the hydrological condition of the region. This led, some years ago, to a flood wave not controlled by the emergency relief of the dam with serious risk for the integrity of the plant.

CESI’s engineers studied the new decamillennial maximum flow and made the executive design of the additional discharging gate necessary to control the increased flow, taking care of the planning of all the construction phases and of the budget estimation. The stability of the bridge has been studies through the construction of 3D models, which main data has been validated by static and dynamic test on the bridge.

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