HYDAC Australia wins power company contract to supply two RF4 filters at a hydropower station in New South Wales.
HYDAC had formed an association with an experienced hydro engineer as they’d worked together on water treatment projects in the past, according to HYDAC Automation and Control Engineer Dirshan Daby.
“The engineer had faith in HYDAC RF4 and RF3 auto backwash filters because he had already been involved in projects that entailed feasibility studies and technical background checks on them and witnessed their installation to operational performance at hydroelectric power stations,” Mr Daby says.
“Therefore, when there was a need to treat water at a hydropower station HYDAC was approached for assistance.”
Challenges on the ground
“The hydropower station had strainers it was using as filtration equipment for the bearing water – basically water filling in the turbine power station turbine bearings, which are grease-free and oil-free turbine bearings,” Mr Daby says.
“In this instance water will actually act as a lubricant for these bearings, meaning water has to be attended to for these bearings to perform well and keep efficiency up and heating low.”
Mr Daby explains that in that the water is fed from a river source it can have contaminants and all sorts of organic matter in its branches and leaves, depending on the climate and purity of the water.
“Therefore, strainers are used to remove these contaminants. However, the strainers eventually require manual intervention, entailing the basket being pulled out, cleaned and then put back in, which is a painstaking and arduous business.”
HYDAC has on offer a self-cleaning automatic backflushing filter range made from stainless steel 1.4571 or similar (group 316).
“The filter enables a continuous flow of clean water from the river source into the bearing. Then, as the filter gets clogged up with contaminants, a backflush cycle takes place that flushes out all the contaminants,” Mr Daby points out.
“This takes place without interruption of the clean water flow into the bearing, which makes it a unique and efficient product to introduce, especially when it comes to hydro stations with limited staff available for maintenance work.”
Mr Daby concedes that this “maintenance-free filter” does require some capital outlay but that when the cost of alternative manual labour or the risk of bearing breakdown due to a lack of maintenance are taken into account “the capital outlay makes perfect sense”.
“Therefore, it wasn’t surprising that the power company ordered two
RF4W filters with the six elements included,” he says.
“After being presented with the benefits, the power company also approved the implementation of super flush on their filters.
“This is an add-on option on our filter, which means the internals of the filters will be coated with a super flush coating and resultant lower stickiness surface than normal stainless steel. The coating is super handy as it prevents organic matter from grabbing onto these surfaces and growing inside the filter.”
HYDAC employees and divisions working on the project include National Sales and Marketing Manager Peter Agius, Victoria State Manager David Jonker and HYDAC Germany.
“Support from HYDAC Germany has been invaluable, especially in terms of prompt responses to questions and combined experience of the group to price filters appropriately, making it easy to promote the product locally and install it.”
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