Reliable and innovative monitoring of accumulator systems in the hydropower industry

Reliable and innovative monitoring of accumulator systems in the hydropower industry

Hydropower plants make a vital contribution to the supply of sustainable energy. HYDAC proves its expertise in this industry by providing optimal plant safety for every hydropower plant with its self-developed range of accumulator and sensor solutions.

These accumulator solutions for the hydropower industry focus on safety-related components. It is vital that electromechanical component manufacturers and hydropower plant operators pay special attention to these solutions. When a functioning bladder or piston accumulator system is supported by the right monitoring system, shut-off valves (butterfly valves, ball valves or cone valves) and turbines (guide vanes, nozzles, deflectors, runners) can be closed reliably and safely using accumulator energy.

Tailor-made, ready for applications accumulator stations

As a system supplier, HYDAC offers fully assembled piston accumulator and bladder accumulator stations as well as accumulator components. These stations are supplied ready for operation and are tailored to the application and size of the hydropower plant. Hydraulic power units for turbine control and the associated servomotors are also available from HYDAC.

The main advantage of the piston accumulator is that there is a range of piston position monitoring options available. These enable the accumulator to fulfil safety regulations in the hydropower industry. Monitoring the accumulator ensures that any energy which is to be supplied as needed is always available. This means that hydropower plants can be shut down in a controlled manner in emergencies.

HYDAC fully assembled, ready for use piston accumulator and bladder accumulator stations

A diverse range of monitoring system for every type of challenge

HYDAC‘s range of piston linear position measurement systems is very diverse and can offer the right solution for every type of challenge. For example, there are mechanical visualisation techniques such as those involving magnetic flap indicators (M) which are attached to the outside of the accumulator. Monitoring can also take place via one or several ultrasonic position switches (UP). Other options include magnetostrictive measuring techniques (L), which are offered as an external as well as an internal solution, and the well-established cable tension measurement system (S).

A new and innovative type of piston accumulator level monitoring is laser position measurement (LR). The main advantage of this type of monitoring system is that it is very easy to service. Service costs are drastically reduced thanks to the low-maintenance sensor change process which does not require nitrogen to be discharged on the gas side of the accumulator. The condition of bladders in bladder accumulators can also be monitored in addition to the condition of piston accumulators.

The HYDAC BIS (Bladder Integrity System) is efficient in this case. The incoming fluid is detected by a sensor in the accumulator's bladder. Bladder breakage is detected and a signal is given out. This means that the hydraulic systems for the shut-off valves or turbines can be shut down in a controlled manner using energy from the hydraulic pumps.

Customer benefits

  • Continuous condition monitoring prevents unscheduled downtimes
  • Reduction in repair costs and unforeseen service costs
  • Increased process reliability and protection against overspeed and delayed emergency shut-downs
  • Innovative monitoring solutions increase system availability
  • Resources can be conserved by using HYDAC‘s laser level monitoring system (sensor change is possible without needing to release gas)
  • Monitoring and predictive maintenance can be optimised by integrating signals into HYDAC‘s condition monitoring concept