Home / Experiences / Energy / Hydropower plants reliability: penstock pipes

Hydropower plants reliability: penstock pipes

Collaborating with EDF, Phimeca has put its skill to use in optimizing hydropower facilities and equipments’ maintenance.

EDF runs more than 450 hydropower plants. These plants are supplied in water by about 250 km of penstock water pipes, and these pipes are growing old as their mean age exceeds 50 years.

Numerous diagnosis have been carried out to gauge the pipes’ current overall condition. Based on the measurement drawn from a pipe, the allowable stress it can endure is defined, then depending on the evaluation’s result it is declared fit or unfit for service. The currently used approach for allowable stress calculation is based on fixed safety factors equal to 2.

Phimeca’s part consists in establishing new factors which would be less penalizing while still guaranteeing a satisfactory safety level for these pipes.This would allow to optimize replacement operations management. FORM reliability analysis method coupled to the importance sampling process has allowed to reach further optimization of these coefficients.

PNG - 497 kb


Centre d'affaires du ZĂ©nith
34 rue de Sarliève
F-63800 Cournon d'Auvergne
Tél. : (00 33) 4 73 28 93 66
Fax : (00 33) 4 73 28 95 78


18/20 boulevard de Reuilly
F-75012 Paris
Tél. : (00 33) 1 58 51 18 02

Mentions légales

PHIMECA engineering is an engineering company specialized in the optimization, the reliability and the robustness of products and structures.
Its goal is to provide solutions for robust engineering based on solid scientific foundations, entrepreneurial spirit and moral values shared by all its collaborators.