Non-linear analyses of cracks in aging concrete hydro power structures
2016 (English)In: Dam Engineering, ISSN 0958-9341Manuscript (preprint) (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
The concrete structures at Swedish hydro power facilities were built during the early to mid-20th century and many of them are starting to exhibit age related wear and deterioration. It isimportant to ensure the integrity of these concrete structures from a dam safety perspectiveand also to secure a safe operation of the power facility in the future. With the latter in mind,this paper aims to study the concrete structures that house the power generating machinery ofthe facility, especially the parts close to the generator where the loads from the power unit aresupported. Cracks observed in these structures will reduce its stiffness, which affects theoperation of the rotating machinery. This paper presents and discusses some generalconsiderations and loads that are of importance for this type of structures and highlights sometypical cracks that have been observed in Swedish hydro power facilities. To complement thisdiscussion, a case study is presented of a hydro power facility where cracks have been foundin the concrete support structure of the power unit, especially at the interconnections betweenthe unit and the concrete. The most likely cause of these cracks are investigated through nonlinearfinite element analysis considering mechanical loads as well as physical loads such asdrying shrinkage and temperature variations. It is concluded that the long-term physicalloading is the most probable cause of the observed cracks. However, the operation of thepower unit and changes in its operational pattern can cause further propagation of thesecracks. Finally, suggestions on possible enhancement of the analysis methods used in the casestudy are proposed and discussed for further studies of this type of concrete structures.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
International Water Power & Dam Construction , 2016.
concrete, hydro power, cracks, finite element analysis, non-linear, drying shrinkage, thermal strains
Research subject Civil and Architectural Engineering
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-186144OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-186144DiVA: diva2:925708
QC 201605032016-05-032016-05-032016-05-03Bibliographically approved