Hydro Power Condition Monitoring

FDB has been the main supplier of programming and hardware solutions for the HydroCord development project, which was started by Statkraft. The main goal for HydroCord is condition monitoring of the waterway in hydropower plants. The HydroCord monitoring includes real-time and continuous measurement of the turbine's efficiency. A continuous measurement of efficiency makes it possible to optimize operations in terms of economy and maintenance.

The prototype installed at the Trollheim power plant consists of five independent data collection and analysis units, while a main unit collects all measurements, performs analyzes and transfers data and resuults flow to various receivers/subscribers . The prototype is also special because it contains three independent measures of efficiency. Volume flow measured with ultrasound, Winter-Kennedy measurement and thermodynamic efficiency measurement. In addition, waterway monitoring includes measurement of head loss and transients. FDB delivers complete programming solutions and hardware for HydroCord installations.

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Realtime Hydraulic Efficiency Measurement

FDB offers continuous efficiency measurements at hydropower plants, RT Eta. Most power plants usually have a warranty measurement after start-up, but then it can take years before the efficiency is measured again. Having a real-time measurement of efficiency is beneficial for several reasons (Ruud, 2017):

  1. The measurement provides input for optimal replacement of turbine components
  2. Production optimization
  3. Pricing of power products
  4. Grading of optimal power plant operation

It is especially for point 3, pricing of power products, that access to instantaneous data is essential. The other points require high accuracy and comparable measurements over time, which are also obtained by a continuous efficiency measurement.

FDB delivers systems for continuous efficiency and water flow measurements based on differential pressure method and direct acoustic measurement method. Both methods are calibrated with a conventional thermodynamic efficiency measurement. FDB's system also informs whether sensor-data is of such quality that composite efficiency will be approved in accordance with standards for efficiency measurements.

FDB assists with instrumentation, cabling, calibration and maintenance of systems and sensors, and facilitates data and results for transport to the operations center or desired destination, using several standard protocols and solutions


Einar Ruud, Master's thesis NTNU 2017: Decision support with continuous efficiency measurement in hydropower plants.

Impact Monitor

The rock impact monitor uses many of the same principles and sensor technology behind the cavitation monitoring, but with a focus on detecting impacts between objects and surfaces inside the turbine. The impact monitor reports statistics, including the number of hits and the strength of the hits.

Real Time Cavitation Detection

The cavitation monitor uses standard sensors for measuring high-frequency vibration. The sensors are mounted on the dry side of the machine being monitored. A NI cRIO unit reads, processes and analyzes data continuously and indicates the power level of cavitation in near real time (<1min). The product provides an indication of the presence of cavitation, and a relative intensity of this. The instrument and methodology were developed as part of the PhD work of FDB's Jarle Vikør Ekanger in 2016.