Serbia report: The progress of the HPP “Đerdap 1”revitalization

, News Serbia Energy

This is the story about those that can be neither seen nor heard – ordinary craftsmen- Russian equipment that survived all the tests.Thanks to the until now the largest investment in the “Electric Power Industry of Serbia” in the amount of more than 180 million dollars, the largest Hydro Power Plant is being renewed on the river Danube “Đerdap 1”. The activities run as planned and in December this year, the first half of the revitalization process will be over. The Power Unit No 5 out of 6 of them is going to be put in operation.

After the whole project is finished, according to the Agreement with the international partner, the Russian Company “Silovije Mašini” from Saint Petersburg, our largest HPPs, that celebrated four decades of successful operation last year, is going to provide the new operational lifetime of at least 30 years with the increased power and the level of usefulness of 10%, which means that we are going to have additional power of about 70 megawatts.
Almost all newspaper reports regarding the revitalization of six Power Units in the HPP “Đerdap 1” became less interesting. Tracing the story on craftsmen, we started with the overhaul basis, located couple of hundred meters downstream of HPP “Đerdap1”. Mr. Dragan Bondokić waits for us; he is a young engineer responsible of quality control. He cannot miss the slightest irregularity that further would be shown as non-compatible with the Project and technical documentation. He checks every edge that locksmiths process with grinder.
– Our task is to control the quality of every working operation so that we could prevent every deviation of required quality. You know, this equipment should serve for at least 40 years and our responsibility is high. Every failure can decrease the use lifetime and because of it we are here to check everything- says engineer Bondokić.
At the end of the machine hall there is large lathe on which the blades of the deflection device are processed.
Mr. Dragan Majkanović, turner, born in Mala Vrbica, the village that was partly flooded after the construction of HPP ”Đerdap 2” , closely follows the parameters on this modern machine for metal processing. Here the blade of deflection device is rotating. The task of this part is to direct precisely given quantity of water on the turbine.
-The operation of blade processing of the deflection device we perform ourselves in order to save a good deal of funds. This lathe that was bought for the needs of revitalization is going to be payable after the revitalization of the HPP “Đerdap 1” is over.-says our guide Mr. Bondokić.
In the hall next to this one, specially designed according to all parameters that legal Regulations on OHS and ISO 18001 prescribe, there is a place for sandblasting where the workers of the Belgrade Company “Jadran” work on removing all remaining paint, corrosion and grease. That is a final operation before painting and covering with anticorrosive protection of the parts that for the next four decades are planned to be in the water.
In the third hall that we have visited on the location, Mr. Sibin Radosavljević, welder, who with special castolin electrodes simply “embroids” the weld on the distributor of the deflection device. After welding, he performs grinding and again welding, and that until he gets ideal surface.
In the office next to next to the hall there are engineers of the Institute for the materials testing, that follow and record every part that needs to be installed on the “Danube beauty”, many people call the HPP on Đerdap so,check all the equipment. Mr. Brane Vistać, graduate mechanical engineer, follows all equipment producers, subcontractors of the works – from Kladovo to Saint Petersburg.
Over the lock of a canal, on the plateau in front of the mechanical and electrical workshop, the crane that can transport 400 tons at ones, the parts are transported to the plateau hall where the power units are placed. When this crane is matched with the other, that also can transport the same weight, they together can carry 680 tons at once. In order to make the picture complete, that are 28 tow tracks that can at once carry 25 tons each.
Mr. Dejan Pufić operates the crane routinely, although his preciseness is measured by millimeters. We find him as he assists to the employees of “Sever” from Subotica by crossing the pneumatic hammer that presses the plates on the generator’s rotor No 5.
Mr. Perica Grčić, former contractual soldier, now the employee of “Sever“ from Subotica tightens large screws by the torque wrench with grate physical effort to 100 kilopond.
All of this is performed under monitoring of the Russian experts. When in the 70ties the equipment was mounted here were Russian doyens Miša, Kolja, Vadim were here. We find here Sergei Vaskov, mechanical engineer, who does not miss anything. According to the usual procedure, accompanied technical instructions and of course great experience and practice, Sergei makes great efforts so that the equipment would be installed with high quality, because it should function for the next 30 years, that is the guarantee deadline.
– The equipment that is installed is in excellent condition- reports Mr. Sergei Vaskov instantly.- Everything goes on as planned and until the New Year we are going to deliver electricity from the Power Unit No 5 to Serbia.
At this point it should be said that the revitalization started with the 6th not with the 1st Power Unit, that is in operation for the longest period of time. The author of this article was himself the participant of the first Power Unit mounting and when comparing the technical discipline then and now after 40 years, he thinks that it was considerably stringent then than it is now. In the initial mounting phase of the Power Unit No 1, two unpredictable circumstances happened. Oil head had grooves because of the vibrations and one blade of the deflection device was looser in the cocoon, so that it could not close the water flow completely. Everything else was impeccably done and because of it, this Power Unit is in the best condition and the overhaul is going to be performed on it in the end.
We asked Mr. Sergei whether he knew something about these technical failures from the 70ties.
-Yes- he answered and explained in detail on what happened 44 years ago.-
We follow all technical problems that arise during the exploitation; we analyze it and undertake all necessary measures for this not to happen again.
We finish our visit to the largest HPP convinced that Kladovo “craftsmen” will on time finish all the planned activities and that after revitalization one more Power plant for “Electric Power Industry of Serbia” will surely be put in operation, that it would result in the increase in power production, and i the lifetime of “Đerdap 1” will be prolonged for the next 30 years.

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