As of 2021, fossil fuels generated approximately 61% of the United States’ electricity, with another 19% from nuclear sources and 20% from renewable sources, including hydropower. 6.3% of those renewable sources were hydropower alone. Worldwide, there was 1,330 gigawatts (GW) of total hydropower installed capacity in 2020, with the US accounting for 102 GW.
In addition to hydropower’s valuable contribution to hydroelectric power generation, it is also used for pumped storage hydropower (PSH). Hydropower can not only generate electricity, but it can also act as power storage. While other renewable sources ebb and flow with weather changes, hydropower supports grid stability and reliability against fluctuating demand.
A recent, record-setting infusion of federal funds is being directed toward developing technologies in conventional hydro and pumped storage hydropower. This funding is also available for marine energy projects taking advantage of advances in hydrokinetic power using wave energy converter (WEC) or current energy converter (CEC) devices.
With roughly half of the world’s hydropower capacity installed before 1990, facilities require increasing maintenance and rehabilitation. Sources of new hydropower are considered tapped within the US, requiring maintenance or upgrades of existing plants for increased power generation.
Hydropower operators face challenges including equipment reliability, unplanned outages, reducing costs, and increasing power generation. The cyclical nature of these power plants results in frequent starts and stops, leading to torque fluctuations and ultimately causing cracks, wear, and other dimensional deviations in metal components.
Other metal components or metal-lined structures such as pipelines, aqueducts, turbines, and tunnels exposed to water and humidity will be susceptible to a multitude of corrosion variations as well as structural wear and fatigue.
Cold spray is the supersonic deposition of powdered metals, metal alloys, and metal blends onto metallic substrates. This deposition method creates a combined mechanical interlocking and metallurgical bond, which is advantageous over other thermal spray processes.
VRC’s High-Pressure Cold Spray systems can address the hydropower industry challenges by performing in situ repairs. These in situ repairs can increase equipment reliability and reduce costs by consistently repairing worn or damaged components instead of replacing them. It can also work in parallel with rehabilitation efforts to increase power generation by integrating surface design changes or adding dimensional features to large existing components.
In addition, utilizing this state-of-the-art technology can yield the following results:
VRC Metal Systems is trusted by government organizations and reputable institutions worldwide. With VRC’s High-Pressure Cold Spray systems, you receive expert on-site implementation and maintenance support from highly-trained staff. Request a quote, and one of our Sales Engineers will contact you.
Contact VRC Metal Systems today to find out how cold spray technologies can support your Hydropower industry infrastructure.
We provide on-site support for all our services as standard
Products can be configured by one of our experienced technicians.
We offer a variety of equipment lease options for you and your company.
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