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Function of Components of Dams

Submitted to: Sir Hamad.

Submitted by: Umer Sajjad. 2008-civil-43 Section A

High Head Hydropower Consultants

Introduction:
A structure is made up of many different parts joined together. The shapes of the parts and the way they are joined together help a structure to stand up and do the job for which it has been designed. Dams are made by humans. Water is vital to our survival. Even though three-quarters of Earth is covered by water, some parts of the world are still very dry. Sometimes there is too little water, while at other times there is too much. For as long as people have wanted to control water, they have built dams.

Dams:
A dam is a barrier that impounds water or underground streams. Dams generally serve the primary purpose of retaining water, while other structures such as floodgates or levees (also known as dikes) are used to manage or prevent water flow into specific land regions. Hydropower and pumped-storage hydroelectricity are often used in conjunction with dams to generate electricity. A dam can also be used to collect water or for storage of water which can be evenly distributed between locations.

Functions of Dams:
The main functions of dams are as follows: y y y y y y Collecting and storing water Creating a source of clean, safe drinking water Irrigating crops Controlling rivers, lakes and seas to prevent flooding Making a river channel deeper so that ships can travel safely Making a type of electricity called hydro-electricity.

Main Components:
These are the main components of dams: y y y y Diversion works structures Spillways Weir structure Power intake structure

y y y y y y y y y

Head race tunnel Pressure shaft structure Surge tank Pressure tunnel structure Access tunnels Powerhouse Tailrace tunnel Tailrace outlet structure Switchyard. Brief discussion on these components is given below.

Diversion works structures:


The structures used to divert the natural course of water for construction are known as diversion works structures. These structures are helpful for the change in direction and place of flow of water according to the need. These structures are mainly of two types. i. ii. Temporary diversion works Permanent diversion works

Temporary Diversion Works: These are temporary structures used to divert water passage for short duration. Short duration means time for the construction of the main structure. If the main structure is within the water body then we have to divert water for dry and easy working platform. For this purpose we change the water course by these diversion works. These are usually channels between two natural courses of water. After the completion of main construction the course of water is again bring back to its original course. This structure is primary so its cost is usually kept low and construction standards are also used by taking care of economy into consideration.

Permanent Diversion Works: These are permanent structures and are used when the main construction is to be constructed away from the natural water body. These structures are made after the completion of the main structure. Through this structure water direction is changed according to the demand. Water from its natural course through this structure comes towards the dam or reservoir to perform the required function. This structure is made for years thats why special consideration of strength is needed to meet the required demand.

Spillways:
A spillway is a structure used to provide for the controlled release of flows from a dam or levee into a downstream area, typically being the river that was dammed. In the UK they may be known as overflow channels. Spillways release floods so that the water does not overtop and damage or even destroy the dam. Except during flood periods, water does not normally flow over a spillway. In contrast, an intake is a structure used to release water on a regular basis for water supply, hydroelectricity generation, etc. Floodgates and fuse plugs may be designed into spillways to regulate water flow and dam height. Other uses of the term "spillway" include bypasses of dams or outlets of a channels used during high water, and outlet channels carved through natural dams such as moraines. The largest flood that needs be considered in the evaluation of a given project, regardless of whether a spillway is provided; i.e., a given project should have structures capable of safely passing the appropriate spillway design flood (SDF). A 100-year recurrence interval is the flood magnitude expected to be exceeded on the average of once in 100 years. It may also be expressed as an exceedance frequency with a one per cent chance of being exceeded in any given year. Spillways have a great impact on the total cost of the project. In small dams spillways are absent for economy purpose.

Weir Structure:
A weir is a structure constructed across a river for the purpose of raising water level in the river so that it can be diverted into the off taking canals. If the storage on the upstream of a diversion head works is significant, it is called a storage weir. If a diversion head works is constructed on the downstream of a dam for the purpose of diverting water released from the u/s dam into the off taking canals, it is called a pickup weir. Generally, the dam is constructed in the rocky or the mountainous reach of the

river where the conditions are suitable for a dam, and a pickup weir is constructed near the commanded area in the alluvial reach of the river. A diversion head works serves the following functions: 1) It raises the water level on its upstream side. 2) It regulates the supply of water into canals. 3) It controls the entry of silt into canals 4) It creates a small pond (not reservoir) on its upstream and provides some pondage. 5) It helps in controlling the vagaries of the river.

Power Intake Structure:


It is the task of an intake structure to divert from the channel at the tapping point the amounts of water necessary for whatever purpose with or without water being stored. For this purpose an intake structure for evacuating these amounts of water and possibly a structure for damming up the river are necessary. The individual elements of the intake structure should always be so arranged on the channel that the following basic requirements are met: 1. The arrangement or the construction of a weir and intake structure must be chosen or carried out in such a way that the evacuation of the necessary amounts of diverted water is ensured at any regime of the channel. 2. The peak discharges must be safely evacuated from the weir and from the intake structure without damage being caused. To achieve this, hydrological data must be collected and evaluated in sufficient quantity in order to enable the dimensions to be planned in accordance with safety aspects. 3. A simple and moderately priced construction should be aimed at which allows maintenance-free operation and simple repairs to be carried out. 4. If possible, the diverted water should be free from solid matter in order to prevent the diversion canal from being loaded with large amounts of bed load and/or suspended matter. 5. It should be possible for the bed load and suspended matter, which is possibly deposited upstream behind the weir, to be evacuated by the water remaining in the river or by intermittent flushing. For this purpose, additional constructional measures should be taken. From this it is clear that the choice of the tapping point on or in the channel is just as important as the choice of intake structure. The decisions are mutually dependent. A simple construction should be the main objective.

Head Race Tunnel:


The water from reservoir enters through the Intake into the Head Race Tunnel or Power Tunnel, which runs under pressure supplying water for generation of power to the power station. This is the very important part of the construction and requires special consideration in both design and execution. A small error or mistake may prove very fatal for the life and working of the project. Care should be taken in all respects about this structure.

Pressure Shaft Structure:


The water from the head race tunnel travels through the pressure shafts to the powerhouse. Pressure Shaft is enclosed pipe/channel used to deliver/feed water to hydraulic turbines in respect of hydro power plant. This should be properly designed because water will travel through this shaft under pressure if it fails the whole structure fails to perform the required function.

Surge Tank:
A surge tank (or surge drum) is a standpipe or storage reservoir at the downstream end of a closed aqueduct or feeder pipe to absorb sudden rises of pressure as well as to quickly provide extra water during a brief drop in pressure. An open tank to which the top of a surge pipe is connected so as to avoid loss of water during a pressure surge. In mining technology, ore pulp pumps use a relatively small surge tank to maintain a steady loading on the pump. For hydroelectric power uses, a surge tank is an additional storage space or reservoir fitted between the main storage reservoir and the power house (as close to the power house as possible). Surge tanks are usually provided in high or medium-head plants when there is a considerable distance between the water source and the power unit, necessitating a long penstock. The main functions of the surge tank are: 1. When the load decreases, the water moves backwards and gets stored in it. 2. When the load increases, additional supply of water will be provided by surge tank. In short, the surge tank mitigates pressure variations due to rapid changes in velocity of water.

Pressure Tunnel:
Pressure tunnels are tunnels used to divert water from a reservoir, usually to a hydro electric power house. They take their name due to the fact that, instead of most commons tunnels in which the main load is geostatic (pointing inwards the tunnel), pressure tunnels are submitted to high water pressures pointing outwards the tunnel.

Access Tunnels:
The tunnel in the main structure constructed for the maintenance purposes, such tunnel is usually known as access tunnel. Dams are the structures which will be in use for generations and are not the cheap structure. So maintenance of dams is also a point of consideration and for that purpose tunnel is usually constructed.

Powerhouse:
A power station (also referred to as a generating station, power plant, or powerhouse) is an industrial facility for the generation of electric energy. Dams built to produce hydroelectricity impound a reservoir of water and release it through one or more water turbines, connected to generators, and generate electricity, from the energy provided by difference in water level upstream and downstream. In the powerhouse large size generators are present, also, vibrations of the generators must be taken into account during the construction of powerhouses. Ceiling height of powerhouses usually kept very high because of large size generators easy movement at the time of installation and maintenance. Special consideration is given to the HVAC system of powerhouse to avoid any loses of machinery due to heat. A large size crane is installed on the ceiling of powerhouse to lift generators.

Tail Race Tunnel:


A mill pond is formed when a flowing stream is dammed to feed a water wheel. A channel for the water flowing to or from a water wheel is called a mill race (also spelled millrace) or simply a "race" (in Scotland it is normally referred to as a lade), and is customarily divided into sections. The race bringing water from the mill pond to the water wheel is a headrace; the one carrying water after it has left the wheel is commonly referred to as a tailrace. The water after running the turbine will head towards the outlet stream through tailrace tunnel. It should be properly designed because any damage or leakage at this stage will directly affect the generation facility.

Tailrace Outlet Structure:


The structure from where water leaves towards the downstream is tailrace outlet structure. The dropping pressure is usually high and the possibility of damage at the outer face is very great so to avoid any damage this structure is separately designed by keeping in view all types of thrust and forces caused by water at this leaving point.

Switchyard:
A Switchyard or Substation, consisting of large breakers and towers, is usually located in an area close to the plant. The substation is used as the distribution center where:
y y

electrical power is supplied to the plant from the outside, and electrical power is sent from the plant

Gas and oil circuit breakers are used. The gas or oil is used to extinguish the arc caused when a breaker is opened, either by a control switch or due to a fault. Manually or motor operated disconnects are provided on either side of the breaker to allow the breaker to be electrically isolated so that maintenance work can be performed. This is the place where electrical transformers are present to supply energy to any tertiary.