Patent Number: 6,490,506

Title: Method and apparatus for monitoring hydroelectric facility maintenance andenvironmental costs

Abstract: A system for monitoring maintenance information in a hydroelectric powergeneration facility comprises sensors coupled to a controller. The sensorsdetect actual levels of operating parameters for a desired operatingperiod at an operating condition. The detected parameters include astressor capable of affecting a life span, or mean time between failures,of the turbine or one of its components. The controller determines theamount of the life span used up. A method for monitoring maintenanceinformation in a power generation facility includes the steps ofmonitoring levels of operating parameters including a stressor for adesired operating period at an operating condition. The stressor affectsthe life span of the turbine or one of its components, and the amount ofthe life span used up over the operating period is calculated. A methodfor monitoring losses in a hydroelectric power generation facilityoperating to satisfy environmental constraints involves storingpredetermined reference signals representative of desired turbineefficiencies over a range of operating levels in a memory circuit. Currentlevels of operating parameters are sensed while the facility is operatingto satisfy the environmental constraints. A sensed parameter signalrepresentative of a current turbine efficiency is generated from thesensed levels of operating parameters. The generated parameter signal iscompared to the predetermined reference signals to determine anenvironmental efficiency loss signal.

Inventors: March; Patrick A. (Maryville, TN)


International Classification: G05B 23/02 (20060101); G05D 003/12 (); G05D 005/00 (); G05D 009/00 (); G05D 011/00 (); G05D 017/00 ()

Expiration Date: 12/02015