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New Tools to Assess Spillway Gates Functionality

Jul 11, 2023
Booth #832, Exhibit Floor
Knowledge Hub: Innovations and Case Studies

Will the gate open when required? “I don’t know” may not be an optional answer...

Hydro-Quebec, Canada’s largest power utility, has developed a simple and proven method to assess the functionality of its 600 spillway gates.  All across Quebec, the teams responsible for their surveillance can count on new tools and software to make a precise diagnosis. This methodology is the result of a research that spanned from 2014 until the end of 2020.  To identify anomalies and repair spillways at the right moment, Hydro-Quebec developed a method with standard, quantifiable criteria to analyze the functionality of a gate and to pinpoint the source of the problems. The methodology is general enough to be applied to most spillway gates. The common denominator is the electric motor that actuates the gates. By comparing the load measured during lifting tests with the capacity of the motor, it is possible to validate the safety margin. This comparison gives an absolute measurement, which is used to establish performance criteria, without a need for historical data to determine the functionality of the gate. 

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