The new Snowy 2.0 power station will boast the latest in hydro technology, delivered by our expert subcontractor Voith Hydro. In the latest project update, Snowy 2.0 mechanical engineer Mahali Heffner details how quality assurance activities and factory acceptance testing is carried out on each power station component.

Every one of the hundreds of pump-turbine-generator components undergoes rigorous testing before it leaves the Voith factory. This is to ensure they meet high quality standards and will operate reliably when the power station is switched on.

A team of Snowy Hydro and independent assessors recently conducted mechanical and hydraulic dimensional checks on the first Snowy 2.0 runner at the Voith factory in Shanghai, China.

The runner is the heart of a hydro turbine – it’s the rotating element that drives the generator to produce power.

Acceptance testing includes checking the profile of the blades and surface examinations.

Dye penetrant testing is used to identify imperfections on the surface of the 31 tonne, 4.2 metres-wide runner. We spray on a red dye, clean it and apply the developer. If imperfections are present, the dye will make them visual.

Snowy Hydro and contractor Future Generation Joint Venture (FGJV) work with Voith and other subcontractors on a range of quality assurance activities as part of the multi-stage manufacturing process.

At Lobs Hole in the Snowy Mountains, power station components including turbine guard valves, spiral cases and draft tube liners are being progressively delivered to site.

Meanwhile, deep underground, excavation of the machine hall and transformer hall cavern crowns have been completed and we’ve almost finished the final side slashing to widen the structures. Drill and blast works are also continuing in the cross passages and tunnels that are an important part of the power station complex.

At the other end of the project at Tantangara, the intake is really starting to take shape. We are well into stage two of the excavation, now approximately 49 metres below ground level and approximately six metres to go. 

We map the cut face to determine what rock support is required and then after the design is confirmed, rock bolts and shotcrete are installed. It’s exciting to see the shape of the transition from intake to tunnel, with the canopy tube rock support in the intake face forming an arch above the tunnel entrance. 

Drill and blast of the tunnel excavation is scheduled to start soon and the first milestone target will be to link up the intake with the gate shaft. 

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