In situ metallization of hydroelectric turbine blades

Hydroelectric turbines deal with complex water flows and turbulence caused by early erosion of the blades. This is a major financial risk, as the production lost while stopping a turbine can cost more than a million reais (300k USD). Moreover, if the blade damage is too high, it would need to replaced which is a major undertaking. To avoid damage the blades are hard-coated with an alloy that is resistant to the abrasion process. This is applied before the turbine is mounted in the powerplant. Unfortunately, some powerplants such as Jirau (ESBR), re-applying the coating would require to unmount the turbine which is a very time-consuming task. The EMMA project is a robotic solution to mitigate the problem and execute the hard coating of damaged blades in situ. The project is funded through the P&D program of Energia Sustentável do Brasil (ESBR), regulated by the Brazilian National Agency of Electrical Energy (ANEEL). PD-6631-0004/2016.

This project had as partners Thirteen Robotics, Laboratório LEAD - COPPE UFRJ, Rijeza Metalúrgica and it was funded by Energia Sustentável do Brasil (ESBR) and ANEEL P&D.