Revitalizing a 99-year-old hydropower turbine in record time

The Indonesian government is heavily investing in the country’s hydropower capacity to support growth, lower emissions and reduce dependency on fossil fuels. As well as building new installations, keeping existing facilities operational is equally important for this strategy. When a critical hydropower turbine failed at a hydropower plant in West Java, Sulzer Indonesia was able to get the 5 MW unit back online in less than half the time needed for a new turbine to be manufactured and installed.

Cladding tip runner with resistance pitting corrosion weld material
Customer Independent power producer (IPP)
Location West Java, Indonesia
Industry Hydropower
Key Services

The Challenge

An urgent repair to overcome an energy shortage

After almost a century of reliable operation, the support bolts installed on one of the turbine shafts at a hydropower plant in West Java finally failed, causing uncontrolled running. This resulted in complete turbine failure and an energy shortage, so the IPP approached several independent service providers (ISPs) for a solution, but no suitable proposal was forthcoming.

  • The turbine shaft had split completely in two and the casing had been smashed to pieces
  • Additional damage had been caused to the turbine tips, runner casings and the bearing pedestal
  • The IPP urgently required a repair from a specialist in legacy equipment
  • The lead time for sourcing new parts from the OEM was 12 months
  • Local communities were suffering an energy shortage, with increased stress being placed on the wider grid to cover the shortfall

The Solution

Turnkey turbine restoration with world-class welding expertise

With securing a prompt, high quality repair paramount, the operator approached Sulzer Indonesia, which has a track record of revitalizing legacy equipment backed by century-old turbo engineering heritage and expertise.

Sulzer experts inspected the damaged equipment thoroughly, checking dimensions and scanning it to identify the best approach. The thorough assessment concluded with a viable proposal which impressed the customer as no other vendor could promise a restoration for such an old equipment and most recommended for a completely new replacement. The team recommended a cost-effective restoration project, with all work to be delivered within 5 months.

  • To avoid a long lead time for a replacement shaft of the correct size, Sulzer used SAW to apply an upgraded, high-strength low-alloy steel weld material to build up the diameter of a smaller, locally sourced shaft in the coupling area - a technology transferred from Sulzer’s Houston Service Center
  • The turbine blade tips were welded with corrosion resistant material, supported by laser scans and reverse engineering techniques to ensure the right dimensions
  • Sulzer reverse engineered the elbow casing, using metal stitching to connect the pieces back together
  • The shaft and rotor were reassembled and underwent low speed balancing and demagnetization in-house
  • Damaged runner casings and bearing pedestals were also fully repaired and a new sleeve manufactured, ensuring a turnkey approach, further supported by precision machining, inspections, non-destructive testing (NDT)

Explore our solutions

  • Maintenance and repairs
    For the full restoration of your critical high-speed steam turbines, contact Sulzer. We offer basic and advanced repair and overhaul services, as well as component remanufacturing for both power and industrial steam turbines.

  • Rotor repairs
    Over several decades, Sulzer has developed innovative repair methods for all types of rotating equipment. All these methods have been meticulously tested and qualified to ensure they provide optimal quality while remaining cost-effective.

  • Weld repairs
    Decreased performance of your gas turbine means lost production. Sulzer has developed many proprietary welding procedures for components. They will restore performance, reduce costs, and increase the lifetime of your machinery.

The Customer Benefit

Bringing power back to the community as fast as possible

Sulzer’s world-class welding capabilities and wider engineering expertise ensured the multiple, complex rotating equipment assemblies could be fixed. Experience working with legacy equipment from any brand ensured familiarity with the application and the ability to service equipment which is almost a century old. The turbine was quickly returned to operation, alleviating the local energy shortage and resuming supply of renewable electricity.

  • The cost-effective project was delivered in less than 50% of the expected OEM lead time for new components
  • Incorporating material upgrades into the design of theturbine delivered a long-lasting solution that will maximize power generation equipment uptime
  • The turbine is now expected to operate reliably for at least another 30 years
  • A turnkey approach supported by innovative welding services ensured the fastest possible repair
  • Local communities regained access to renewable energy, while the IPP could resume power supply to the wider grid
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