Maintenance And Repairs
Maintenance and repairs of small hydropower stations require a maximum of flexibility and very often the courage to find and realize unconventional solutions.
Whereas large scale hydropower companies usually do not compromise in terms of scope or execution of individual works and costs frequently are not the major issue, companies active in the small hydro sector fairly often face the whole spectrum of problems that can occur whilest costs are a major issue. So for example in one case it needs to be decided upon whether to replace or to weld a broken cast iron turbine cover, then to decide whether to replace or rebuild a badly damaged francis runner, whether to manufacture new wicket gates from epoxi moulding material, or as usual from cast iron. In an other case there are problems with the hydraulic governor and in the other difficulties with the electrical equipment.
Then again it needs to be decided upon whether trying to save a turbine shaft or to cut it into bits and manufacture a new one.
In a small hydropower company mechanics not only do mechanical work but also are capable of building steel constructions, building up hydraulic systems, installing electric components, then again scraping in a pewter bearing and so on. On top of all there comes the dismantling and on site reassembly with all difficulties that may come up.
In most cases a low budget is to be respected because small hydropower stations often are in a critical range, sometimes on the edge, of economic viability. So not too seldom the mechanics almost have to do magic in performing the most various Jobs.