Hydro Power Plant Equipment Services

Hydro Power Plant Equipment Services

As humans, we have been harnessing the energy derived from river currents for centuries now through water wheels that are spun by rivers. These initially processed cloth and grains. Hydroelectric power currently provides about 16% of the total electricity in the world. Hydro mechanical equipment is used to control and drive water flow before and after it has passed through the generating unit.

Hydropower became the primary source of electricity in the late 19th century, which was just a few decades after James Francis, the British-American engineer, had developed the first-ever water turbine. The world’s first hydroelectric power plant started operations in the US in 1882 along the Fox River. 

hydro dam construction equipment

How Does A Hydropower Plant Work?

Typically, a hydroelectric power plant system has three main parts:

  • The power plant, where the electricity is usually produced
  • A dam that can either be closed or opened to control the flow of water
  • A reservoir that stores the water.

The water stored behind the dam typically flows through the intake and pushes on the blades within the turbine, which causes them to turn. Then, the turbine spins the generator to produce electricity.

The total amount of electricity to be generated will depend on how far the water has dropped and how much water is moving through the system. The electricity is then transported through the long-distance electric lines onto the factories, homes, and businesses. 

Which Are The Main Hydro Mechanical Equipment Used in A Power Plant?

Hydroelectric power plants make use of plenty of mechanical equipment, and each one is designed to do something specific. The main equipment, however are:


The hydro-mechanical valves are covered in mechanical auxiliary equipment, and the main valve used is the turbine inlet valve. 

The turbine inlet valve is also known as a ‘penstock shut-off valve.’ It is usually installed near the turbine inlet pipe or on it. Sometimes, it can be included in the generating equipment supply.

The most common forms of the turbine valve are usually spherical or butterfly in shape and have a multi-plate vane inside. When it is turned on, it stops the flow of water, and when it is aligned, it will direct the flow and allow the water to pass. 

Dam Gates

Dam gates are hydromechanical equipment used to isolate the parts of the water conveyancing system. They control spillway discharges, and the most common types of dam gates are:

Intake Gates

These are equipped with the control gate, which despite its name, does not control the flow in the turbine. That role is left to the nozzles on the wicket gates and peloton turbines or the Francis and Kaplan turbines. 

In the event of a rupture of the penstock or turbine runaway, the gate closes within 2-5 minutes. This shuts off the flow from the reservoir. It is designed to close under the rupture flow, and it is often placed close by without the need for external power.

Spillway Gates

There are plenty of gates designed to control the spillway flows. One of the most essential and efficient types of spillway gates is the radial gate, which is also known as the ‘tainter gate.’ It is operated through hydraulic hoists or a wire rope. 

The manufacturers will design the gates and position the indicators that are integrated into the hoists. This then allows both sides of the gate to be lifted at the same rate, which provides a very precise measure of the opening, and hence the flow. 

Radial gates, however, suffer from ice build-up, and therefore, vertical lift gates are most common in cold climates. The vertical lift gates also tend to be caterpillar gates or roller gates and are supported on both sides by a stainless steel roller chain.

hydro mechanical equipment

Bulkhead Gates and Stoplogs

Stoplogs and bulkhead gates usually provide a water barrier for maintenance purposes. For example, they offer an upstream for the intake control gate and one for the downstream end of the draft tubes. These two differ in that; the bulkhead gate is lowered in one piece while the stoplogs are inserted one by one on the gate slot.

None of them have wheels, which means they cannot be installed when the water is flowing through the opening, and they cannot be removed unless the water level downstream and upstream is the same.

Trash Racks

Trash racks are usually installed on the upstream phase of the power intake to prevent the large debris from entering the water conveyance and causing an obstruction to the turbines. The spacing in the trash rack bars is specified by the turbine manufacturer.

Dam Construction Services

Gracon LLC offers dam construction services. We provide a complete installation including radial, slide, crest, miter, and drum gates. In the past ten years, we have replaced or repaired more than 100 gates. Our services include the following:

Dam Construction and Rehabilitation

With dam engineering there are different categories to consider for construction including structural type, usage and materials required. Construction of dams is complex. Dam projects require substantial labor, materials, and other resources to oversee projects and ensure timely completions. Dam construction and rehabilitation often depends on the types of dam materials used, the way the dam resists the forces and water pressure behind it, or the means used to control the seepage. It’s important to understand what is required for each project. Gracon LLC has decades of experience in providing oversight for dam construction, maintenance, and rehab globally. 

Dam Repairs

We offer dam repair services. Dams can be used for drinking water, flood control, irrigation, recreation, hydropower, etc.

At Gracon LLC, we specialize in the rehabilitation and replacement of the mechanical equipment required for the dam to operate efficiently. We are the best company for this, and are a leading dam construction, rehabilitation, and installation company. 

Our process is deeply engraved in our culture, and we provide excellent solutions to all of your dam-related problems. 

hydro dam mechanical equipment

Hydro Mechanical Equipment Maintenance & Rehabilitation

Look no further than Gracon LLC. We are an industrial construction company that offers dam construction, piping systems, and any other services for hydroelectric construction. We offer the following:

We perform new installation and fabrication for several dam gate types, such as radial gates, high-pressure slide gates, radial gates, tainter gates, crest gates, miter gates, and drum gates.

Our project exposure ensures you receive the most knowledgeable and experienced company in the US. Because the inner workings of a dam are complex, you need to trust this process with the experts. Contact us today!