Successful strategic planning for capital investments in existing hydropower facilities requires consideration and the balancing of many factors, including the risks and consequences of equipment failure. The hydropower community has long recognized the importance of accurate assessments of equipment condition in order to make informed and sound capital investment planning and management decisions. Seeking to improve the evaluation and documentation of hydroelectric equipment condition, industry leaders have partnered to create the Hydropower Asset Management Partnership (hydroAMP). As part of CEATI’s Hydraulic Plant Life Interest Group, which is comprised of over 60 hydroelectric utilities, the hydroAMP Steering Committee is managing hydroAMP for its current users by assisting in its continued development and guiding its future enhancements.
HydroAMP Equipment Condition Tool
Developed by hydroAMP, the hydroAMP Equipment Condition Tool evaluates equipment condition through a complementary, two– tier assessment framework. Notably, the tool was developed for use and implementation by any utility with hydropower assets and may fit into existing maintenance, planning, budgeting, and decision– making structures. The Tier 1 assessment allows users to:
- Score the equipment Condition Index using relevant Condition Indicators (e.g. Age, Maintenance History, Operational Performance, and Physical Inspection).
If additional information is necessary to improve the accuracy and reliability of the Tier 1 Condition Index, then Tier 2 Inspections, Tests, and Measurements may be performed. The Tier 2 assessment allows users to:
- Validate the accuracy and reliability of the Tier 1 Condition Index using Inspections, Tests and measurements. Note that the Tier 1 Condition Index is enhanced based on adjustment suggested by completing Tier 2 inspections, test, and measurements.
- Evaluate the need for and timing of more extensive equipment maintenance, rehabilitation and/or replacement.
Informed Decision Making
The hydroAMP Equipment Condition Tool was developed to aid in informed decision making. Business decisions are necessary at two junctures in the analysis to ensure the Condition Index rating is accurate.
- The first is at the completion of the Tier 1 assessment, particularly where a Tier 1 Condition Index score is low. This decision is based on what and when Tier 2 testing should be performed. For certain types of equipment, there are many tests that can provide information about different aspects of component condition. The choice of which tests to apply should be made based on the Tier 1 assessment as well as information obtained via review of Maintenance History, Operational Performance, Physical Inspection, other test results, and company standards.
- The second decision occurs to determine what to do following Tier 2 inspections, tests or measurements. Is major rehabilitation, replacement or extraordinary maintenance required? If so, start planning for this expenditure to ensure the equipment is repaired in a timely manner, before extended forced outages occur.
Benefits of hydroAMP
The goal of hydroAMP is to create a framework to streamline and simplify methods for objectively evaluating the condition of hydroelectric equipment for the purpose of supporting asset and risk management decision– making. The implementers of hydroAMP recognized that equipment condition assessments help:
- Identify and develop long– term investment strategies for hydroelectric facilities;
- Prioritize capital investments in hydroelectric equipment;
- Coordinate operation and maintenance budgeting processes and practices;
- Identify and track performance goals.
Any organization within the hydropower industry can use and derive benefits from the use and implementation of hydroAMP. The hydroAMP tools were designed to be open and flexible to fit into existing maintenance, planning, budgeting, and decision– making structures. HydroAMP can also serve multiple users within an organization who may have distinct roles and responsibilities for hydropower asset management.
For access to the hydroAMP web application, or any hydroAMP related inquiries, please contact Paul Smith