01.12.2009
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Upgraded power unit No. 3 commissioned at the Saratovskaya HPP

Power unit No. 3 had been in operation since 1968. During its rehabilitation in the third and fourth quarters of this year, its equipment was fully upgraded. A more powerful unit transformer (TRDTs -320000/220) was installed; shielding current distributors were laid anew; the 220 kV oil-filled power cable was replaced with the cross-linked polyethylene cable; generator switchgear (HECS-80M generator circuit-breaker systems and disconnect switches), relay protection and automatic equipment, regulator systems and auxiliary equipment were assembled. The power unit comprises two pairs of synchronous hydrogenerators, of which generator No. 10 was upgraded in 1999 and generators Nos. 11 and 12 in 2005, and modernization of hydrogenerator No. 9 is scheduled to be completed in March 2010.


Overall, there are five such power units at the Saratovskaya HPP. Observations have been held to determine the degree of their actual wear. Also, the project and schedule for their upgrading, involving replacement of all equipment, have been developed.


Within the framework of this project, power unit No. 3 was the first to be upgraded. Advanced high-tech equipment for the unit was designed and produced by the European electrical engineering group ABB Power Technologies, taking into account the specifics of the Saratovskaya HPP. The main contractor for construction and assembly work was JSC Elektroremont-VKK; a considerable amount of work was fulfilled by the subcontractor CJSC INESS (town of Balakovo). All operations are ongoing under the guidance of the power plant's technical personnel. Equipment manufacturers and suppliers and work contractors have been selected through tenders.


New equipment has a longer service life, is environmentally safe, compact and easily serviceable, helps reduce transmission power losses and has an overhaul cycle limit of 30 years. Monitoring systems make it possible to track more closely the power unit's operational parameters to enhance its functional reliability and the quality of equipment performance monitoring.


In June 2010, after the spring floods are over, upgrading of another power unit will start at the Saratovskaya HPP. There are plans to modernize one power unit a year and wrap up works in 2013. Therefore, this is one of the largest projects under the equipment upgrading program for the Saratovskaya HPP, with the cost of works under the project estimated at more than 1.4 billion rubles. Implementation of the project will help maintain the necessary power reserve in the Balakovo power hub and the Middle Volga area and enhance HPP operation reliability.


The ongoing works clearly demonstrate the scope of the long-term equipment rehabilitation and upgrading program. Initial work under the program began in 1995 and all the basic and auxiliary equipment of the Saratovskaya HPP is to be upgraded by 2030.

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