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HeadApp for maintenance activities at Iren Energia hydroelectric power plants

Since last spring, Iren Energia is testing the Headapp solution for remotely supported maintenance activities at Pont Ventoux and Rosone – Tellesio (Turin) hydro-power plants.

The Pont Ventoux plant uses water from Dora Riparia and its left-wing Clarea reservoir and routes it through a branch channel to the Clarea reservoir (515 m).

In the central plant, built in an underground cave and equipped with a 460 m long escape tunnel, the twoproduction groups with 78.5 MW each have a housing capacity of about 350 GWh per year.

The second plant, referring to the dam located in Telessio, consists of a pumping plant with seasonally adjusted reservoirs (555m jump), uses the water of the Piantonetto, Valsoera and Balma streams accumulated in the Valsoera reservoir and characterized by a flood of 7.7 million m3 of water.

In the underground central plant in Telessio there is a generation and pumping plant with a capacity of 38 MW in generation and 34 MW in pumping with production capacity of about 40 GWh / year (of which 13 GWh / year from natural outflows and the remaining from pumping).

In the Rosone plant, two generation sets are installed, with a power of 41.2 MW each and a production capacity of about 200 GWh / year.

In coordination with Iren Innovation Department engineer Meglio, Headapp conducted the first inspectionsin the two field testing tenters: at present, the system consists of 4 devices dedicated to field operators and a control room installed in Iren office. The Headapp platform, therefore, allows operators in the field plant to face a situation that needs maintenance, to interact with a remote-skilled technician while keeping their hands free to operate while receive the best support remotely.

Headapp’s maintenance technology (Eye4Maint) consists of a wearable smartglasses device that can initiate two-way video and audio communication with a support room where a specialized technician is available: the costs (reduction of travel) and time (significant improvement in maintenance activity) benefits were undoubtedly highlighted by operators who could directly test the usefulness of having a direct line with a support room without the need to use hands while, on the contrary, remaining focused on the criticality of the mission to be carried out.

Over the next few weeks, a training activity will begin together with 20 technicians, maintenance engineers and plant guardians who will ultimately be the end-users of the smartglasses for maintenance activities. The development of field data integration with Iren systems will also be furthered developed in order to improve maintenance processes.

The Eye4Maint project will eventually be extended to all Iren maintenance service department in the Torino metropolitan area.