A maior geradora de energia limpa e renovável do planeta

Press Office
At the heart of Itaipu: synchronized work at 225
Tamanho da letra
26/03/2009

March 16, Monday. One of the first things to do before inspection on U07 starts is to close the maintenance gates, or stop-logs. More than 150 employees involved at the station fan out across the machine to work. However, 12 of them stay just a few meters away from the stop-logs.    

March 16, Monday. One of the first things to do before inspection on U07 starts is to close the maintenance gates, or stop-logs. More than 150 employees involved at the station fan out across the machine to work. However, 12 of them stay just a few meters away from the stop-logs.

 

 

 

 

 

Those 12 are part of the mechanical maintenance crew in charge of replacing the service gate sliding wheels.

 

There on the top of the dam, at the water intake, two cranes and two teams of Brazilian and Paraguayan employees work in synch. Each team focuses on the 32-wheel row on each side of the gate (a total of 64 wheels). And they get down to business.

 

Changing the service gate wheels is one of the most time-consuming activities at this machine station. With the gate up but under the protection of the stop-logs, technicians thoroughly clean the area to "evict" stubborn bivalve mollusks.

 

Then, the two teams position themselves in front of a 260 ton wall made entirely of steel, measuring 16 meters high and eight meters wide. On the sides of the gate, two rows of carbon steel wheels weighing 240 kilos each. They are removed one by one and replaced with new ones.

 

Two teams, one goal

 

It may even look like a contest to see which team is faster. But the result is a resounding tie. “There's no competition here, we have to finish our work at the same time”, settles SMMU.DT technician Valdomiro Francisconi, a member of the team on the left side of the gate.

 

After being removed, the wheels are taken away by the crane. They will be reconditioned. After being coated with a layer of stainless steel they will be later assembled into other units. “After this job is done we will no longer have to change these wheels”, explains Ronaldo Dornelles Duarte, in charge of maintenance services at the water intake. “They carry a 30-year warranty but can last a lot longer.”

 

At quota 214, an Operations technician monitors the activities. After every four wheels are replaced, he lowers the gate a few meters so that the job may go on.

 

Civil Engineering

 

It is the end of nearly two weeks of activities. Both teams complete their work at the same time. The wheels are all set to make the gate slide smoothly, getting ready for unit 07 to come back home.