Structural health monitoring of concrete gravity dams

Abstract

Staranje vodnih pregrad je eden ključnih izzivov pregradnega inženirstva v Sloveniji kot tudi drugod po svetu. Poleg tega so pregrade izpostavljene spremembam v okolju (podnebne spremembe) in drugim časovno odvisnim vplivom, kot na primer spremembam obratovalnih režimov na pregradah, ki so primarno namenjene hidroenergetski izrabi. Skupek vseh teh sprememb dodatno prispeva k procesu staranja ter k zmanjšanju obratovalne varnosti objektov. Pregrade so zelo pomembni infrastrukturni objekti, ki prinašajo številne koristi kot tudi dodatno tveganje v okolju. V primeru tehničnih okvar in porušitev (delnih ali popolnih) lahko predstavljajo nevarnost za dolvodna območja. Zagotavljanje dobrega kondicijskega stanja starajočih se pregrad trenutno predstavlja enega glavnih izzivov pregradnega inženirstva, saj je povprečna starost slovenskih pregrad že več kot 40 let. S podobnimi izzivi se soočajo tudi drugod po svetu. V prispevku predstavljamo metodologijo za spremljanje kondicijskega stanja betonskih pregrad s spremljanjem vibracij. Metodologija temelji na uporabi nekontaktnih in kontaktnih meritev z beleženjem vibracij na površini konstrukcije. Eksperimentalno delo smo izvajali na pregradi Brežice, ki smo jo začeli spremljati že med gradnjo in nato v prvem letu obratovanja.The ageing of dams is one of the major challenges in specifically Slovenian and generally global dam engineering. Dams are exposed to environmental (climate) changes, as well as time-dependent effects, such as changes in the operating schedules of dams intended primarily for hydroelectric production. These changes can accelerate dams’ ageing and lead to a decrease in their structural and operational safety. Dams are an important part of the infrastructure, as they bring about numerous benefits and at the same time they are also sources of risk. For example, in the event of partial or total failure they pose significant risk to downstream areas. Aging of dams, preserving their functionality, and maintaining their structural health are currently the main challenges of dam engineering. The mean age of Slovenian dams is already over 40 years, although Slovenia is not unique in this situation. In this paper there is presented a novel methodology to monitor structural health of concrete dams, with the use of noncontact and contact measurements through observation of structural vibrations. We present the in-situ experiment on the Brežice dam that began during the dam’s construction and continued into the first year of its operation

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