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Digital twins for structural condition assessment for power station

This case study was submitted jointly by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and technology company Akselos In 2019, Irish electricity company ESB selected was seeking a solution to help them understand the structural health of a 47-year-old pumped storage station, to determine if the asset could continue to operate safely into the future. As Ireland’s only pumped storage station, Turlough Hill generates up to 292MW into the Irish grid during peak demand periods. Approaching 47 years of operation, ESB started to ask fundamental questions about structural integrity and operational risk. ESB’s structural engineers were looking for innovative ways to achieve this as well as to monitor its condition if it were to continue operating. The challenge was intensified due to the sparse analogue data that was available to digitize the asset and build out the complete 3D view of the structure. In addition, much of the actual hydro station is simply not accessible due to being buried into the mountain, and even the internal structure is hard to inspect.

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