Leak Detection System CH Misicuni Bolivia (120 MW)

In October 2017, EnerTek installed a leak detection system at CH Misicuni Bolivia (120 MW) to give advanced warning of leaks in the project’s penstock and reservoir. The Misicuni Project supplies water to the city of Cochabamba in central Bolivia, and also adds 120 MW of generation capacity to the national grid.

The first part of the project was a leak detection system for Misicuni’s penstock. Due to the high-pressure water (100bar) and the penstock’s considerable length (5km), the client requested that EnerTek design and install a monitoring system to give advanced warning of a leak. This system involved installing a Hydrovision clamp-on, flow measurement system next to the machine house to detect differences between inflow and outflow.

A PLC and SCADA system was programmed to provide an audible and visual warning within 5 seconds of a leak greater than 0.2m3/s and begin closing a large safety butterfly valve at the low-pressure side of the penstock after 20 seconds. This system is designed to prevent major damage to expensive infrastructure and potentially save lives.

EnerTek also installed a system to monitor the water level in the project’s 123,000 m3 reservoir. The reservoir is built above the city to provide head pressure, posing a major risk in the case of a leak. EnerTek installed a series of high precision water level sensors (piezometers) to monitor the level of the water table and activate alarms should the level change more than the seasonal average. The sensors are power by solar UPS systems and are connected back to the control room via fiberoptic cable.

Site: C.H. Misicuni, Cochabamba, Bolivia
Client: Imesapi
Overview of Installed System:
  • Hydrovision Clamp-on Flow Measurement System
  • PLC and SCADA system
  • High precision water level sensors
  • Real time digital display and monitoring