Energy, High energy, Power systems, Renewable energy, Sustainability, Visits

Visit to Itaipu power plant

I visited the Itaipu power plant, the biggest hydropower generator in the world. The Three Gorges Dam in China is bigger in size, but Itaipu generates more power.


This is the entrance to the hydro power plant.

These are the tubes which conduct water from the dam to the turbines. The flow rate is much bigger than the Iguaçu waterfalls, in this site, there are images of these waterfalls.

A substation to transmit electrical energy. I will write a post about substations in the future.

The main concrete dam has 34 meters width and 196 meters of maximum height and this is a dam’s detail. To save concrete, the dam is the type gravity relieved. I will write a post about the various dam types.

Supervision and Central Control Room

In this room, is made the supervision and control of all power plant. In this screen, are monitored the generator units in 60 Hz (To Brazil) and in 50 Hz (To Paraguay).

Actually, the controls are all digital. However, are used analog in case the digital ones have problems.

Temperature, voltage, current, pressure and other variables are supervised with graphs of trends, alarms and categories analysis. Are made action plans, operation instructions and decision making. Some control actions are: open and close the spillway gates and circuit breakers of substations, withdrawing and regulating energy of generation units. This is the spillway.

Other areas

This video shows one of the generator’s axis working.

The generators stay below these red circles.

This model shows the part of power plant’s interior.

Generating units

All generating units of Itaipu use Francis turbine, because it is the most used in hydro power plants. The features of 60 Hz generators are:

  • Apparent power: 737 MVA;
  • Voltage: 18 ± 0.9 kV;
  • Power factor: 0.95;
  • Nominal speed: 92.3 rpm.

These are the features of 50 Hz generators:

  • Apparent power: 823.6 MVA;
  • Voltage: 18 ± 0.9 kV;
  • Power factor: 0.85;
  • Nominal speed: 90.9 rpm.


About Pedro Ney Stroski

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