Neoenergia creates innovative system to manage dam safety plans


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Neoenergia‘s innovation and pioneering spirit are confirmed once again with the creation of the smart system for the management of Dam Safety Plans (PSBs). The initiative is a Research and Development (R&D) project, regulated by the National Electric Energy Agency (Aneel) and the pilot project will be applied at the Itapebi Hydro Power Plant, located in Bahia. The tool, which is under development in partnership with Lactec, uses geo-referenced technology and intelligent algorithms, integrating the processes and information included in the safety plans in a single platform, in order to simplify, speed up and increase the assertiveness of actions. Among the differentials of the system is the 3D viewing of the plant, in addition to risk analysis with definition of priority maintenance actions.

Since 2010, Law No. 12,334 has introduced the National Dam Safety Policy, determining that projects with structures for water accumulation - such as hydro power plants - must have Dam Safety Plans (PSBs) and Emergency Action Plans (PAEs) in place. These documents may include as many as 30,000 files, including projects, reviews and reports. The system created by Neoenergia​ will integrate all this information in a practical and easily accessible manner. Innovation has two decisive differentials: geo-referenced 3D modeling, which will facilitate the view and analysis of the dam data, and risk analysis, which considers the history of actions already taken.

"The result is an enhancement of the management, which is possible based on the data that provides subsidy for decision making in relation to preventive and corrective actions, in addition to providing more agility in responding to critical events. In addition, it will reduce inspection time, improve process reliability and increase the predictability of events with risk potential", states Neoenergia's dam safety engineer and project manager, Luiz Gustavo Westin. He highlights that the technology will also provide more transparency to the processes for Aneel, which performs a periodic inspection of the dams, since the platform allows the creation of different access profiles.​


The data and information already existing in the maintenance and inspection history are critical for the system to be efficient. This record enables a risk analysis prioritizing the actions based on each event. Once the platform is up and running, technicians will be able to update data directly on the system by performing field inspections with the support of tablets. In addition to the role of the employee, the data provided by the equipment that helps in monitoring the structures, such as pressure and water level and movements at strategic points, are also important.

This information is combined to strengthen the reliability of practices that are currently part of the plant's routine. "The Dam Safety Plan sets forth actions regarding monitoring, maintenance and inspections. Each abnormality or recommendation is classified in relation to its influence on the structure's behavior and risk management, thus allowing the identification of actions and deadlines for activities. What we will do is to make these actions more interactive with "automatic" prioritization, taking as a basis the maintenance history, the readings of the associated instruments and an analysis of the structural behavior of the dam in detriment of the analyzed failure mode", explains the civil engineer and researcher of the project, Gustavo Salum Andrade. The pilot project is under development and should extend until 2022.​

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