Vibrations of a hydropower plant under operational loads

  • Klun MatejaEmail author
  • Zupan Dejan
  • Kryžanowski Andrej
Original Paper


This paper presents the investigation of dynamic properties of a concrete gravity dam. Structural vibration measurements are an important part of structural monitoring, especially for the structures with high importance. The investigation started with the construction of the Brežice dam on the Sava River cascading system in Slovenia, where we have conducted in-situ structural response measurements. For the purpose of our investigation, several discrete points on the structure were chosen. A novel methodology was introduced with the inclusion of the Laser Doppler Vibrometer where the structural response of the dam excited with construction works was determined. The aim of the initial studies was to capture the primary dynamic properties as a baseline for further diagnostic. Further investigation included accelerometers and speed transducers. The inclusion of structural monitoring during the testing of the mechanical equipment enabled identification of the majority of the transient actions that can occur on the hydropower dams and captured their signature in the temporal and frequency response. Measurements on the turbines during operation provided the key in identifying the response of the whole system. The captured time series were transformed in the frequency spectrum using the Fast Fourier Transformation. Furthermore, a numerical model of the structure was built where by changing the Young modulus, the ageing process of concrete and its effect on the eigenfrequencies are simulated.


Dam Monitoring Vibration Laser Doppler vibrometer Structural health monitoring Operational loads Turbines 



The project is professionally supported by the hydropower company Hidroelektrarne na spodnji Savi, d.o.o. (HESS). The company allowed the publication of the results. The professional support of HESS is greatly acknowledged by the authors of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Civil and Geodetic EngineeringUniversity of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia

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