August 24, 2015
PENETRON Takes Care of Cracks at Rucatayo
Soon after going online, the showcase Rucatayo hydroelectric power plant in southern Chile sprung not just one leak but many leaks. PENETRON crystalline waterproofing technology provided an effective solution within an extremely tight schedule; the repaired power plant recently returned to full operation – on schedule.
The Rucatayo hydroelectric facility is a key part of Chile’s efforts to upgrade the national energy grid by using hydroelectric power to supply the country's central SIC grid. Built on the border between the Los Rios and Los Lagos regions of southern Chile, the US$70 million design and construction project for the 60-MW hydroelectric plant was carried out by Dessau-Soprin.
The Rucatayo plant draws water from the adjacent Pilmaiquén River (36 km / 22.3 miles east of Osorno) and has a 200m3/s flow rate. The concrete plant houses two turbine generators, totaling 60 MW, to produce nearly 315 GWh per year.
“Once construction was completed and the plant was in full operation, cracks and water leakage became apparent,” says Jozef Van Beeck, International Sales & Marketing Director of The PENETRON Group. “The PENETRON team was called in to manage an emergency situation and provide a permanent solution. The team had only 11 days to repair the leaks.”
Repairs were made to approximately 2,000 m2 of concrete in the slab and walls of the structure and concrete headworks leading to the hydroelectric plant. PENEPLUG, a rapid-setting, crystalline-based, cementitious compound, was initially applied to stop all the active leaks as quickly as possible. Then, all the cracks, compromised construction joints, leaking tie holes, and other damaged areas were chiseled, cleaned out, and filled with PENECRETE MORTAR. Finally, two coats of PENETRON crystalline waterproofing material were applied over the entire concrete surface.
“The results of the repair work done with the PENETRON materials were immediate and lasting. Very quickly, all the concrete surfaces were dry and stable, even with the high hydrostatic pressure that the structures are exposed to,” adds Mr. Van Beeck. “Because the PENETRON crystalline treatment penetrates into the concrete matrix, the structures at the Rucatayo hydroelectric plant will now remain waterproof for the life of the concrete – and are significantly more durable as well.”