Watch: Melton Hill Dam Replaces 400k-Pound Turbine

TVA’s Power Service Shop hydro field team removed a 394,600 pound turbine at Melton Hill Dam last week as part of a scheduled upgrade to increase energy efficiency.

TVA’s Power Service Shop hydro field team removed a 394,600 pound turbine at Melton Hill Dam last week as part of a scheduled upgrade to increase energy efficiency. The upgrade will improve efficiency by 3 percent for an overall increase of 1.2 megawatts of TVA’s original green power generation.

“By replacing the old turbine instead of making major repairs to the existing one (due to its age and the wear on the turbine), it’s able to run more efficiently and effectively,” says Site Construction Manager Tom Davis.

As you can see from the video, the Power Service Shop team lifts up and out the Kaplan design turbine, which is original equipment from the 1960s when the Dam was built. Designed to withstand the test of time and the elements of nature, this component creates electrical energy when the water flowing across the blades causes the turbine to rotate, which in turn, rotates the generator.

“It’s impressive that the original turbine lasted as long as it did. It’s a testament to the quality and commitment to routine maintenance over the years,” says Turbine Engineer Doug Rogers. “We expect to get a life span of more than 40 years out of the new turbine.”

This maintenance outage is part of a larger Hydro Major Maintenance effort to update and upgrade TVA’s hydro assets to provide clean energy for years to come for our 10 million customers.

Melton Hill Dam is a two-unit hydroelectric facility near Lenoir City, Tenn. that produces up to 79 megawatts on an average summer day. Built in 1960, it’s the only dam in the tributary reservoir system with a navigation lock.