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Spanish power utility Endesa Generacion will install a second James Walker Hydrosele cartridge seal at its Bosost hydropower plant in the Pyrenees, following the success of a first model.

A James Walker Hydrosele S was fitted to the shaft of one of the station’s two 10MW vertical Francis turbines in February 2008.

It replaced a segmented carbon-ring system that leaked badly and had worn deep grooves in the turbine shaft’s 400mm diameter chrome-oxide coated running sleeve.

Joan-Enric Torrent of James Walker Iberica said: ‘Long-term and reliable shaft sealing is Endesa’s objective at the Bosost hydropower station.

‘After 12 months of operation with a 103m water head, our Hydrosele was in perfect condition and working efficiently with just two litres per minute of accurately controlled leakage.’ This success inspired Endesa to convert the second Sulzer turbine at the station to Hydrosele.

Installation time for the new cartridge seal was also a decisive factor.

The complete operation, from start to finish, took only three hours with two fitters.

Tim Smith, who led the James Walker team, said: ‘This reduced the turbine downtime in comparison with the previous sealing system.

‘We have here a prime example of best-value fluid-sealing technology, saving both time and money for the operator.

‘Hydrosele is easily paying for itself in terms of reliability, sealing efficiency, long life and minimal plant downtime.’ When these Hydroseles eventually need refurbishing, the operation will be performed on site in just a few hours using a simple sealing element replacement kit.

Expensive stand-by cartridge units are not needed.

The Hydrosele S features sealing elements that operate within the fully split cartridge to improve the reliability and profitability of Francis and Kaplan water turbines.

Two elements work back-to-back with filtered flush water introduced between them.

In operation, the elements are pressure-balanced and run on a hydrodynamic fluid film that provides high-speed capability with a low level of controlled leakage.

James Walker and Co

James Walker is a dynamic global manufacturing organisation that supplies a vast range of high performance fluid sealing products and associated knowledge-based services to virtually every sector of industry. Our activities range from research and development, product application, manufacture and supply, to plant monitoring, on-site maintenance and seal refurbishment. An intimate knowledge of the industrial plant and processes used by our customers worldwide enables us to solve their fluid sealing problems with best value systems designed to minimise total cost of ownership.

State-of-the-art skills in materials technology, particularly relating to elastomers, polymers, composites and engineering plastics, are central to our success — in addition to the core disciplines of high performance sealing technology and tribology. Extensive expertise in the precision machining of exotic alloys for metallic seals, and tension control fasteners for bolted joints, positions us firmly at the forefront of these technologies. We therefore claim that our products and expertise help to keep industry worldwide running safely and efficiently year-in and year-out.

Our worldwide family of companies has 11 production, engineering, distribution and customer support sites in the UK, and a further 40 spread across Continental Europe, Australia, New Zealand, SE Asia, South Africa and the USA. At the local level, a close-knit network of James Walker companies and official distributors supplies our products and services to over 100 countries. Highly developed e-commerce systems and logistics operations give customers the surety of supply they need. We also work in partnership with customers at all levels. The long-term contracts we forge with multinational corporations cover the requirements of their plants across many continents.

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