Fusegates can be installed as replacement units or as a complement to existing conventional systems, such as mechanical radial gates, flap gates, inflatable dams or other more basic systems, such as fuseplug dykes.
Fusegates can provide many important benefits:
Fusegates operate completely independently – no need for human supervision or systems control.
Fusegates are designed to protect, at all times and under all conditions, the dam as well as people and property located downstream. Fusegates also provide a level of reliability and operational accuracy that is superior to that of traditional non-mechanical systems, such as fuseplugs.
Rigorous studies, using scale models and full-scale prototypes, have been conducted on the stability of fusegates and on conditions that can have an impact on overturning, such as earthquakes, impacts from heavy objects, ice pressure, lack of maintenance, vandalism, sabotage, degradation of joint seals, blockage of drain holes and the obstruction of drain holes and inlet wells.
These studies have demonstrated the exceptional reliability of fusegates, a key benefit in an area where system failures can have catastrophic consequences .
The implementation of a fusegate solution requires an investment that is normally significantly lower than that of conventional systems (mechanical gates, inflatable dams and similar solutions). In addition, lifecycle maintenance costs for fusegates are 5 to 10 times lower than that of alternative systems.
Fusegates can be implemented in a vast array of different environments, dam types and working conditions. The system owes its versatility to its simple design and to the various configurations designed to address specific operational needs, including safety, storage capacity, and the flood recurrence interval linked to the first fusegate tip and to the ultimate design flood.
The addition of fusegates to existing gated or inflatable dam systems can provide an important advantage. In such cases, fusegates – which operate independently of the existing system – substantially raise the level of safety while providing back-up should the existing traditional system malfunction or fail. Fusegates also provide greater control over flood water level in emergency situations.
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Fusegates are powered by water pressure; therefore, they produce no emissions. Our experience at Hydroplus has shown that dam upgrades using fusegates can often make the building of new dams unnecessary. On average, the performance gains of upgrading three dams with fusegates are equivalent to building a new dam. As a result, fusegates represent an environmentally friendly solution, which is an increasingly important consideration in current times.