Puylaurent - France
Fusegates may be installed during construction of new dams or on existing dams. They can be adapted to any type of dam, thereby improving its effectiveness. They may be used on their own or in conjunction with conventional gates. There are two distinct advantages to using fusegates with conventional gates: (1) traditional gates accurately control the headpond level and (2) Fusegates enhance safety both in the case of exceptional floods and in the event of conventional gate malfunction.
Where the increase of storage capacity of dams is a crucial objective; fusegates can be extremely beneficial.
Fusegates have been installed on approximately 40 dams on five continents. On average, they have contributed to a 30% increase in storage capacity – on some projects, this figure has been as high as 140% .
Discharge capacity under normal operating conditions and during major floods represents a vital safety consideration both for the dam and the area downstream of it.
The design flood of dams is sometimes re-assessed at various times during the structure’s lifecycle.
Fusegates provide a reliable and cost-effective solution that is particularly well adapted to dam upgrades following re-evaluation of design floods .
Flood-control dams play a major role in limiting river flooding. They temporarily retain a significant part of the flood volume in order to limit the impact of downstream flooding.
Installation of fusegates can raise a dam’s spillway crest without altering its maximum water level. fusegates increase a dam’s flood-management capacity, by providing additional flood storage capacity to limit the impact of downstream flooding.
As a result, fusegates can provide greater protection from floods to downstream populations in a cost-effective manner withoutthe need for extensive dam modifications and without increasing overall operational and maintenance requirements .
The effect of torrential rains and river floods on local populations and the environment can be disastrous, making the implementation of flood-control initiatives a vitally important objective. In addition to dams and dykes, flood-management solutions have also included the building of storage basins – known as polders – along rivers. Polders capture excess water, thereby reducing the impact of downstream flooding. Prior to fusegates, two mechanisms were used to channel excess water into polders: ungated spillways and gated systems. The advantages and disadvantages of these systems are comparable to conventional spillways.
The use of fusegates represents a cost-effective solution that combines the reliability of ungated side-channel spillways with the effectiveness of a gated system. Numerous studies have shown that fusegates significantly reduce the size and frequency of use of polders, resulting in substantial cost savings. Overall, the system’s cost recovery is lower than that of a gated side-channel spillway or even of a similarly effective ungated side-channel spillway .