Enel pilots 3D printing to repair geothermal components

geothermal power
Image credit: Enel

Enel Green Energy has published an article noting the successful use of 3D printing in their flagship Geyser task at Santa Barbara metallurgy labs in Cavriglia, in close proximity to Arezzo, Italy.

The strategy to use 3D printing to fix crucial elements was spawned at a roundtable dialogue organised by the undertaking Geyser workforce. A group of specialists and authorities from the geothermal, thermal, and hydroelectric sectors gathered to focus on how to optimise the management of geothermal crops and came up with the plan.

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“It all started from our curiosity and wish to use the 3D printer that we experienced in-residence,” says Nicoletta Mazzuca, Enel Inexperienced Power’s challenge manager for Geyser. “We wished to repair areas that were going to stop up in landfills for the reason that they couldn’t be fixed with traditional forging techniques.”

The 3D printing device is found in the Santa Barbara metallurgy labs, at the headquarters of Engineering and Complex Assistance for Enel Output, exactly where an additive manufacturing machine with Laser Steel Deposition (or Direct Electrical power Deposition) technologies has been obtainable because 2019. This really large-tech resource can reproduce and fix many metal areas by depositing the vital substance one layer at a time.

The pilot challenge started when the printer was utilized to repair an impeller, which is an vital part of the centrifugal compressor of a geothermal plant.

The workforce purchased a powdered kind of the product utilised to make the impellers (a distinctive sort of stainless metal identified as 17-4 PH), followed by laser scans and the creation of the 3D model. The perform was carried out by a staff led by Gennaro Raniello, Head of Hydro Maintenance Assistance – O&M Hydro Italy at Enel Green Electricity, and it concluded with the to start with historic repair service of a worn element many thanks to this technological innovation.

Additive production machine with Laser Metallic Deposition technologies, picture credit: Enel

In accordance to Enel, this sustainable innovation will make it doable to established in movement a cycle of reuse of materials: until eventually now, worn impellers had been only replaced with new types and finished up in landfills, so restoring them will also conserve around €70,000 ($85,000) for every 12 months.

“After a 12 months of operate, we have been ready to use additive producing procedures to fix our impellers for the first time. Not only does it give our impellers a 2nd everyday living, it also saves us income while respecting the setting thanks to a circularity of 100{3a9e182fe41da4ec11ee3596d5aeb8604cbf6806e2ad0e1498384eba6cf2307e},” extra Mazzuca.

Matteo Niccolai, workshop upkeep and technical expert services leader – O&M Geo Italy of Enel Environmentally friendly Power stated: “The concept of using additive producing to remedy 1 of Geo’s supply chain problems is a concrete illustration of the success of sharing troubles and finest methods transversally inside the organization, solving significant troubles with the enable of formerly unseen views.”

Ellen C. McGowan

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