Monitoring of structures and dams has become an essential component of civil engineering as these are vital for site investigation, design verification, long-term soundness, and more importantly, for the safety of the project. To understand the structural behavior pre-construction and during operation, monitoring of dams becomes an important role.
Dam Monitoring Instrumentation is necessary as it provides information about the performance of the dam while also giving an early warning in case of any issue that may arise. The scope of instrumentation is not entirely dependent on the complexity or the size of the reservoir but also has to do with the possibility of a loss of life and property downstream.
Dam Monitoring Instrumentation includes a variety of sensors offered by Encardio Rite, each serving its purpose like measurement of pore pressure, deformation, movement, etc. With the availability of more futuristic and new-age technology, it is possible to monitor the dam from any remote location, without any hassle.
Encardio Rite offers several surveying technologies and data transmission systems that allow you to collect readings and measurements at set intervals. If there is an increase in the predetermined level, you are quickly alerted via an SMS or alarm, allowing you to take preventive action without any accidents. The instruments also allow you to store the data by transferring it to a remote database management system which makes use of a server or cloud to keep the data safe for the required authorities to have a look.
When it comes to Dam Monitoring Instrumentation, it is important to note that every type of Dam (and even every Dam of the same type) has its own personalized set of monitoring requirements, including the type of instrumentation used. This calls for opting for the most efficient instrument from a range that is very focused and optimized.
Now that we have given you a brief introduction to dam monitoring and instrumentation, let’s take an in-depth look into why it is needed.
Dam Monitoring Instrumentation – The need for it
When it comes to the instrumentation of structures and dams, there are many naturally occurring materials with changing or varied engineering properties. A designer of geotechnical construction works with these ever-changing properties to arrive at the safest and most reliable option, observing and evaluating while making design changes.
Post-construction, dam monitoring instrumentation is carried out to assess the soundness, safety, and overall stability of the dam.
Design errors, geotechnical stability, maintenance issues, and construction material unreliability are some of the reasons why a dam can fail. Therefore, a good instrumentation program includes the following to prevent any kind of mishap:
Measurement during construction:
Measurement after construction is completed:
Measurement for research:
The Purpose of Dam Monitoring Instrumentation:
Safe operation and functioning of a dam entail economic benefits and public safety. Dam failure can cause catastrophic damage to life and property. A good instrumentation program makes use of the data to evaluate the safety of the structure by collecting data and detecting any issues at a preventable stage.
The purpose includes:
Dam Monitoring – The Solutions
As leaders in the geotechnical field, Encardio Rite offers reliable, cost-effective, and comprehensive solutions for the monitoring of different types of dams. From supply, installation, and maintenance to seamless data collection and remote monitoring, it provides the complete spectrum of services.
Here are the solutions/sensors that are offered by Encardio Rite for online monitoring:
Read More: Structural Health Monitoring: Instrumentation & Monitoring During Construction
Dam Monitoring Instrumentation
As we have spoken before, each dam is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution that can be applied to all. It depends on the size, potential hazard, complexity, foundation, and many more aspects of the dam which are known as problems and concerns, and the degree of conservatism in the design criteria. Since Encardio Rite has been involved with the instrumentation of over 200 dams, it has made a generalized guide for different types of dams.
Dam Monitoring Instrumentation – Concrete Dams
In the table below, we talk about the different instruments required while monitoring Concrete dams along with their purpose and location. Let’s take a look.
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Dam Monitoring Instrumentation – Earth and rockfill dam and Concrete face rockfill dam (CFRD)
We are now well aware of the dam monitoring instrumentation for concrete and Rockfill Dams. But existing dams also need as much attention as the others do.
Similar to other structures, dams age and deteriorate with time, becoming a threat to health, property, life, and the environment. Any change in the behavioral characteristics is suggestive of a possible failure of a dam. Therefore, continuous monitoring of dams is crucial to curb these changes at early stages and prevent any accidents or mishaps.
Existing Dam Monitoring also entails the use of online monitoring systems for near real-time monitoring of installed instruments. However, the instrumentation plan for the existing dam depends on the type, health status, and the installed instruments.
Heavy-duty Strain Gauge
Digital Tilt Meter
Center Hole Load Cell
High Capacity Center Hole Load Cell
Hydraulic Center Hole Load Cell
VW Center Hole Load Cell
Triaxial Crack/Joint Meter
Digital Liquid Level Settlement Monitoring System
3 Axis Digital Broadband Seismometer
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