F USEGATE TECHNOLOGY HAS been used for the first time in Australia to upgrade Lyell dam in New South Wales. hydroplus Australia and consulting firm Sinclair Knight Merz undertook the engineering design and construction supervision for the project.

Lyell dam owner, Delta Electricity, commissioned Hydroplus Australia to restore the reservoir to its original level: the level it was at before two ‘unfortunate’ incidents made it necessary to replace the previous spillway control system.

The fusegate system works by placing concrete or steel units on to the spillway sill, elevating the full supply level of the reservoir. Most floods simply wash over the top of the units but, with exceptionally large floods, the units are designed to tip off the spillway to allow more flood water to pass through.

‘The system allows dam owners to avoid costly spillway modifications or dam raisings to meet the required level of safety and or the ability to store more water,’ says Phil Solomon, of Sinclair Knight Merz.

•See the November issue of IWP&DC for an update on pumped storage plants in Australia.