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The Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka


The Official e-newsletter of the Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka  |  August 2013 - Issue 1  |  Best view in GMail based e-mail services.
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President's Corner
Modern Membership Management System for IESL
It’s indeed my pleasure to write this corner for this inaugural digital SLEN, the first ever multimedia enabled electronic newsletter of the IESL which is making its debut, as planned, on August, 2013. The video /audio features to the news and views contents are an experience as never before. It’s brought literally to your doorstep, on the dot, as system generated e-mails directly to you. A very visible output of the Project Excellence, it would add to the many integrated services being made available to our members through a modern membership management system.

IESL has initiated "Project Excellence" to improve internal operations / productivity, delivers a better member experience, and use Internet to reach out to the society. The enabling software technology is already in place and business processes at the Secretariat already re-engineered. Secretariat staffs have been put through rigorous training processes. So has been training sessions held for the IESL Provincial Centres and Council members. The platform is thus set to effectively communicate with our membership, have better financial control / visibility, and make IESL and its members' relevance felt in the society. What remains is for members to make use of the system. Membership is being provided Usernames and Passwords for individual access to the system. I appeal to them to actively engage in the system. As engineers we owe it to ourselves to be savvy over and above any other professionals to get things done through such user friendly systems.
 First ever meeting between IESL and Engineers Australia (EA)

In other interesting news, I have just returned from a very satisfying visit to the IESL Australia Chapter which held its Engineering Convention comprised of an Engineering Conference on 31st May and an Annual Get Together the following day, 01st June, 2013.The positive perception about Sri Lankan engineers in Australia found substance in the many presentations which were profession based, at the conference. The large and distinguished gathering at the Annual Get Together was a reflection on the effectiveness of networking and knowledge sharing they have had. The tremendous progress achieved during so short a time since its inception could only have been achieved by extraordinary commitments from Executive Committee members of its successive sessions. I congratulate them on their achievements.

I must also thank Eng. Kamal Fernando, Chair IESL Australia Chapter for arranging the first ever meeting between IESL and Engineers Australia (EA)during my visit. The discussion with National President of Engineers Australia Dr. Marlene Kanga and her team centered on areas of much relevance to the IESL; Getting full membership of the Washington Accord, the E-Charter process of the EA and areas of other mutual interest as detailed elsewhere in this issue. Significantly the EA expressed willingness to support the professional development of the IESL members by running professional development workshops for them and to help them become Chartered in Australia. Visit here view the Photo Gallery.

The ball was set rolling for the flagship event of the IESL , the National Engineering and Technology exhibition to be held on 11th, 12th and 13th October, 2013 for the 28th consecutive year with its launch on 14th June, 2013 at the Galadari Hotel. The added significance of this year’s exhibition is that of its name being emblazoned with the country signature to ‘Techno Sri Lanka’ signifying the global outreach it has acquired through years of success and the requirement for taking technology to the provinces, where feasible, through ‘Mini Techno’ exhibitions as I had envisioned in my inaugural address.

A long time endeavor of the IESL to have an engineering heritage section at the national museum is to bear fruition with the expected opening of a section dedicated for the purpose on 26th June, 2013.Sri Lanka in particular has a great engineering tradition. Its ancient kings engaged in great engineering works that considered the best interest of the society. The preservation of such legacy and enlightening of the future generations is imperative on us as the premier body for the profession.

I also take special pride in informing that a winner of the IESL pioneered Junior Inventor of the Year (JIY) competition has yet again won a Grand Award at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), the world's largest international pre-college science competition held in the US. That it was won by a student from a school in rural setting in Sri Lanka is an indication of the country wide reach the JIY program has achieved. Page Top

Eng. Tilak De Silva, President IESL
Eng. Tilak De Silva, President IESL
Wild Apricot Logo
Wild Apricot is online membership software for associations, non-profits, clubs and subscription websites. It is a cloud-based system, so you can use it right from your web browser without installing any software! Visit Wild Apricot website
Hot to use the IESL new Membership Management System..?

What Is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is the next stage in the Internet's evolution, providing the means through which everything undefined from computing power to computing infrastructure, applications, business processes to personal collaboration undefined can be delivered to you as a service wherever and whenever you need.Learn more about Cloud Computing.
Generation of Electricity

We are now in a situation where everybody talks about electricity tariff. Therefore, it has to be addressed by our engineers, not as customers, but as responsible professionals who serve the country.  Power generation, tariff calculations and how to save this generated power would be ideal topics to be discussed by the engineering community. With that in the mind, this issue talks about generation of power at some key power plants. We may have to talk more, but we shall start with this as the first step. We sincerely hope our members will contribute to next SLEN with their innovative ideas and perceptions on how to have a better living environment with the limited resources we have to enjoy today while keeping some for future generations as well.

Digital SLEN

IESL has taken a giant step in introducing a digital newsletter for the engineering community. You have been receiving a PDF of the same SLEN we had printed before. But, this time, you will be getting a totally new glimpse of a future SLEN. As we always request, please send us your comments, critical comments and whatever proposals you wish to discuss for a better output. Remember, your voice is always respected!

Congratulations to Master Pubudu Kapuge!

We have been talking that this country is not producing engineers who can change the world. However, we had few engineers who did novel things and made the country proud. Now we have another person into that classification. IESL wishes to salute this young bright student from Mihintale who won the first award in the Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Category at the Intel Grand awards Ceremony for his ridge cutting machine.  As members of IESL, we all should be proud of this achievement and thank Eng. Jayawilal Meegoda for his voluntary contribution to JIY competition which finally brings up in this kind of grand awards for the country. 

Eng. (Dr.) Udeni P. Nawagamuwa
Editor - SLEN :
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Dr. Udeni Nawagamuwa
Eng (Dr.). Udeni P. Nawagamuwa

IESL JIY winner 2012 bags top awards at International Science and Engineering Fair 2013
Master Pubudu Kapuge, has bagged many top accolades at the 2013 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), in Phoenix, Arizona.
IESL Is Changing - FAST and FOCUSED
The winds of change blowing across IESL

The winds of change blowing across IESL are timely and much needed. In the recently completed first ever digital, global survey at IESL, 90% of the members (out of about 1000 who participated) said their IESL membership is important or very important! Yet, only about 55% said that the image of the Institution is of high standing in the society.

Ours is an institution with a collegiate culture and a legacy of more than a hundred years. While we preserve the timeless and priceless traditions of a collegiate society, sustained initiatives are required to transform IESL. Such endeavors involve; re engineering business processes / policies, operational enhancements, empowerment of the internal staff with training and tools (especially appropriate ICT tools), changes in organizational structure / personnel / culture, etc. It takes time and energy!!

We must pay our gratitude to recent past presidents, council members, and other dedicated volunteers who have been pushing for a positive change at IESL. Under the energetic leadership of current IESL President, Eng. Tilak De Silva, his able Council, a highly motivated Secretariat Staff, and increasingly active Provincial Centers, significant strides are being made collectively to make IESL the premier professional organization in Sri Lanka.

Infrastructure Changes
Many of these changes are visible, because they are physical. Some of them are:

  New canteen was opened in February 2013. This project was initiated during past President Eng. (Dr.) Ananda Ranasinghe’s tenure

IESL Head Office Image Gallery

  Modernization of the Main Auditorium with state of the art multimedia presentation tools
  Refurbished and updated lecture rooms with modern facilities
  Decisive steps taken to clean up construction debris and maintain public facilities
  Some of the prime space at IESL building premises that has been rented out in the past was released in June for members’ use, including a planned members’ lounge.
  proper lightning protection system to avoid recurring damage to ICT equipment will also be installed.

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) - the Enabler
IESL is strongly committed to enhance its services to the Membership and the Society using ICT as the Enabler. This is a strategic initiative of the current IESL President, and the IESL 's first ever Standing Committee for ICT has been tasked with driving this initiative. Some of the key enhancements to member services using ICT in the past eight months are:

  Enhanced website (www.iesl.lk) to be more user friendly and informative. This has been replaced with the new and enhanced one under Project Excellence - Phase II deliverable in July 2013.
  Reintroduced online membership fee payment facility on a secure platform, with about 2000 members using the facility in the last eight months. This service too was revamped and streamlined under Project Excellence - Phase II deliverable in July 2013.
  Established, robust process to deliver live lectures from overseas via Skype.
  Facility to capture all public lectures digitally, and make them available on You Tube.
  Live streaming (via www.livestream.com/iesl) almost all public lectures providing a much needed service to thousands of members in many parts of Sri Lanka and around the world.
  Relentless push to capture members' email and mobile phone numbers enabling effective communication about events, lectures, meeting, etc. via email and SMS.
  SLEN - IESL news letter digitally posted on the web and alert emails are being sent. IESL has limited mailing printed copies only to those who requested paper format. IESL printed 12,000 - 15,000 copies and now print only 1,000, saving more than Rs. 2 million a year. The digital version became available to members weeks ahead of the printed version due to time it takes to print and mail! A proposal has been made to the Editor and the President to print on demand at IESL premises with a quality laser printer that is now available in the market to further reduce printing costs and improve print quality!
  Document management of Council and Standing Committee activities via Drop-Box (www.dropbox.comcloud based free service.
  Introduction of Blogs on our website to enable more transparency and collaboration.
  Introduction of digital surveys that allows the head office to reach out the IESL community spread all over the world to gather critical actionable information with hardly any administrative efforts. IESL sectional committees have begun using this tool effectively:  Survey Monkey (www.surveymonkey.com) cloud based service.
IESL Project Excellence

The Council approved funding to launch Project Excellence a mission critical initiative to set the "platform" to effectively communicate with our membership, have better financial control / visibility, and make IESL and its members' relevance felt in the society.

Project Excellence Phase I to improve financial control and visibility was completed in March 2013. Management of the IESL finances of approximately Rs. 75 million per annum was streamlined by introducing Quick-Books accounting application and improved accounting procedures, followed by required staff training. The key improvements included: introducing accrual accounting for visibility of committed but unspent revenue and expenditure; better accountability and audit ability due to high visibility of transactions; segregating responsibility in procurement for better governance by requiring three way matching (PO, GRN, INV); and, online access to reports from a single source of real time information providing reliable and unambiguous financial information for management decision making. IESL's fiscal year runs from January to December, even though a Council Session is from November of the current year to October of the next year (may be its better to have the same session and fiscal periods - Council should consider.) However, as a result of cleaning up massive accounting data entry back logs and corrections by the IESL staff under the guidance of a highly qualified external team and a leader, IESL was able to get official audited 2012 financial by early July 2013. This is a significant achievement, because, in the past audited data was cleared in September/ October time frame. This year at the AGM, members should be able to see audited data for 2011, 2012, and internally audited data for 2013 up to date. IESL is planning quarterly internal audits that will make it possible to have formerly audited data for 2013 by February 2014! All this tight and transparent financial controls not only help the members but pave the way for new Council to plan the next year with accurate data. 

Project Excellence Phase II to improve internal operations / productivity aims to deliver a better member experience, and use Internet to reach out to the society. The introduction of a world class membership management software called Wild Apricot (www.wildapricot.com) was launched in July 2013. This is a product delivered via Cloud computing with no burden to IESL with hardware or software maintenance / upgrades. This secure platform will provide several benefits to members, some of which are: 
MEMBER CONNECTIVITY: ability to find and communicate with other members; first ever online directory of Chartered Engineers and few more.

MEMBER PRODUCTIVITY: ability to update member profile data online; pay membership online and receive a proper receipt via email; moving forward, the ability to see past payments online, email alerts on membership dues; online registration for events; delivery of fully digital SLEN like the one you are reading to your email box; ability to request services from the secretariat including online new applications and transfer of membership grades in a controlled manner with transparency during the process.

ENHANCED MEMBER COLLABORATION & TRANSPARENCY: members only discussion forums on many topics so that we overcome distance / time barriers to collaborate; the Council and committees posting their meeting minutes and questions to members all over the world to inform and get input through forums.

SOCIAL CONTRIBUTION: focus on society through clear information and a forum called "Ask an Engineer" where the public could post questions to which we can answer

To have all of the above and more in the future ( such as SMS alerts. Electronic voting), as members we must have personal email addresses (preferably not your designated email at office as you will change your job, place of work, but a Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc all of which are FREE-accounts that can be setup in few minutes) and maintain our profile data up to date and help the secretariat to help us. Our 2013 digital survey clearly said that more than 98.5% of our members have an email address and more than 95% of them have Internet access at home. During Phase II (Feb. - July 2013) IESL staff communicated with members all over the world in numerous ways (online registration, emails, SMS, phone calls, registered letters twice, personal visits in some cases to track very senior Fellows) to get your current data and upload them to the new system. Those of you who read this document, please inform your colleagues who do not have access to an email or have not provided such data to IESL even after numerous requests, to contact IESL Membership Department.  

When we provide right tools to all stakeholders and manage our part of the deal, the dedicated staff at IESL will be able to provide not only timely services but also timely advise and improvements! They are a hard working, smart bunch! 

All of us directly or indirectly have participated in this continuous improvement process and have taken a GIANT STEP towards the future. Each one of us can make the future better through contributions. Let us continue with positive minds (glass half full if not full) seeking
new ways to accomplish IESL missions, serve; members, engineering profession, engineering education, society, and support the Government of Sri Lanka to achieve its social goals wisely with our professional and informed support.  We will get our recognition, we need not clamor for it! Let our deliverables, actions, attitudes, and visions, speak.

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Personal Note from the Author

Eng. Arjuna Manamperi
Eng. Arjuna Manamperi

When I visited IESL head office in July, 2012 to meet the President Elect, Eng. Tilak De Silva, I was frustrated about many things at IESL and knew I was not alone. I wanted to make a strong contribution and change things for the better. Tilak in five minutes convinced me that he too shared the same sentiments and was capable of making the big changes. This was important to me as a "doer”, and our partnership has blossomed with nano wins every day. 

With the support of the Council, Standing Committees, amazingly dedicated front line staff at the Secretariat, Provincial Centre Committee Members, University Faculty Members, CodeGen and One Step we have done a lot. I am happy that I found a way to make a difference to the profession I belong to in the country where I learned the most of it...my home, my love, my motherland, Sri Lanka.

I want to tell all of you who read this - just do it. Contribute in any way you can. Use the new ICT tools that make you only a "commitment away" rather than a continent away! Do something. Our time is now, our time to give. You are among friends and familiar places. Come visit, take a break from the long journey, and wander away for few months to Sri Lanka.


engineerin student


Upper Kotmale baner
Project Overview Upper Kotmale Dam Underground Tunnel Niyamgamdora Powerhouse
Project Overview

Sustainable energy usage as much as promoting renewable clean energy may be the most feasible alternative. Experts in the field variously advocate shift towards mass transportations, energy efficient appliances, green buildings, smart meters, smart grids etc. whereby significant potential for efficiency improvements, conservation and management exists in domestic, industrial and commercial usage of electrical energy in the country. The challenge however is that a sea change in lifestyle of the citizens has to be brought about through sustained awareness creation and rekindling patriotism for it to be effectively achieved.

It’s in this regard that the publications team of the IESL embarked on interviewing key personnel of the CEB and Case Studies of infrastructure and processes for informed articles on the subject for public awareness and interaction, especially through its multimedia enabled electronic newsletter, the Digital SLEN.

The UKHP is a run of river hydropower project with an installed capacity of 150MW (consisting of two 75MW units) and It will produce 409GWh per year. It has the following components:
  A dam located close to the town of Talawakelle with a height of 35.5m and a crest length of 180m. It will have a gross storage of 2.5 MCM with an effective capacity of 0.8 MCM with a surface area of 0.25km2 (60 acres). Full supply level for the reservoir will be 1,194 metres above mean sea level (msl), the minimum operating level will be 1190m msl and the normal tail water level 703m msl.
  A headrace tunnel 4.5m/5+.2m in diameter lined and unlined and 12.89km in length, running north from the dam towards the Pundal Oya Falls before turning to the northwest towards the existing Kotmale dam and reservoir. (The maximum gross head between the reservoir and the powerhouse will be 491m).
  An upstream surge tank 12m in diameter and 98m high with a restricted opening, located on the crest of the power house.
  The penstock formed by an underground incline shaft starting with a diameter of 4.5m and reducing to 1.45m. It will be 793m in length, consisting of one lane of 745m and two lanes of 48m.
  An underground powerhouse located at Niyamgamdora, (2km upstream of the confluence of Puna Oya and Kotmale Oya) with dimensions of 66.3m L x 18.8m W x 36.5m H to house two units of 77,000kW turbines, two vertical axis three phase 88,000kVA generators, two 3-phase, transformers and a 220kV Gas Insulator Switchgear (GIS) substation.
  An outdoor switch yard, 36.5m wide and 130m long, located at Niyamgamdora, to connect the Power House to a 220kV double circuit transmission line.
  220kV double circuit transmission line of 18km length to transmit power generated to existing Kotmale Substation and the associated switch yard extensions.
Upper Kotmale before the dam construction
Location of the Upper Kotmale intake dam, before the construction.
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Scope of the Project…

According to the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers dated April 07, 2005 the Scope of the project is now limited to KOTMALA OYA only.

This will result in reduction of annual energy to 409 GWh and 12% cost reduction.

Waterfalls around the vicinity
St.Clair Waterfall
Devon Waterfall
Puna oya Waterfall
Ramboda Waterfall
St. Andrews Cascade
St.Clair is the only waterfall that will be impacted
What is Penstock

Penstocks for hydroelectric installations are normally equipped with a gate system and a surge tank. Flow is regulated by turbine operation and is nil when turbines are not in service.

Penstocks at Niyamgamdora Powerhouse, Sri Lanka.
Cross section of Penstock at Niyamgamdora Powerhouse
Upper Kotmale Project Overview
Upper Kotmale Project Overview
Upper Kotmale Dam and Reservoir
The gravity dam measures 35.5 m (116.5 ft) tall, and 180 m (591 ft) wide,[4][5] impounding the Kotmale River and creating the Upper Kotmale Reservoir. Once filled, the reservoir will have a surface area of 250,000 m2 (2,700,000 sq ft) with an average storage capacity of 800,000 m3 (28,000,000 cu. ft).[4] The minimum and maximum operating water levels are 1,190 m (3,904 ft) and 1,194 m (3,917 ft) AMSL (height Above Mean Sea Level) respectively, while the tailwater level is 703 m (2,306 ft) AMSL.[4] Water from the reservoir will be used for both irrigation development and hydroelectric power generation.
Overview of the Upper Kotmale Dam and reservoir. Headrace-tunnel-opening_Upper-Kotmale
Overview of the Upper Kotmale Dam and reservoir.
A Water inflow direction to the reservoir.
B Water inflow direction to the underground headrace tunnel
C Water release direction for St. Clare waterfall.
Headrace tunnel opening at the Upper Kotmale dam. This tunnel will take the water to the underground powerhouse at Niyamgamdoara about 13km away from the dam.
 Overview of the Upper Kotamale Hydropower Project
 History the Upper Kotmale Hydropower Project Impact on the St Clair's waterfall
 The longest underground tunnel in Sri Lanka  Water draining of the tunnel
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Scope of the Project
Upper Kotmale dam map
Location of Upper Kotmale Dam
Location Thalawakele, Sri Lanka.
Coordinates 6° 56' 44? N, 80° 39' 25? E
Dam and spillways
Type of dam Gravity dam
Height 35 m (115 ft)
Length 180 m (591 ft)
Crest width 7 m (23 ft)
Impounds Kotmale River
Spillways 5
Spillway capacity 3,000m3/s
Creates Upper Kotmale Reservoir
Capacity 800,000 m3
Surface area 250,000 m3
Underground Tunnel
The 4.5–5.2 m (14.8–17.1 ft) diameter, 12.89 km (8.0 mi) long Upper Kotmale Tunnel, the longest excavated tunnel in Sri Lanka, will be used to deliver the water to the powerhouse. The tunnel begins at the dam site, and stretches north at a distance of approximately 7.4 km (4.6 mi) towards Pundaluoya, before stretching a further 5.5 km (3.4 mi) north-west towards Kumbaloluwa and ending up at its powerhouse at the Kotmale River near Niyamgamdora, at approximately 07°02'33?N 80°39'23?E, 2 km (1.2 mi) downstream of the confluence of Pundal River and the Kotmale River.
Upper Kotmale underground tunnel map
Map of the 13km long tunnel of Upper Kotmale Hydro Power Project (UKHP). The tunnel takes water to the hydro power plant at Niyamgamdora from Talawakele. This is the longest tunnel in Sri Lanka.
upper kotmale
View Upper Kotmale Image gallery
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What is Headrace Tunnel
There are different definitions for headrace tunnel (HRT) used at different scenarios. “Headrace tunnel takes water from connecting channels and convey it to the fore bay or directly to the penstock provided with surge shaft” depending upon the project and site requirements some times also known as power tunnels. Or “A tunnel provided between De-silting chamber or Fore-bay to the Surge Shaft” or “A structure that carries water from intake to the power house for power generation”
Typical section of tunnel
cross section of the tunnel
Surge Tank
surge tank

An upstream surge tank 12m in diameter and 98m high with a restricted opening, located on the crest of the power house at Niyamgamdora.

A surge tank (or surge drum) is a standpipe or storage reservoir at the downstream end of a closed aqueduct or feeder or a dam or barrage pipe to absorb sudden rises of pressure, as well as to quickly provide extra water during a brief drop in pressure.

Niyamgamdora Powerhouse

The powerhouse measures 66.3 m (217.5 ft) long, 18.8 m (61.7 ft) wide, and 36.5 m (119.8 ft) tall, and is located underground at Niyamgamdora. It has installed electrical capacity of 150 MW from two 75 MW turbines, capable of producing up to 409 GWh of power annually. Water arrives at the powerhouse from the dam via the 12.89 km (8.0 mi) long Upper Kotmale Tunnel, which then feeds the 793 m (2,602 ft) penstock. The initial 745 m (2,444 ft) of the penstock is single-lane, while the latter 48 m (157 ft) splits into two lanes, feeding the two 75 MW generators respectively.

The powerhouse consists of the two three-phase 77 MW, 88,000 kVA vertical-axis Francis turbine-generators, two three-phase transformers, and a 220kV Gas Insulator Switchgear (GIS) substation. An outdoor switchyard measuring 36.5 m (119.8 ft) by 130 m (426.5 ft).

What is happening at the Underground Powerhouse at Niyamgamdora – Part 1 : Overview What is happening at the Underground Powerhouse at Niyamgamdora – Part 2 : Main inlet valve What is happening at the Underground Powerhouse at Niyamgamdora – Part 3 : The Francis turbine
What is happening at the Underground Powerhouse at Niyamgamdora – Part 4 : Spiral Casing,  A component of Francis turbine What is happening at the Underground Powerhouse at Niyamgamdora – Part 5 : Operation What is happening at the Underground Powerhouse at Niyamgamdora – Part 6 : How the generator works
What is happening at the Underground Powerhouse at Niyamgamdora – Part 7:  Governor What is happening at the Underground Powerhouse at Niyamgamdora – Part 8:  Voltage step up transformer What is happening at the Underground Powerhouse at Niyamgamdora – Part 9:  Cable tunnel
How water release back to the Kotmala Oya

After passing the turbines, water will be returned into the existing Kotmale reservoir via a tailrace tunnel, which is a channel that carries water away from a water wheel, turbine

The power generated will be transmitted to existing Kotmale switch yard through a 220kV double circuit line. 
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Vertical-axis Francis turbine-generators

The Francis turbine is a type of water turbine that was developed by James B. Francis in Lowell, Massachusetts. It is an inward-flow reaction turbine that combines radial and axial flow concepts.

Francis turbines are the most common water turbine in use today. They operate in a water head from 10 to 650 meters (33 to 2,133 feet) and are primarily used for electrical power production. The turbine powered generator power output generally ranges from 10 to 750 mega watts. The speed range of the turbine is from 83 to 1000 rpm.

Surge Tank

An upstream surge tank 12m in diameter and 98m high with a restricted opening, located on the crest of the power house at Niyamgamdora.

Surge tank mitigates pressure variations due to rapid changes in velocity of water.

A surge tank (or surge drum) is a standpipe or storage reservoir at the downstream end of a closed aqueduct or feeder or a dam or barrage pipe to absorb sudden rises of pressure, as well as to quickly provide extra water during a brief drop in pressure.

Movers and Shakers
Eng. Shavindranath Fernando
SLEN will have a monthly interview or two, highlighting leaders among members who are contributing to the society in any sector, public or private, anywhere in the world. The intended purpose of the section is to highlight various traits of our own movers and shakers from which we can learn. This months Mover & Shaker is Eng. Shavindranath Fernando who is IESL' s President Elect. He was selected given this month's SLEN theme - Power and Energy.
Full Name Shavindranath Fernando
Year Born 1955
Marital Status Married with two daughters
Higher Education
B.Sc. Hon.(Eng.) - University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka (1978)
M.Eng. ( Energy Technology) - Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok (1982)
Current Position Additional General Manager - Projects, Ceylon Electricity Board, Sri Lanka.
Previous key positions
Project Director - Upper Kotmale Hydro Power Project, Ceylon Electricity Board
Deputy General Manager - Generation Planning and Environment, Ceylon Electricity Board
Deputy General Manager - Thermal Complex, Ceylon Electricity Board
Significant professional achievements
Upper Kotmale Hydro Power Project - Completed overcoming many social Political and Technical Challenges.
115 MW Fiat Gas Turbine - Put into operation after contractor left without attending to vital repair/overhaul works.
Directed the Engineering Service Studies at Norochcholai amidst severe protests
Did Feasibility studies of 165 MW Combined Cycle studies at Kelanitissa and 300 MW studies at Kerawalapitiya Successfully negotiated funding for many Generation Projects.
When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going

Eng. Shavindranath Fernando talks about his current professional focus and passion for teaching, early development days, role models, handling change, leadership, and parting advise to young engineers.

Future Power & Energy demands in Sri Lanka

How to meet the future electricity demand in Sri Lanka…?
Can solar energy be used to meet the future electricity demand in Sri Lanka…?
Is coal feasible as a source to meet the future electricity demand in Sri Lanka…?
What are the policy decisions in place to meet the future electricity demand in Sri Lanka…?
How are Geo-political scenarios impacting the energy policy decisions in Sri Lanka…?
How to meet the future global energy demands..?

In this interview, Additional General Manager, CEB, Eng. Shavindranath Fernando provides answers in the areas; Policy decisions and technical decisions in place to meet future (next 25 years) power & energy demands in Sri Lanka with reference to rapid depletion ,  of fossil fuel resources, saturation of tapping of rivers for hydroelectricity, nuclear power being a non option, status of development of renewable energy resources such as solar, wind, wave, ocean currents, bio fuels....etc., future plans in place to tap the optimum use of renewable energy sources, other potential energy source (s) not mentioned above.

Geo-political reasons that influence our power and energy policy decisions and what would be the shape of a future global power and energy crisis; how long it would last in its present shape and his opinion on Nanotechnology and Super Conductors in future energy sources were also touched upon in the interview.
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Eng. Shavindranath Fernando
Eng. Shavindranath Fernando

One giant leap for mankind: Iter project

Iter project

One giant leap for mankind: £13bn Iter project makes breakthrough in the quest for nuclear fusion, a solution to climate change and an age of clean, cheap energy

The international nuclear fusion project – known as Iter, meaning “the way” in Latin – is designed to demonstrate a new kind of nuclear reactor capable of producing unlimited supplies of cheap, clean, safe and sustainable electricity from atomic fusion.

If Iter demonstrates that it is possible to build commercially-viable fusion reactors then it could become the experiment that saved the world in a century threatened by climate change and an expected three-fold increase in global energy demand.

Click here to see how the Iter Project could produce clean energy.

An excerpt of an article of Dr. Tilak Siyambalapitiya...
...The CEB project team at Norochcholai has done a tremendous job, steering the single largest power sector investment in Sri Lanka. There are five officials who led the project at close quarters at various stages, whose names must be mentioned, for they will be forgotten when the project is formally inaugurated shortly. They have gone significantly out of their way to make this power plant a reality, while others were waiting with folded arms to laugh at them if they fail. Their names will not be seen on many plaques that dot the coastline at Norochcholai.

Eng. Shavindranath Fernando is one of them.

Sewerage is Power
Sewerage is Power - Video tour of the North Head Waste Water Treatment Plant in Sydney, Australia
Eng. Prianta Kariawasam

Using latest multi media capabilities at our disposal, this article was prepared as a video journal. The two video segments were filmed using an iPhone and the narration is from Eng. Prianta Kariawasam. This was done on June 25, 2013. The video files were uploaded to a Dropbox (www.dropbox.com) account and was downloaded on the same day in Sri Lanka by the SLEN team. They were uploaded to IESL YouTube channel with little editing. The approach show cases how we can collaborate and produce these types of knowledge sharing documents overcoming physical and time barriers. What is needed is a commitment to do it.

Co-Gen : Generate electricity from sewerage

The video show cases how sewerage from Sydney metropolis area is being used to generate electricity.

Co-Gen : The video show cases how sewerage from Sydney metropolis area is being used to generate electricity. This sewerage travel many kilometers through pipes, ducts, and other facilities to arrive at the North Head Waste Water Treatment Plant. The process described in the video starts with Sedimentations tanks where sludge @ 1-2% TSR (total solid residue or density) is collected and pumped to thickeners- thickened to 6% TSR and fed to digesters where they sit for about 25 days, getting eaten by bugs (to reduce TSR to 2-3%) and generates methane gas. This methane gas is the fuel driving the Co-Generation unit producing 2MW of electricity. Last few minutes of the video show cases a computer screen depicting SCADA control system that is used by one or two engineers to manage the whole process which runs 24x7x365 days. Man power usage is minimal at this massive plant.

Mini Hydro

The video show cases the second green stream which is the Mini Hydro which generates electricity using the 60m head when it falls from the sediment tank level to sea level. This generates 1.5 MW. Last few minutes of the video show cases a computer screen depicting SCADA control system.

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About the Author

 Eng. Prianta Kariawasam

Eng. Prianta Kariawasam graduated as a Mechanical Engineer from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka in 1981. Before migrating to Australia! he worked at the Ceylon Electricity Board.

Currently he is the Production Officer (Level D)  at North Head Waste Water Treatment Plant, at Manly situated on the north head of the Sydney Harbour. This is his eighteenth year at the plant. He functions as the operations team leader and manages day to day operations, carry out plant improvement projects, write project briefs for major projects, maintain the Integrated SCADA Management System.

North Head Wastewater Treatment Plant in Sydney, Australia
North Head Wastewater Treatment Plant
What is SCADA
SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) is a type of industrial control system (ICS). Industrial control systems are computer controlled systems that monitor and control industrial processes that exist in the physical world. Read more
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