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Draft Tube Replacement

Owner: Public Service of New Hampshire
Location: Gorham, NH

Gorham Hydro Station


Due to old age, the draft tubes of these two 600 kilowatt units had been “missing in action” for several years. Joint venturing with a dive company and a fabricator, Fairbanks Mill, Inc. came up with an elegant solution to replace these draft tubes “in the wet” in order to avoid coffer damming the main stem of the Androscoggin River. The draft tubes were fabricated with a removable steel plate sandwiched between two flanges. This allowed the tubes to be floated up the tailrace, raised into position (by adding compressed air to increase buoyancy), and welded into place (with the welders standing on the steel plate). Additionally, steel pipe legs were anchored to the tailpit floor and welded in place to provide additional support. With the draft tubes in place, the output for each unit increased 150 kilowatts.

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