Ovivo tasks SC Innovation with testing water filtration components for Hinkley Point ‘C’


SC Innovation, the design and engineering arm of Devon based SC Group, has completed structural tests on key water filtration components for Ovivo UK, which is supplying the cooling water intake screening system for Hinkley Point ‘C’.

The tests, which were conducted in January at SC Innovation’s Dunkeswell facility and witnessed by representatives from Ovivo UK, assessed the structural strength of the proposed mesh panels to be used for the Drum Screen. This is a key part of the cooling water intake screening system, which will be used to cool both the electricity generating steam-cycle and the nuclear reactor services of the new nuclear power plant.

The 1m x 1.5m mesh panels will be fitted to four 27m diameter drums, which complete a full rotation every 35 minutes. Water enters from the side and flows through the panels radially from the inside to the outside, filtering through the mesh. The debris collected in the mesh is then cleaned using jets of water and a hopper.

The tests examined potential deformation by applying pressure cycles to the mesh to determine whether the mesh would withstand service at its maximum design pressure. Three different meshes were successfully tested at various pressure increments to a maximum of 3.5 times the mesh design pressure, without a single failure. Linear Variable Displacement Transducers (LVDT’s) continuously captured displacement measurements at various positions on the mesh whilst also recording pressure and temperature measurements. The data captured was recorded and analysed using state of the art data acquisition software configured for this test by SC Innovation.

SC Innovation won the project from Ovivo UK based on the comprehensive engineering capabilities available across SC Group and its agility, original thinking and rigorous approach to planning, testing and reporting. Joe Wilcox, Head of SC Innovation, commented, “This project fits within one of our core competencies; delivering engineering projects demanding high levels of compliance with strict regulatory and technical standards. We worked closely with Ovivo UK to complete the project successfully, matching our capabilities to their requirements along the way and positioning ourselves to pursue further opportunities in the nuclear sector in new build, existing generation and decommissioning”.

Ovivo UK have been awarded the contract to supply Nuclear New Build (NNB) / Électricité de France S.A. (EDF; Electricity of France) with the water inlet system for the Hinkley Point ‘C’ (HPC) Nuclear Power Station, which will be one of the largest filtration systems in the world when installed.  As part of the Contract Ovivo are required to test the filtration mesh panel system to demonstrate that it can achieve the required performance parameters based on the various load conditions that the equipment will be expected to encounter during its working life.

Ovivo are currently working with the HPC Supply Chain Support Team at the Somerset Energy Innovation Centre in Bridgwater to identify and engage local fabrication companies and test houses. Having undertaken an extensive review of the local test houses Ovivo have engaged SC Innovation, who are based in Dunkeswell, Devon, to undertake the testing programme for the mesh panels.

SC Innovation’s experience coupled with their high standards and professional approach has resulted in the successful testing of the filtration mesh panels, which in turn has allowed Ovivo to complete a significant design milestone”, said Sid Jones, Supply Chain Manager, Ovivo UK.

SC Innovation is F4N (Fit for Nuclear) accredited and the project is its second for Hinkley Point C, following on from providing Engineering Design and Project Management Support to Blackhill Engineering, also part of SC Group, in delivering heavy steel structures for the temporary jetty at the Hinkley Point C site near Bridgwater.

SC Innovation’s engineering capabilities are in mechanical and electrical engineering, structural analysis, structural optimisation, fluid structural simulation and test and validation, including full system prototype build.  The business has an established production capability carrying out low rate, high quality builds. Together with the in-house project management team these capabilities have combined to deliver projects for energy and marine customers, often in partnership with academic and industrial partners.

Hinkley Point C is the first nuclear power plant to be built in the UK for decades and is one of Europe’s biggest construction sites. The project will create 25,000 job opportunities and aims to create 1,000 apprenticeships during construction.



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