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1. TECHNICAL BASICS OF SMALL HYDROPOWER 1.1 Description of SHP 1.2 Specific Characteristics of SHP plants 1.3 Low head and high head plants

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2. ENVIRONMENTAL SOLUTIONS 2.1 Reserved flow 2.2 Fish By-Pass systems 2.3 Trash rack material management 2.4 Multipurpose plants 2.5 Design 2.6 Noise and vibrations 2.7 Fish-friendly turbines

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SOME EXAMPLES ON ENVIRONMENTAL INTEGRATION OF SMALL HYDROPOWER PLANTS Case study Case study Case study Case study Case study Case study Case study 1 - Backbarrow, UK 2 - Dorfmühle, Austria 3 - Wathultström, Sweden 4 - Kavarskas, Lithuania 5 - Saviore Dell’Adamello, Italy 6 - Tedelec, France 7 - Troistorrents, Switzerland

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security of energy supply).The identification of these impacts and the measures to minimise and compensate for them is the main idea and intention of the brochure. aiming at an overall protection of water. The Rio conference in 1992. On a local level there are of course some impacts. which can be quite clearly defined. So-called multi-purpose plants may combine drinking water or waste water systems with the environmental impact of SHP use thus being considerably reduced. Unfortunately during recent decades many rivers have been modified for several reasons other than hydropower such us flood control. the European White Paper “Energy for the future: renewable sources of energy” and finally the “Directive/77/EC of the European Parliament and of the European Council of 27 September 2001 on the promotion of electricity produced from renewable energy sources in the internal electricity market” set clear community targets. The Kyoto protocol in 1997. leading to a European environmental awareness. There are some contradictions between the “Renewable Electricity Directive” and the “Water Framework Directive”. .Source : Ademe INTRODUCTION limate change due to CO2 emissions has been defined as the major environmental challenge to be faced nowadays by the International Community.the same view can be taken on a regional level (local development and employment). One GWh of electricity produced by Small Hydropower (SHP) means a reduction of CO2 emissions by 480 tonnes. C Introduction 3 . In a couple of cases SHP development can be combined with existing buildings or structures. together all these documents show impressively the political intention. On a global level there is no doubt about the benefits of converting energy by SHP plants (climate change mitigation. Additionally the public awareness on environmental topics has improved significantly. One of the latest manifestations of this awareness is the European Water Framework Directive. Specifically these contradictions can be seen as the main reason for producing the “Brochure on environmental integration of small hydropower plants”. agriculture etc. being the basis of life. The key is the use of existing artificial waterways.

At the point of concentration the powerhouse is situated. 1995 Head is defined as the difference in elevation between two particular cross sections of the river. Both facts are necessary .TECHNIC AL BA S I CS O F S M A L L H YD R O P O W E R 1. TECHNICAL BASICS OF SMALL HYDROPOWER 1. The energy to be utilised is based on two input facts: discharge in m3/s and head in m. The output of a hydropower plant is given in terms of power [kW] and electricity production [kWh].the product indicates the power output of the hydropower station. Making a head useful for hydropower -use needs a concentration by means of hydropower impoundment. clean renewable energy source in Europe.1 DESCRIPTION OF SHP H ydropower is the most traditional and most important. which means rivers of any site can be used. The “fuel” of hydropower is running water. whilst keeping the water available for any other purpose. The conversion of the energy potential of the river into electricity requires a turbine (potential and kinetic energy into mechanical energy) [rotation] and a generator [rotation into electrical energy]. The result can be calculated as follows: 4 . diversion or tail water lowering. Beginning of the water right Water chamber Water intake : dam with fish ladder Penstock Electrical grid Command Control Power station Residual flow Turbine and generator © OFCL.

Usually a Hydropower station runs at full load for roughly three months.8 P = electrical power output Q = rated discharge H = net head Electricity production . Nevertheless a European limitation has been set at 10 MW.2 SPECIFIC CHARACTERISTICS OF SHP PLANTS T he principle of hydropower use does not vary between SHP plants and big stations. A great number of them have been abandoned for short term economic reasons. The length of the backwater areas is limited. Consequently the “typical” SHP has a size of some 50 . which has been incorporated in a number applied by a couple of legal acts in different European countries. Technical basics of small hydropower 5 . Due to typical economies of scale SHP plants are usually more expensive than big stations. A direct physical and operational approach eases the all over handling of a SHP . which allow the shifting of the discharge along time axis. Although the limit of SHP has been set at 10 MW. 1.P (kW) = Q (m 3/s) x H (m) x η tot x 9. Either they have been built within urban structures or absolutely remotely high up in mountainous regions.the thing we pay for .is power during a certain time period. though thousands of them are still operating in their original form and many of them have been upgraded and refurbished. In the past many SHP plants have been erected directly coupled with industrial production plants like mills. Some instrumentation. producing much more energy than they had done in the beginning. Due to size any alteration of bedload regime is almost negligible. The rest of the year according to the lesser discharge the station is operated at part load.500 kW. Most of the SHPs are run-of-river least up to a size of 1 MW. The discharge varies due to the natural flow regime. The annual electricity production of a hydropower (HP) station is approximately calculated as ηtot = total efficiency (ηturbine x ηgenerator x ηspeed increaser x ηtrafo) E (kWh) = P (kW) x 4500 (h) The head of a HP station is mainly determined by geographical and topographical parameters. which do not alter the natural flow regime.81 and approximately Q x H x 7. control and monitoring systems have no size dependency. The impoundment caused by SHP is in most cases rather low. A SHP plant is not to be seen as simply a downscaled version of a large HP plant In general SHP plants can be much more individual in their design and construction due to smaller risk and smaller dimensions. There are only a few plants with storage facilities. SHP is located wherever a small or medium watercourse with some head is available. Additionally there are some more or less pragmatic differences to be seen: The great majority of SHP plants are privately owned . the distribution of size follows a typical curve: the number of plants is in inverse proportion to the size of the plant.

Each singular result within the great variety of formulas can only supply a value to be used as a reference for regulatory purposes.TEC H NI C A L BA SI C S OF S MALL HYDROPOWER AND E N V I R O N M E N TA L S O LU T I O N S 1.1 Methods based on hydrologic or statistic values Within these methods.km2 (in cases of abundance of fish). The values calculated can vary from 33 to 100 % of MNQ. 2. the latter one in case of high economic importance of fishery. These methods are easily applicable presuming there is good basic data. 2.1.km2 of catchment area. ENVIRONMENTAL 2. There are dozens of formulas for the calculation of reserved flow and their numbers tend to increase day by day. In this group there are a wide variety of methods: from a reserved flow equal to 20% of Q300 (flow rate exceeding 300 days of duration) to incredibly complex interpolating formulas. The formulas available can be divided into four groups: 2. a first subgroup refers to the average flow rate (MQ) of the river at a given cross section. A third subgroup of methods refers to the prefixed values on the Flow Duration Curve (FDC). High head plants are usually located in alpine regions on smaller streams and low head plants are located on bigger rivers in semi-alpine and lowland regions.2 Methods based on physiographic principles They basically refer to a prefixed specific flow rate expressed as l/s.6 to 9 or more l/s.1. In principle high head plants need some pressure pipe and particular intake structures. Low head plants are often characterised by weirs and open water channels.3 LOW HEAD AND HIGH HEAD PLANTS D ischarge and head are the design parameters of Hydropower. The objectives of assuring a minimum flow downstream of hydroelectric installations or other water abstractions are fairly clear. These methods give values between 5 and 60 % of MQ. 6 …ALL DEFINITIONS OF RESERVED OR MINIMUM FLOW PLACE . Values can vary from 1. However no hydraulic parameters are considered and neither the effect of tributaries nor the length of the diversion reach is taken into account.1 RESERVED FLOW SOLUTIONS A ll definitions of reserved or minimum flow place emphasis on the protection of the natural life in the river. Sometimes it is useful to introduce the auxiliary concept of “providing reserved flow” corresponding to the artificially regulated flow rate at a certain time and in a certain cross section to guarantee a required amount of water in a different cross section of the same river. A second subgroup of methods refers to the minimum mean flow (MNQ) in the river. To gain the same power output one might either have a reasonable head and little discharge (high head plant) or the other way around (low head plant). In the case of low head the powerhouse is located either at the weir (river type) or between the headwater and the tailwater channels (diversion type). This demonstrates that no good universally valid solution for reserved flow determination exists at the moment and probably never will exist.

2. Methods are expensive in data collection and mathematical computing and are suitable only for particular types of rivers. ecological.3 Formulas based on velocity and depth of water Also in this group of methods there is a wide range of variation: one says water velocity in case of reserved flow may not fall below a prefixed threshold value of 0. the design of a fish-bypass is a very specific and singular exercise requiring the consideration of a wide range of parameters and restrictions. Environmental solutions Source : IT Power In general techniques to facilitate the passage of fish may be divided as follows: Systems at the barrier / weir Systems bypassing the barrier / weir Systems bypassing the power station (in case of diversion) It must not be forgotten.4 Methods based on multi-objective planning taking into consideration ecological parameters These methods are generally very complex in their application and require considerable expertise in doing so. the multiplicity of morphological structures. However the biocenotic classification of the project site is an unavoidable necessity in deciding the type and the construction details of the bypass-system.1. they have become a typical focus of environmental interest. A badly designed bypass has no function at all. only the spending of money for nothing.5 m/s and the minimum depth of water must be greater than a prefixed value of 10 cm. diversion concepts. They require site-specific flow observations and take into account hydrological. Although fish passes were invented some decades ago for the quite different economic reasons of fisheries. Biologists have identified the impacts on river continuity by weirs.24 cm water depth and so on. hydraulic. Another suggests 1.2 . The great advantage of these formulas is that the shape of the profile is included in the calculation and there is no need for hydrological data. The following sketch indicates the critical points: Fish by-pass using bio-acustic fish fence EMPHASIS ON THE PROTECTION OF THE NATURAL LIFE IN THE RIVER 7 . measures of flood control and river regulation as severe and lasting.4 m/s and 12 .2 FISH BY-PASS SYSTEMS S ome special characteristics of river systems are the great variety of aquatic biocenosis. embracing both ecological and economic parameters. 2. that the over all function does not only depend on the system itself but also on the adjoining sections in the headwater and tailwater areas. Even more than the system and construction of a hydro power plant.1. Nevertheless diversion length and tributaries are not considered. and meteorological data. The last mentioned aspect is significant from the limnological point of view and is reflected in the theory of the spatial and temporal continuity of rivers. The individual solutions will necessarily fit into one of the following groups: FISH LADDER (dividing up total head into low passable steps between small basins) FISH BYPASS SYSTEMS (imitating the morphology as well as the hydraulics of small water courses) FISH LIFT 2.2.3-0. the dynamics and the exchange processes with neighbouring areas. Their transferability is doubtful.

diversion reach (residual flow . OUTLET no danger of sedimentation or silting up near the scour reachable even at low water easy to find due to line of max. the fishway the intake The following checklist contains the well-known design criteria. MATERIAL 6. flow variable flow velocities continuous line of maximum velocity acceptable maximum velocities acceptable minimum depths no turbulences no circular flow acceptable height of small ramps no fan out of water running up sections submerged weir conditions areas to hide adequate shading natural bedload natural light difficult access to man 3. INTAKE 5. space available) 3. velocity) Any bypass system consists of the following sections: the outlet the passage the basins. weir (head) 5.hydraulic problems in velocity and depth) 4. power house (head. mouth of the tailrace channel (attraction flow) 2. PASSAGE adequate depth adequate width adequate length resting basins no aeration at overflow sections acceptable height of drops no danger of damage to fish adjustable discharge unselective passability protection against flood protection against floating matter protection against too much bedload morphological adequacy physical resistance 4. BASINS 2.E NV I R O NM E NTA L SO LU TIO NS Critical aera Power station Head race channel Tail race channel River Back water Diversion reach River 2 5 4 3 1 Whereas 1. DESIGN CRITERIA / FEATURES 1. back water area (attraction flow. INDIVIDUAL FEATURES 8 THE DESIGN OF A FISH-BYPASS IS A VERY SPECIFIC EXERCISE REQUIRING THE .

Austria ��� ��� ��� Q by pass in l/s 2.3 TRASH RACK MATERIAL MANAGEMENT ��� ��� ��� ��� ��� ��� � � �� �� MQ in m3/s A �� �� ��� lmost all modern small hydroelectric plants have a trash rack cleaning machine. The permitted flow may simulate the natural discharge variability. branches and all the kind of things that man and nature throw into the water) are removed from the river. bottles. Environmental solutions Source : Boku Vertical Slot Fish.(e. Experiences with a couple of sites have indicated that as with the discussions about residual flow there is a dependency between the hydrological characteristics and the necessary operating flow. is removed from the water. In many countries when something. Up to now. This tolerance should be used to meet different hydrobiological as well as economic goals. Erlauf River. as well as leaves.g. One must not forget the public interest in removing anthropogenic waste from the water. SHP operators are providing that service for free. During some periods of rather low migration requirements the discharge and thus the quantitative capacity can be reduced.As said before there is a close connection between discharge and construction due to hydraulics and a range of tolerance between a minimum and maximum acceptable discharge. The following graph illustrates this approximation in absolute values. Austria CONSIDERATION OF A WIDE RANGE OF PARAMETERS… 9 .Way at the Prollingbach river. by reducing the waste disposal fees or allowing for different treatment between organic and non-organic material). Considering the size of the river the values vary between 1 % and 6 % of mean flow (MQ). cans. Good design and operation management within the limits may also cause a reduction of loss of energy production. This undoubtedly represents a positive impact of small hydroelectric plants which should be duly taken into account and suitable support measures should be undertaken to reduce the economic burdens on small hydroelectric plant operators in this area. Source : Boku Natural like bypass channel. carried out by SHPoperators. Each year tons of material (mainly plastic bags. which removes material from the water to avoid it entering plant waterways and damaging electro-mechanical equipment or reducing hydraulic performance. it becomes automatically waste material which must be properly disposed of with the very high costs of waste disposal. including organic material.

4.6 Waste water treatment plant There are at least two places within a waste water treatment plant to insert a hydropower installation . the creation of adjoining environmental areas is often put into effect. Source : Studio Frosio 2. La Zour drinking-water power plant (474 kw) 2. Source : MHyLab 2.above the plant and below the plant. especially in plains where dozens of low head plants exploit the water resource both for irrigation and energy production purposes.4 MULTIPURPOSE PLANTS 2.1 Drinking water supply systems In recent decades many small hydropower plants have been carried out in drinking water systems. where instead of pressure reducing devices small or micro turbines have been installed to exploit head otherwise dissipated.4.2 Irrigation channels A lot of small hydropower plants have been erected and are still being realised in irrigation networks or channels.E NV I R O NM E NTA L SO LU TIO NS 2. Nevertheless they undoubtedly contribute to making the small hydropower plant more easily acceptable from the environmental point of view. 2.3 Recreation purposes In some pondage plants the water level in the basin has to be kept higher than a prefixed level to allow angling or other recreation activities. Italy IN RECENT DECADES MANY SMALL HYDROPOWER PLANTS HAVE BEEN CARRIED OUT IN DRINKING WATER SYSTEMS. In this case an important multipurpose use of water has been achieved and it is worth taking into due consideration. In cases of larger treatment plants the head available downstream between the treatment and the river may be used. although the available volume of storage in small hydropower plants is usually very small compared to the demands of flood protection. For example in alpine regions sometimes there is a central treatment plant down in the valley where the waste water is collected from smaller villages high up in the mountains. pumping stations) 2. A pre-treatment (e.4. These areas are different from site to site and it is hard to generalise on how to set them up. so that only part of the water volume available can be stored for hydroelectric purposes.g. especially in mountain areas. Rino Small Hydropower Plant. ESPECIALLY IN MOUNTAIN AREAS 10 .5 Creation of adjoining environmental areas As a mitigation measure to be taken in a small hydropower plant realisation. Another way to achieve flood protection is the use of the basin to store part of the water volume during floods. The head in such cases is reasonable. No additional cleaning procedures are necessary.4. supplying energy to the grid or to match electricity demand directly for irrigation (e.4.g.4 Flood protection In many small hydropower plants the river banks near to the diversion works must be rearranged and raised above their normal level. Such action results in an increase of the water level and consequently of the flow rate which the river can convey during floods.4. trashrack) before entering the pressure pipe is necessary.

The measures in detail and the material used depend mainly on the local character of the river and the availability of the material. Experience shows that these artificial water bodies may become very attractive habitats. The headrace channel has to reach two main targets: minimal friction loss. In principle the so-called roughness (biologically valuable) can be increased by methods of structuring.5. All of them are in fact the result of enlargement of the cross section. the development of islands can be initiated and the depth can be actively reduced and made variable. Italy The filling up of a backwater area is a natural process.1 BACKWATER AREAS Any kind of hydropower exploitation needs even a short diversion of water and therefore at least some small impoundment by weirs.2 HEADRACE CHANNEL In cases of longer diversions consideration must be given to the design of artificial water bodies like channels. no loss of discharge. In practice the variable height of a weir should be minimised while still meeting the targets of flood protection. Where the impounded river reach is in a more or less natural condition. The maximum flow velocity should not exceed 1 m/s. Making the new banks less steep will reduce the need for heavy stabilisation measures. it is recommended to evaluate the situation. The longer and the deeper it is.1. The height of the weir is directly related to the length respective to the depth of the backwater area. the sedimentation of fine material will decrease. to define deficits and possibly to re-allocate at least parts of the existing bank. Prevalle.1. On achieving equilibrium the natural transport process will recommence automatically. Additionally the use of bioengineering methods will improve the habitat potential as well as providing shade for the water body. any measure to reduce the cross-section will be seen as an improvement. Despite these restrictions conventional methods of river rehabilitation can be applied. By reducing the depth and indirectly increasing the flow velocity. 2. lasting a certain period of time depending on the bedload transport characteristics of the river.1 Open waterways and river restructuring 2.5. Headrace Channel. the flow velocity must be decreased by increasing the total area of cross-section. Especially in the case of conventionally regulated rivers the banks are strongly fixed with stone material at a slope of 1:2 and the riverbed has a constant width.2. shallow water areas can be provided.5 DESIGN 2. variable width and the application of bioengineering methods of stabilisation with the additional advantage of providing shade and habitat potential. thus replacing a lack of habitat in the main water course. The increase of the water level allows the design of a completely new structural set up for the bank implementing ecological demands like variable slope. The structure of the banks can be made nature-like. In backwater areas there may occur some alteration of natural habitat conditions in terms of : Flow velocity Sedimentation Width of the riverbed Depth of the riverbed In fact the impoundment of a river reach sometimes offers an absolutely new approach in terms of river restructuring. Environmental solutions 11 Source : Studio Frosio . Even the lining need not necessarily be straight but may follow some morphological “input” provided by the surrounding landscape. From the ecological point of view. Apart from the banks any restructuring measures should focus on minimising any alteration of the conditions mentioned above. the bigger the alteration of habitat. To avoid any increase of friction loss.5.

5. Usually the shaping is more natural where the method of construction has provided a simple earth channel without any additional measures. Generally the cross sections are made larger and the velocity is much lower than in the headrace. The principles of maximum roughness. However to avoid problems connected with steel pipe corrosion. The more effective strategy is to improve morphology by all the river rehabilitation methods which we have discussed. 2.1. the ambient temperatures and the environmental requirements. with eddy currents in the ground and to reduce maintenance.Source : Studio Frosio E NV I R O NM E NTA L SO LU TIO NS The following graph illustrates the relation between morphology and residual flow necessary in principle. the use of plastic pipes (glass reinforced plastic or HDPE) is advisable. depending on factors such as the nature of the ground itself.1. Pipe and coating technologies have reached a very good reliability level. where in a particular river reach the flow is reduced significantly. Interred penstocks should be generally preferred to exposed ones. On the contrary if the amount of residual flow is rather high and the duration is short. Naturally the impact of diversion is rather high.2 Penstocks Penstocks can be installed over or under the ground. The following measures help to reduce the environmental impact of penstocks: PENSTOCK INTERMENT. Penstock interment should take place whenever possible. Italy 2. though the cross-section remains similar to that of a natural stream. Especially in rivers with a conventional flow pattern the width of the riverbed is extremely large and no amount of residual flow will be sufficient to fulfil the ecological demands. the impact may become almost negligible Usually governmental interests concentrate on the amount of residual flow. the penstock material.3 TAILRACE CHANNEL In tailrace channels the remaining conditions concern the minimisation of friction loss.5. Nevertheless the burying of penstocks could have major geological risks connected with the stability of steep slopes traversed by pipes. Esenta. both during construction and operation. emphasis must be laid on the morphology of this reach.4 DIVERSION REACH In a case of diversion. 0 20 % 40 % 60 % 80 % 100 % Riverbed morphology Summing up we see three parameters being decisive for the evaluation of a diversion reach: The amount of residual flow The structure of the riverbed The duration of diversion 2. In fact during operation water leakage from an interred penstock could trigger landslides much more easily than an exposed one. 600 % 500 % Need of environmental flow 400 % 300 % 200 % 100 % Tailrace channel. when the reduction in flow is big and the duration of the reduced discharge lasts for many months. 12 . so that an interred penstock requires practically no maintenance for decades and on the other hand the result for the environment and especially for the landscape is excellent. because of the smaller visual impact and possible movement barriers for animals. highest possible and the use of bioengineering methods can be applied more easily.5.

That means that the penstock is not covered with concrete at the anchoring blocks but is connected to them by steel beams. Small hydro power plants undoubtedly belong to the category of the useful.6 NOISE AND VIBRATIONS A 2. from the speed increasers. But making a power station recognizable doesn’t mean that it has to conflict with the environment.UNCOVERED ANCHORING BLOCKS The impact of an exposed outdoor penstock can be further reduced if the uncovered solution for anchoring blocks is adopted. ancillaries .5. almost imperceptible from outside. But what do these buildings have in common to make them recognizable as power stations? t the outset it must be said. So the task of the designer is to make it recognizable using all the characterizing elements. sound insulating blankets over the turbine casing.hydroelectric unit. to levels in the order of 70 dB. the nation. They have in common all the formal elements that characterize their function. Only within this culture can architecture express itself within the terms of the technological features that become the recognition elements belonging to a category that is beautiful because it is useful. In general. Source : Studio Frosio An uncovered anchoring block at 600 mm-diameter penstock without expansion joints 2. emission and consequently this guide will refer to that.allows the achievement of excellent levels of noise reduction.3 Powerhouses A power station is beautiful if it is able to give as much information as possible. if necessary. For new plants an integrated and careful design of the whole system . trash conveyor. also in the case of an intrinsically high level of noise sources: very small tolerances in gear manufacturing. transformer. the allowable level of noise depends on the local population or isolated houses near to the powerhouse. building. PENSTOCKS WITHOUT EXPANSION JOINTS Where a penstock cannot be interred for some reason. The sources of noise from a small hydroelectric plant may be numerous: trash rack cleaner. turbine. construction without expansion joints is preferable because it doesn’t require any maintenance or any associated access tracks or roads to the penstock with the consequent reduction of environmental impact. gearbox. Therefore it is necessary to raise awareness among the local communities about the highly positive value of such a plant for the local community. acoustic insulation of the building could make the attained level of noise very low and the presence of the plant unperceivable. that noise is not a speciality of SHP Nevertheless a SHP may be the source of some noise . Environmental solutions 13 . but noise comes mainly from the hydroelectric unit and. generator. water cooling instead of air cooling of the generator and a careful design of ancillary components. Nowadays noise inside the powerhouse can be reduced. their positive effect on the environment is assured and their contribution to a sustainable development is essential. This solution reduces the visual impact and allows for the inspection of the whole pipe resulting in higher construction and operation reliability. and the environment. when used.

Low speeds between 20-80 rpm will require a speed increaser but reduce maintenance and repair work.E NV I R O NM E NTA L SO LU TIO NS Noise and vibration reduction in existing plants which have to be adapted to new lower noise levels is much more difficult and expensive. especially for big hydro facilities. speed. 2. They are significantly cheaper than turbines and reliable and robust in operation. while new concepts of turbines and revitalisation of old concepts (hydrodynamic screws.the installation of conventional turbines may not be recommended due to unacceptably high cost. In the last few years a well known technology has been applied for hydropower use. For many years. have been carrying out on studies based on CFD (computational fluid dynamics) and good results have already been achieved. allowing better integration into and preservation of the river life. Especially in periods of intensive fish movement along the river.7 Fish-friendly turbines T he installation of turbines in a river system may in certain circumstances endanger fish. alternatives to conventional turbines should be checked out. A most recent field of application for an archimedic screw may be related to using residual flow. variation of pressure) a certain percentage of fish may not survive passing through the turbine. Heads between 1 and 3 m at any discharge or low discharge up to mean head are typical cases which are not economical for turbines up to now. They don’t need a fine trash rack and are said to be fish friendly. Small hydroelectric plants also can take advantage of this research effort for conventional turbines (Francis and Kaplan turbines). Scientific research work has been carried out at big hydropower stations and yielded certain results. and replacements not made simply on a historical basis regardless of recent developments. Thus the loss of production can be reduced using at least the head available at the weir. In some cases . In this case the measures to be taken are expensive and in general not as effective as for new plants and require to be taken as close as possible to the source because reflection and resonance phenomena otherwise become unbearable. turbine manufacturers. etc) may cause some reduction but they are still not effective enough to completely keep fish away from passing the trashrack and getting into the turbine. The archimedic screw has been inverted and serves now as a mature technology in some SHP niche markets. For a couple of reasons (mechanical. noise. water wheels) are typical of micro and mini hydro plants. fish may get into the turbine. Noise reduction technology 14 . Different types of equipment (light. In the case of SHP there is almost no serious investigation on this topic. to minimize fish injury. A typical solution is shown in the pictures where a complete encapsulation of the hydroelectric unit was necessary to reduce noise to acceptable levels.especially low head / extreme low head . The classical water wheel can be built traditionally from wood or recently more commonly from steel. Due to low speed belts or gears are needed to increase the speed. Unfortunately even the price for water wheels is sometimes very case of ultra-low-head. The span of application ranges up to a 10 m head and a 5 m3/s discharge for a single screw with a diameter of about 3.5 m. Summing up . Nevertheless further efforts must be made to reduce the endangering of fish by using alternatives to usual turbines wherever applicable. Consequently research is being carried out to find more economical turbine solutions. Precise manufacturing and the best possible bearings will result in efficiencies of up to some 70 %. Trashracks with a narrow bardistance of some 2 cm may avoid a high percentage of fish coming into the turbine. According to recent trials maximum efficiency will reach values of 75 to 80 %.

specific requirements regarding visual impact and fisheries protection were incorporated into the design. which meant that both English Heritage and the Industrial Heritage section of the Lake District Planning Board were consulted during the planning process. Due to the location.33m3/s per turbine Year of commissioning: 2000 Description of the system The Backbarrow site is located 3km downstream of Lake Windermere in the Lake District National Park. Cumbria. Lake District National Park. The site upon which the scheme is built has historically been used to harness hydropower. the downstream channel was made to meander and large boulders were added to create eddies and pools that would contribute to a more ecologically friendly environment. Direct coupled 500rpm generators were used to avoid the need for speed-increasing systems and their associated maintenance and costs. an innovative electrical barrier which deters migrating fish from attempting to swim up the draft tubes. UK Installed capacity (kW): 400 Turbine: x Ø750mm inclined propeller type. Additionally. A Bio-Acoustic Fish Fence (BAFF) was built into the existing forebay to guide approaching fish into a bywash. The building was ‘dressed’ in local materials used for similar existing structures. operated by a gate valve. The turbine draft tubes were positioned so that the exit flow would provide an attraction flow for upstream migrating fish. Power output is controlled by a head level sensing system. With this arrangement. Directly upstream of the turbine intakes. Prior to this installation. Some excavation was needed for the powerhouse and tailrace. The draft tube exits are shielded by Electroscreens©. This controls the operation of T1 to fine-tune the system so that the headwater always remains above a certain minimum level.8m Design flow: 3. part of this site was a Scheduled Ancient Monument. 510rpm Average available head: 4. drawing them towards the fish-pass. fisheries issues and historical value. The turbines are shut down by butterfly valves at each inlet. Source : IT Power Powerhouse dressed in local material C ASE S T U DY 1 BACKBARROW. The design uses 3 inclined propeller turbines: one semi-Kaplan (adjustable runner blades) and two unregulated machines. An eel guide and escape sluice were also incorporated into the forebay. Examples 15 . a great deal of consideration was given to the environmental design of the new scheme. The river also provides considerable revenue generation through salmon fishing. Through consultation with parties mentioned above and the Environment Agency. Furthermore. there was a grid-connected 65kW Gilkes horizontal Francis turbine. The scheme utilises water from the River Leven and is in a scenic and therefore sensitive location. three Trashclean© racks were installed each having its own cleaning rake. The site has a history of high levels of weed and other debris. The powerhouse was located below river-bank level so as to be invisible from upstream.SOME EXAMPLES ON ENVIRONMENTAL INTEGRATION OF SMALL HYDROPOWER PLANTS Environmental measures The existing works provided the basis of the new scheme. the regulated turbine T1 runs continuously and T2 and T3 run when there is sufficient flow. UK Country: UK Location: Backbarrow. so ensuring that fish could bypass the turbines.

SWEDEN Country: Sweden Name of the plant: Wathultström Installed capacity (kW): 190 Head (m): 10 Discharge (m3/s): 2. Description of the system Run-of-river Low head Turbines: 2 Kaplan .E X A M P LE S C A S E S T U DY 3 WATHULTSTRÖM. A very good solution is to integrate the limewashing with a SHP plant.7 Energy production (kWh/y): 500. In the case of Wathultström the limestone is injected in the draft tube in relation to the actual discharge. To combat this.000 River name: Kilan Year of erection: 1919 Description of the system No Diversion Semistorage Low head Intake at the dam Two Francis Turbines Environmental measures C ASE STUDY 2 DORFMÜHLE.1 km2 Natural bypass channel Recreation area in the backwater Noise reduction measures Architecture: Alucupon façade Source: SERO 16 .S Bulb Turbines Environmental measures Back water area: 0.3 Discharge (m3/s): 43 Energy production (GWh/y): 12 River name: Ybbs Year of commissioning: 2004 The southwestern part of Sweden is affected by acid rains causing acidification. AUSTRIA Country: Austria Name of the plant: HPP Dorfmühle Installed capacity (kW): 2.500 Head (m): 7. many rivers are limewashed.

The scheme including fish ladder started operating at the end of 2002. pool-type with vertical slots. For that the fishpass was needed.8 km2 area reservoir.000 Head (m): 4. The fish ladder cost amounts to 10% of the overall scheme cost or 0. the dam prevented the migrating fish from regaining their usual spawning areas located upstream it. To achieve this ecological task the pumped station has been constructed to utilise water from River Sventoji (donor) and divert it to River Nevezis (recipient).Source: LHA C ASE STUDY 4 KAVARSKAS. namely to the draft tubes.4 m3/s). The fish ladder is a concrete structure. The facility to monitor the fish passage through it has been also established. Salmon.Environmental measures The river Sventoji downstream the Kavarskas dam is famous as a migrating fish protected area. The discharge of the fish ladder is 1. trout. There are plans to arrange the modern fish counting system. The run off river scheme has been designed by local design company Kaunas Hydroprojektas. When designing it the attempt was made to approach the lower end of fishpass to the power house as close as possibly.3 m3/s. The 4. in order to attract the fish by water current to the entrance. A year later. In 2001 the private SHP development company Achema Hidrostotys was given the concession to construct a small hydropower plant at this existing dam providing the fisheries issues has been taken into consideration. Examples 17 . It was established after the dam construction. the fishermen have declared the reappearance of migrating fish upstream the Kavarskas SHP The fish ladder effectiveness has been approved by the .1 m height dam has been built in 1962 impounding the 0. the fish ladder physical modelling in the laboratory has been carried out by the staff of Water and Land Management faculty of Lithuanian University of Agriculture.4 River name Sventoji Year of commissioning: 2002 Description of the system The Kavarskas site is located on the River Sventoji 69 km upstream its mouth (average flow is 31. near the same name small settlement.1 Discharge (m3/s): 28 Output (GWh/y): 6. The main purpose of the construction of this dam at that time was to increase the low flow of the neighbouring River Nevezis during the dry periods of the year. This story clearly shows that SHP developers are eager to improve the river ecological situation for which public money usually is not available. vimba and other valuable species are commonly found in the stream. who are performing the fish monitoring. experts of the Institute of Ecology. LITHUANIA Country: Lithuania Location: Kavarskas Installed capacity (kW): 1. However no fish ladder has been built on the dam. For more than 40 years the dam has been State owned but no financing has been sought to eliminate this occurred unfortunate situation regarding migrating fish. View from downstream. after more than a 40 years period.3 M Euro. When improving the ecological situation of the River Nevezis. illustrating the dam .

7 River name: Salarno Year of commissioning: 2002 park) the reserved flow was set at a high rate of the average natural flow rate. Lombardy Region). River restructuring.600.70 Discharge (m3/s): 24 Energy production (kWh/y): 4.10 m Length 110 m. Description of the system Diversion Low head Intake: dyke with disjoined rocks. In fact the basin is near to a tourist alpine hut attended by thousands of people in summer and the people appreciation of the basin is very high.The multipurpose basin E X A M P LE S C A S E S T U DY 5 SAVIORE DELL’ADAMELLO. To preserve the ecological status of the river in a so sensitive environment (a high mountain alpine torrent inside a natural TEDELEC.000 River name: Gave de Pau Year of commissioning:1981 Turbines: Kaplan vertical simple regulation : diameter 2. The long penstock connecting the forebay to the powerhouse is almost completely interred to reduce visual impact. environmental management systems. The basin at the intake is used both to increase the value of the energy (production during peak hours) and for leisure highly increasing the social acceptance of the plant. Downsteam point height: 328.140 Head (m): 280 Rated discharge (m3/s): 0.000 m3 basin inside a natural park Tyrolean intake to favour the river continuum preservation Use of local materials for buildings coating Natural like fish pass Water cooled generator to reduce noise Strict contact with environmental officers to agree upon the mitigation and compensation measures to be taken and to choose the better environmental solutions. Residual flows. compromising with other river uses (passes for canoeing). The small part not interred because of the steepness of the slope is set up with concrete anchoring blocks not covering the penstock to reduce the visible volume and they are coated with local stone.5 Output (GWh/y): 3. middle height 0. FRANCE C A SE ST UDY 6 Country: France Name of the plant: Limited liability company TEDELEC Installed capacity (kW): 680 Head (m): 3. Noise reduction techniques Others: Fish bypass.80 m Feeder canal: 200 x 17 x 3 m Tail-race : 10 m Source: GPAE 18 .40 m. ITALY Country: Italy Location: Saviore dell’Adamello Installed capacity (kW): 1. 140 revs/mn Environmental measures Rigorous control of the reserved flow by surveillance and measurement of the installations Rigorous and continuous control of the quality of the water Trash Rack Material Management: the waste is sorted out and sent to recycling and treatment plants. Description of the system The Saviore dell’Adamello plant is located on the Salarno River in the heart of Adamello Park in Northern Italy (Brescia District. Environmental measures Multipurpose 5.

C A S E S T U DY 7 TROISTORRENTS. Description of the system The turbine. what can be emphasized is that even a small project (75 kW) can be cost-effective and environment friendly. The electricity of this completely automatic power plant is delivered into the local distribution grid. Thirdly.1999 surge tank. a Pelton with one nozzle. works on the high difference of levels between the catchment chamber and the Examples 75 kW turbo alternator group . a low ambient noise was required : only with the door opened. set on the drinking water network of Troistorrents (Valais. SWITZERLAND Country: Switzerland Name of the plant: Troistorrents Installed capacity (kW): 75 Net head (m): 242. and extracts energy that was previously wasted through a pressure reducer. What can be here pointed out is that only a high-efficiency turbine with a hydraulic profile defined from laboratory research can be so quiet. Environmental measures First the plant is set on a water network. To conclude.3 Maximal discharge: 35 l/s Output: 230. Regarding the drinking water quality rigorous specifications were met so as not to impact on it. can the generator be heard. as a pressure regulator device. which implies that the infrastructure was already built. The equipment has been manufactured by a SME of 35 employees. Fourthly.000 kWh/year Year of commissioning: 1998 . because of the nearby housing. located at 40 kilometres from the commune. Secondly a special effort has been made to integrate the power plant to the landscape.Source: MHyLab 19 . the power plant is set in the charge chamber that provides the pressure in the water supply network. as it is located in a semi agricultural area: looking from outside. nothing appears to be different from a traditional chalet. Finally here energy is generated with almost no environmental impact which could be expressed in a CO2 emissions reduction of 110 tonnes per year. and that the power plant operating does not imply more environmental impact (no need of fish ladders) than a usual drinking water network. CH) commune.

25125 Brescia . Calvi.Italy . the central meeting point for renewable energy actors in the political heart of Europe.F: +32 2 546 1947 E: esha@arcadis. integration into energy systems.esha. the European Small Hydropower Association. is the European co-ordinator of this project which includes ten additional partners: ADEME (France). STUDIO FROSIO STUDIO FROSIO Studio Associato di Ingegneria Via P F. MHyLab (Switzerland). Studio Frosio (Italy).the European Renewable Energy Council.. Based in Brussels.I: www. T: +39 030 3702371 . IT Power (United Kingdom) and the Lithuanian Hydropower Association (Lithuania).be Rue d’Arl on 63-65 1040 Bru ssels Belgium Our new ad d r es s as of J a r y 20 06 nua i . ISET (Germany).European Small Hydropower Association ESHA is a non-profit organisation representing the interests of all actors involved in the sector of small hydropower at European level. environmental impacts and fulfilment of White Paper targets on installed capacity. it plays an active role at European political decision level through the dissemination of information. 5 1070 Wien. technological . Technological Development and Demonstration) The TNSHP aims to identify future Research and Market needs of the SHP sector within the EU in order to overcome barriers and promote a better exploitation of the resource as regards costs.F: +39 030 396143 E: info@studiofrosio.Belgium T: +32 2 546 1945 .Austria T: +43 (0)1 522 07 66 F: +43 (0)1 526 36 09 E: office@kleinwasserkraft. ESHA is founding member of EREC . SERO (Sweden).DG TREN (Transport & Energy) and the Swiss Government. KÖ (Austria).funded project in the framework of the EU’s FP5 (Fifth Framework Programme for Research. SCPTH (France). organisation and promotion of seminars and conferences as well as lobbying KLEINWASSERKRAFT ÖSTERREICH Museumstrasse. The Thematic Network on Small Hydropower (TNSHP) is a European Commission .at s EUROPEAN SMALL HYDROPOWER ASSOCIATION Renewable Energy House 26.T his brochure has been developed under the Thematic Network on Small Hydropower (TNSHP) Project. ESHA. ESHA shares its office with several renewable Energy Industry Associations in the Renewable Energy House in Brussels. This brochure has been coordinated by the Environmental group of the Thematic Network chaired by Bernhard Pelikan from KÖ (Austria) and Luigi Papetti from Studio Frosio (Italy).B-1000 Brussels . public acceptance. EPFL-LCH (Switzerland). Rue du Trône . 9 . ESHA.