E N V I R O N ME N TAL I NTEGRATION

EUROPEAN SMALL HYDROPOWER ASSOCIATION

ENVIRONMENTAL INTEGRATION OF SMALL HYDROPOWER PLANTS

with support from

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

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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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One of the latest manifestations of this awareness is the European Water Framework Directive. C Introduction 3 . So-called multi-purpose plants may combine drinking water or waste water systems with the environmental impact of SHP use thus being considerably reduced.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. In a couple of cases SHP development can be combined with existing buildings or structures.The identification of these impacts and the measures to minimise and compensate for them is the main idea and intention of the brochure. Specifically these contradictions can be seen as the main reason for producing the “Brochure on environmental integration of small hydropower plants”. security of energy supply). There are some contradictions between the “Renewable Electricity Directive” and the “Water Framework Directive”. On a global level there is no doubt about the benefits of converting energy by SHP plants (climate change mitigation. One GWh of electricity produced by Small Hydropower (SHP) means a reduction of CO2 emissions by 480 tonnes. being the basis of life. The key is the use of existing artificial waterways. On a local level there are of course some impacts. 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. Additionally the public awareness on environmental topics has improved significantly. aiming at an overall protection of water.the same view can be taken on a regional level (local development and employment). The Kyoto protocol in 1997. which can be quite clearly defined. The Rio conference in 1992. agriculture etc. . leading to a European environmental awareness. together all these documents show impressively the political intention.

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. whilst keeping the water available for any other purpose. The result can be calculated as follows: 4 . The “fuel” of hydropower is running water. which means rivers of any site can be used.the product indicates the power output of the hydropower station.TECHNIC AL BA S I CS O F S M A L L H YD R O P O W E R 1. The output of a hydropower plant is given in terms of power [kW] and electricity production [kWh]. Making a head useful for hydropower -use needs a concentration by means of hydropower impoundment. Both facts are necessary .1 DESCRIPTION OF SHP H ydropower is the most traditional and most important. clean renewable energy source in Europe. The energy to be utilised is based on two input facts: discharge in m3/s and head in m. 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]. 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. TECHNICAL BASICS OF SMALL HYDROPOWER 1.

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

Low head plants are often characterised by weirs and open water channels. Values can vary from 1.1 RESERVED FLOW SOLUTIONS A ll definitions of reserved or minimum flow place emphasis on the protection of the natural life in the river. These methods give values between 5 and 60 % of MQ.1.1 Methods based on hydrologic or statistic values Within these methods. This demonstrates that no good universally valid solution for reserved flow determination exists at the moment and probably never will exist.6 to 9 or more l/s. These methods are easily applicable presuming there is good basic data. 2.2 Methods based on physiographic principles They basically refer to a prefixed specific flow rate expressed as l/s. However no hydraulic parameters are considered and neither the effect of tributaries nor the length of the diversion reach is taken into account.km2 of catchment area. 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. 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). A third subgroup of methods refers to the prefixed values on the Flow Duration Curve (FDC). 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. 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). Each singular result within the great variety of formulas can only supply a value to be used as a reference for regulatory purposes. A second subgroup of methods refers to the minimum mean flow (MNQ) in the river. 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.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.km2 (in cases of abundance of fish). The formulas available can be divided into four groups: 2. The objectives of assuring a minimum flow downstream of hydroelectric installations or other water abstractions are fairly clear. the latter one in case of high economic importance of fishery. ENVIRONMENTAL 2.3 LOW HEAD AND HIGH HEAD PLANTS D ischarge and head are the design parameters of Hydropower. 2. There are dozens of formulas for the calculation of reserved flow and their numbers tend to increase day by day. In principle high head plants need some pressure pipe and particular intake structures. The values calculated can vary from 33 to 100 % of MNQ. 6 …ALL DEFINITIONS OF RESERVED OR MINIMUM FLOW PLACE . a first subgroup refers to the average flow rate (MQ) of the river at a given cross section.1.

2. ecological. the design of a fish-bypass is a very specific and singular exercise requiring the consideration of a wide range of parameters and restrictions. diversion concepts. 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. only the spending of money for nothing. 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. Nevertheless diversion length and tributaries are not considered.3-0. A badly designed bypass has no function at all. they have become a typical focus of environmental interest. 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. embracing both ecological and economic parameters.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. Biologists have identified the impacts on river continuity by weirs. Their transferability is doubtful.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.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 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. and meteorological data.2 . 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 .1. 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 dynamics and the exchange processes with neighbouring areas. measures of flood control and river regulation as severe and lasting.4 m/s and 12 . Another suggests 1.5 m/s and the minimum depth of water must be greater than a prefixed value of 10 cm. hydraulic. Even more than the system and construction of a hydro power plant. Methods are expensive in data collection and mathematical computing and are suitable only for particular types of rivers. 2.1.24 cm water depth and so on.2 FISH BY-PASS SYSTEMS S ome special characteristics of river systems are the great variety of aquatic biocenosis. However the biocenotic classification of the project site is an unavoidable necessity in deciding the type and the construction details of the bypass-system. the multiplicity of morphological structures.

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. mouth of the tailrace channel (attraction flow) 2. diversion reach (residual flow . the fishway the intake The following checklist contains the well-known design criteria. power house (head. 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.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. back water area (attraction flow.hydraulic problems in velocity and depth) 4. velocity) Any bypass system consists of the following sections: the outlet the passage the basins. OUTLET no danger of sedimentation or silting up near the scour reachable even at low water easy to find due to line of max. space available) 3. INTAKE 5. INDIVIDUAL FEATURES 8 THE DESIGN OF A FISH-BYPASS IS A VERY SPECIFIC EXERCISE REQUIRING THE . DESIGN CRITERIA / FEATURES 1. MATERIAL 6. BASINS 2. weir (head) 5.

Up to now. One must not forget the public interest in removing anthropogenic waste from the water. Austria CONSIDERATION OF A WIDE RANGE OF PARAMETERS… 9 .Way at the Prollingbach river. it becomes automatically waste material which must be properly disposed of with the very high costs of waste disposal. The following graph illustrates this approximation in absolute values. In many countries when something. is removed from the water. 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.3 TRASH RACK MATERIAL MANAGEMENT ��� ��� ��� ��� ��� ��� � � �� �� MQ in m3/s A �� �� ��� lmost all modern small hydroelectric plants have a trash rack cleaning machine. Erlauf River.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. carried out by SHPoperators. The permitted flow may simulate the natural discharge variability. bottles. During some periods of rather low migration requirements the discharge and thus the quantitative capacity can be reduced. as well as leaves.g. Considering the size of the river the values vary between 1 % and 6 % of mean flow (MQ). SHP operators are providing that service for free. 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. Environmental solutions Source : Boku Vertical Slot Fish. which removes material from the water to avoid it entering plant waterways and damaging electro-mechanical equipment or reducing hydraulic performance. including organic material. cans.(e. by reducing the waste disposal fees or allowing for different treatment between organic and non-organic material). Austria ��� ��� ��� Q by pass in l/s 2. branches and all the kind of things that man and nature throw into the water) are removed from the river. This tolerance should be used to meet different hydrobiological as well as economic goals. Each year tons of material (mainly plastic bags. Source : Boku Natural like bypass channel. Good design and operation management within the limits may also cause a reduction of loss of energy production.

4.4. the creation of adjoining environmental areas is often put into effect.4. 2.g. No additional cleaning procedures are necessary.4.3 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. Another way to achieve flood protection is the use of the basin to store part of the water volume during floods.2 Irrigation channels A lot of small hydropower plants have been erected and are still being realised in irrigation networks or channels. pumping stations) 2. Source : MHyLab 2.g. In cases of larger treatment plants the head available downstream between the treatment and the river may be used. supplying energy to the grid or to match electricity demand directly for irrigation (e. Such action results in an increase of the water level and consequently of the flow rate which the river can convey during floods. where instead of pressure reducing devices small or micro turbines have been installed to exploit head otherwise dissipated.5 Creation of adjoining environmental areas As a mitigation measure to be taken in a small hydropower plant realisation.4 MULTIPURPOSE PLANTS 2. trashrack) before entering the pressure pipe is necessary.6 Waste water treatment plant There are at least two places within a waste water treatment plant to insert a hydropower installation . although the available volume of storage in small hydropower plants is usually very small compared to the demands of flood protection.above the plant and below the plant.4. Source : Studio Frosio 2. Italy IN RECENT DECADES MANY SMALL HYDROPOWER PLANTS HAVE BEEN CARRIED OUT IN DRINKING WATER SYSTEMS.4. These areas are different from site to site and it is hard to generalise on how to set them up. especially in plains where dozens of low head plants exploit the water resource both for irrigation and energy production purposes. A pre-treatment (e. ESPECIALLY IN MOUNTAIN AREAS 10 . so that only part of the water volume available can be stored for hydroelectric purposes.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.E NV I R O NM E NTA L SO LU TIO NS 2. The head in such cases is reasonable. especially in mountain areas. In this case an important multipurpose use of water has been achieved and it is worth taking into due consideration. 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. La Zour drinking-water power plant (474 kw) 2. Nevertheless they undoubtedly contribute to making the small hydropower plant more easily acceptable from the environmental point of view.1 Drinking water supply systems In recent decades many small hydropower plants have been carried out in drinking water systems. Rino Small Hydropower Plant.

In principle the so-called roughness (biologically valuable) can be increased by methods of structuring. thus replacing a lack of habitat in the main water course. Where the impounded river reach is in a more or less natural condition. The structure of the banks can be made nature-like.5. Prevalle. lasting a certain period of time depending on the bedload transport characteristics of the river. Making the new banks less steep will reduce the need for heavy stabilisation measures. any measure to reduce the cross-section will be seen as an improvement. The maximum flow velocity should not exceed 1 m/s. Headrace Channel. variable width and the application of bioengineering methods of stabilisation with the additional advantage of providing shade and habitat potential. 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. the bigger the alteration of habitat. Environmental solutions 11 Source : Studio Frosio . 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.1 BACKWATER AREAS Any kind of hydropower exploitation needs even a short diversion of water and therefore at least some small impoundment by weirs. no loss of discharge. Additionally the use of bioengineering methods will improve the habitat potential as well as providing shade for the water body. The measures in detail and the material used depend mainly on the local character of the river and the availability of the material. Apart from the banks any restructuring measures should focus on minimising any alteration of the conditions mentioned above.2. the flow velocity must be decreased by increasing the total area of cross-section. From the ecological point of view. 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. Italy The filling up of a backwater area is a natural process. Experience shows that these artificial water bodies may become very attractive habitats. 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. On achieving equilibrium the natural transport process will recommence automatically. Despite these restrictions conventional methods of river rehabilitation can be applied.5 DESIGN 2.1 Open waterways and river restructuring 2. In practice the variable height of a weir should be minimised while still meeting the targets of flood protection. The longer and the deeper it is. to define deficits and possibly to re-allocate at least parts of the existing bank. By reducing the depth and indirectly increasing the flow velocity. The height of the weir is directly related to the length respective to the depth of the backwater area. 2.5.2 HEADRACE CHANNEL In cases of longer diversions consideration must be given to the design of artificial water bodies like channels. the sedimentation of fine material will decrease. Even the lining need not necessarily be straight but may follow some morphological “input” provided by the surrounding landscape. shallow water areas can be provided.1.5. The headrace channel has to reach two main targets: minimal friction loss. To avoid any increase of friction loss. it is recommended to evaluate the situation.1.

emphasis must be laid on the morphology of this reach.4 DIVERSION REACH In a case of diversion. Penstock interment should take place whenever possible. However to avoid problems connected with steel pipe corrosion. On the contrary if the amount of residual flow is rather high and the duration is short. the use of plastic pipes (glass reinforced plastic or HDPE) is advisable.1.1. 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 2.3 TAILRACE CHANNEL In tailrace channels the remaining conditions concern the minimisation of friction loss. 12 . with eddy currents in the ground and to reduce maintenance. 600 % 500 % Need of environmental flow 400 % 300 % 200 % 100 % Tailrace channel. Pipe and coating technologies have reached a very good reliability level. where in a particular river reach the flow is reduced significantly. 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.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. though the cross-section remains similar to that of a natural stream.5. Nevertheless the burying of penstocks could have major geological risks connected with the stability of steep slopes traversed by pipes. Esenta. depending on factors such as the nature of the ground itself.2 Penstocks Penstocks can be installed over or under the ground. 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. Naturally the impact of diversion is rather high. The principles of maximum roughness. Italy 2. highest possible and the use of bioengineering methods can be applied more easily. Interred penstocks should be generally preferred to exposed ones. the penstock material. the impact may become almost negligible Usually governmental interests concentrate on the amount of residual flow.5. 2. because of the smaller visual impact and possible movement barriers for animals. In fact during operation water leakage from an interred penstock could trigger landslides much more easily than an exposed one. both during construction and operation. the ambient temperatures and the environmental requirements. Usually the shaping is more natural where the method of construction has provided a simple earth channel without any additional measures.5. The more effective strategy is to improve morphology by all the river rehabilitation methods which we have discussed. when the reduction in flow is big and the duration of the reduced discharge lasts for many months. The following measures help to reduce the environmental impact of penstocks: PENSTOCK INTERMENT. Generally the cross sections are made larger and the velocity is much lower than in the headrace.

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

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

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

Description of the system Run-of-river Low head Turbines: 2 Kaplan . many rivers are limewashed. AUSTRIA Country: Austria Name of the plant: HPP Dorfmühle Installed capacity (kW): 2.S Bulb Turbines Environmental measures Back water area: 0. In the case of Wathultström the limestone is injected in the draft tube in relation to the actual discharge.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.7 Energy production (kWh/y): 500. To combat this.1 km2 Natural bypass channel Recreation area in the backwater Noise reduction measures Architecture: Alucupon façade Source: SERO 16 . SWEDEN Country: Sweden Name of the plant: Wathultström Installed capacity (kW): 190 Head (m): 10 Discharge (m3/s): 2.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.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.500 Head (m): 7.

When designing it the attempt was made to approach the lower end of fishpass to the power house as close as possibly. There are plans to arrange the modern fish counting system. namely to the draft tubes. A year later. However no fish ladder has been built on the dam. The scheme including fish ladder started operating at the end of 2002. experts of the Institute of Ecology. 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.8 km2 area reservoir.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 31.1 m height dam has been built in 1962 impounding the 0. near the same name small settlement. The 4. illustrating the dam .Environmental measures The river Sventoji downstream the Kavarskas dam is famous as a migrating fish protected area. vimba and other valuable species are commonly found in the stream. View from downstream. 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. The facility to monitor the fish passage through it has been also established. trout. For that the fishpass was needed. When improving the ecological situation of the River Nevezis. It was established after the dam construction. Examples 17 . who are performing the fish monitoring. 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). the dam prevented the migrating fish from regaining their usual spawning areas located upstream it. 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. Salmon. in order to attract the fish by water current to the entrance. 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. This story clearly shows that SHP developers are eager to improve the river ecological situation for which public money usually is not available.3 M Euro. The fish ladder cost amounts to 10% of the overall scheme cost or 0. LITHUANIA Country: Lithuania Location: Kavarskas Installed capacity (kW): 1. after more than a 40 years period. The run off river scheme has been designed by local design company Kaunas Hydroprojektas. the fishermen have declared the reappearance of migrating fish upstream the Kavarskas SHP The fish ladder effectiveness has been approved by the . The discharge of the fish ladder is 1. The fish ladder is a concrete structure. pool-type with vertical slots.3 m3/s.1 Discharge (m3/s): 28 Output (GWh/y): 6.4 m3/s).Source: LHA C ASE STUDY 4 KAVARSKAS.000 Head (m): 4.

40 m. compromising with other river uses (passes for canoeing). The long penstock connecting the forebay to the powerhouse is almost completely interred to reduce visual impact. Environmental measures Multipurpose 5. Noise reduction techniques Others: Fish bypass.80 m Feeder canal: 200 x 17 x 3 m Tail-race : 10 m Source: GPAE 18 . 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. Lombardy Region).140 Head (m): 280 Rated discharge (m3/s): 0. 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.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. 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.600.7 River name: Salarno Year of commissioning: 2002 park) the reserved flow was set at a high rate of the average natural flow rate. To preserve the ecological status of the river in a so sensitive environment (a high mountain alpine torrent inside a natural TEDELEC. 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. Residual flows. 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. Downsteam point height: 328. Description of the system Diversion Low head Intake: dyke with disjoined rocks. 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. River restructuring. environmental management systems.10 m Length 110 m. ITALY Country: Italy Location: Saviore dell’Adamello Installed capacity (kW): 1.The multipurpose basin E X A M P LE S C A S E S T U DY 5 SAVIORE DELL’ADAMELLO.5 Output (GWh/y): 3.70 Discharge (m3/s): 24 Energy production (kWh/y): 4.000 River name: Gave de Pau Year of commissioning:1981 Turbines: Kaplan vertical simple regulation : diameter 2.

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

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 . ESHA. Calvi. ESHA shares its office with several renewable Energy Industry Associations in the Renewable Energy House in Brussels. SCPTH (France). the European Small Hydropower Association.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.Italy .it KLEINWASSERKRAFT ÖSTERREICH Museumstrasse.25125 Brescia . Studio Frosio (Italy).Belgium T: +32 2 546 1945 . 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.the European Renewable Energy Council. 9 . public acceptance. technological issues.be ..T his brochure has been developed under the Thematic Network on Small Hydropower (TNSHP) Project. STUDIO FROSIO STUDIO FROSIO Studio Associato di Ingegneria Via P F.esha. The Thematic Network on Small Hydropower (TNSHP) is a European Commission . it plays an active role at European political decision level through the dissemination of information.at s EUROPEAN SMALL HYDROPOWER ASSOCIATION Renewable Energy House 26.I: www. environmental impacts and fulfilment of White Paper targets on installed capacity. 5 1070 Wien. MHyLab (Switzerland). the central meeting point for renewable energy actors in the political heart of Europe.F: +32 2 546 1947 E: esha@arcadis. ESHA is founding member of EREC . Rue du Trône . organisation and promotion of seminars and conferences as well as lobbying activities. ISET (Germany). is the European co-ordinator of this project which includes ten additional partners: ADEME (France). 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). Based in Brussels.B-1000 Brussels .funded project in the framework of the EU’s FP5 (Fifth Framework Programme for Research. ESHA. IT Power (United Kingdom) and the Lithuanian Hydropower Association (Lithuania).DG TREN (Transport & Energy) and the Swiss Government. integration into energy systems.F: +39 030 396143 E: info@studiofrosio. KÖ (Austria). EPFL-LCH (Switzerland).Austria T: +43 (0)1 522 07 66 F: +43 (0)1 526 36 09 E: office@kleinwasserkraft. SERO (Sweden). T: +39 030 3702371 .

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