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A.

Tessarolo

HYDRO-POWER
A. Tessarolo

Todays scenario

Fuel shares in
world electricity production in 2011
IEA Renewable Energies Information 2013
2

Our times (world)

IEA data (2000-2011), 2DS Projections (2012-2020)


In 2020 renewables should grow from 20% to 28% at least.

Share Trend
Hydropower is (going to be) the main renewable energy source
Other sources are growing faster (hydro is mature.)
Wind power has the main share among other sources
4

History: Wind and Hydro power

Both used from Europe to Far East since ancient times


In 19th century steam power and the modern Francis
hydraulic turbine were developed
In the late 19th century the first electric generators were
coupled with wind ad hydraulic turbines
5

Typical Plant Layout


Electricity
Intake
Transformer

Reservoir
Head

Dam
Penstock

Generator
Turbine
Discharge

Hydraulic power plant classification

Turbine Type
Head Flow
Rated power
Reservoir Run of River Pumped storage

Head

Turbines and Head

Power

Pelton
(50-1300m)

Kaplan
(10-80m)

Francis
(10-400m)

Flow rate
8

Micro Hydro Turbines


Gravitation water vortex
=70%

Gorlov Turbine =35%

Archimedes Screw =80%

Banki cross-flow turbine =85%

Type : Impoundment plant (reservoir)


The most common type of hydroelectric power plant is an impoundment facility. An
impoundment facility, typically a large hydropower system, uses a dam to store water in a
reservoir. Water released from the reservoir flows through a turbine, spinning it, which in
turn activates a generator to produce electricity. The water may be released either to meet
changing electricity needs or to maintain a constant reservoir level.

Type : Diversion or run-of-river plant


A diversion, sometimes called run-of-river, facility channels a portion of a river through a
canal or penstock. It may not require the use of a dam.

Type : Pumped storage


When the demand for electricity is low, a pumped
storage facility stores energy by pumping water
from a lower reservoir to an upper reservoir.
During periods of high electrical demand, the
water is released back to the lower reservoir to
generate electricity.

Size
Large Hydropower
Although definitions vary, DOE defines large hydropower
as facilities that have a capacity of more than 30
megawatts.
Small Hydropower
Although definitions vary, DOE defines small
hydropower as facilities that have a capacity of 100
kilowatts to 30 megawatts.
Micro Hydropower
A micro hydropower plant has a capacity of up to 100
kilowatts. A small or micro-hydroelectric power system
can produce enough electricity for a home, farm, ranch,
or village.

Development
Large Hydro is mature:
Turbines: Francis 1848 , Pelton 1880, Kaplan 1913
all over 90% efficiency
Large synchronous generators 1882
First hydropower plant 1881 (DC), 1891 (AC)

Today locations fit for new large hydropower


plants (with reservoirs) are few

18

Italian Hydropower

GSE Rapporto Statistico 2011 Impianti a fonti rinnovabili 2011

Power rating trend


<1MW
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011

NUMBER
1-10MW >10MW

10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
2000

1270
1727
1858

2001

2002

682
700
743

2003

POWER [GW]
Avg Power
<1MW 1-10MW >10MW [MW]
8.5
Average Power
8.7
8.5
8.5
8.4
8.4
8.3
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
8.2
8.1
297
465.6
2189.6 15066.3
7.9
302
523.5
2210.5 15142.2
6.6
301
567.7
2328.3 15196.2
6.2

Hydro plants with reservoir

Run off river plants

Large initial investment


(long pay-back time)

Low investment
(short pay-back time)

Safety and
environmental impact
issues

Safety and small


environmental impact

Main sites are already


exploited

Very suitable for distributed


generation

Emphasis on mini- and micro hydroelectricity


Building of new plants
Revamping of existing plants

1929

Computing the energy that can be


delivered by a Hydropower plant

This is an essential task to evalutate if a certain site is


suitable for fulfiling energy demands
It enables to estimate the revenues to be expected
Is serves as a check to compare various design and sizing
solutions from an economic point of view (given the
investment, what is the pay-back time?

(an an yearly basis)

(an daily basis)

Depend on Q !!

Pn

Design flow

FIRST CASE: PLANT


CONNECTED TO CENTRAL
GRID

SECOND CASE

Available power
TO BE
COMPUTED
FOR ANY n !
load
Daily delivered power

THIS WILL BE
INTEGRATED
OVER n TO
FIND THE
DELIVERED
POWER

Example: calculation of G75

Emphasis on mini- and micro hydroelectricity


Building of new plants
Revamping of existing plants

1929

% del totale degli


impianti idro
none

Monfalcone

Adriatic
sea

Canale
Valentinis

Monfalcone

Power
plant

Underground
stream

Outlet
Harbour

Vista da sopra
Upstream
fllow

Plant

Downstream
flow

Underground stream
to the sea

UPSTRAM VIEW
Plant

Upstream
flow

DOWNSTREAM VIEW

PREVALENZA

Plant

Downstream
flow

VARIATION OF HEAD

UPSTREAM

DOWNSTREAM

STRONGLY
VARIABLE TIDES

Upstream
level (rains)
Downstream level
(tides)

Physical layout of the plant


Before revamping

2
Induction
generator
226 kVA
6 poles
380 V
50 Hz
1000 rpm

Kaplan turbine
210 kW
Q = 6.8 m3/s
H = 3.5 m
200 rpm
Adjustable
blades

Physical layout of the plant


Before revamping
Gearbox

Induction generator

Penstock

Outlet ducts

90

Physical layout
After revamping
SPM generator
305 kVA
32 poles
170240 rpm
45.364 Hz

Turbina Kaplan
Q = 6.8 m3/s
n = 170240 rpm
Adjustable blades

Induction generator

SPM generator

226 kVA

305 kVA

6 poli

32 poli

1000 rpm

170240 rpm

50 Hz

45.364 Hz

Turbine before
revamping

Turbine after
revamping

Q = 6.8 m3/s

Q = 7.4 m3/s

n = 200 rpm

n = 170240 rpm

Physical layout
After revamping
SPM generators

Functional layout
Before revamping
Induction generator
~1000 rpm

50 Hz

~200 rpm

Functional layout
After revamping
SPM generator
PWM Rectifier

4564 Hz
170240 rpm

PWM Inverter

DC link

50 Hz

SPM generators

Requirements for direct coupling:


Axial compactness
High torque density (low weight)
Low speed (200 rpm)  high pole count (32)

Hypothesis of salient pole solution


L

SPM solution
Fractional slot
winding
Design
optimization
with genetic
algorithms
High
performance
magnets

N
S

Highly efficient
cooling system

N
S

Cooling system
Heat exchanger with water pipes
integrated in the frame

Project results

PMG

IG

Weight

kg

4200

1700

Torque

kNm

13.9

2.0

Nm/kg

3.7

1.2

98.1

93.5

Torque to weight ratio


Efficiency

Advantages of variable frequency design

Generatore SPM
PWM Rectifier

4564 Hz

170240 rpm

PWM Inverter

DC link

50 Hz

Turbine characteristic curves


3
Q [m3/s]

Head = H1

opt

2
1

Qopt

nopt

n [rpm]

Turbine characteristic curves


Q [m3/s]

Head = H2

opt

Qopt

nopt

n [rpm]

Speed
control

n*

Plant
automation

HEAD

System factory test


3vout iout
=
T

> IG = 93.5%

+ GEAR-BOX !!

Conclusions so far
 Importance of hydroelectricity
 Importance of mini and micro- hydroelectric
run-of-river plants
 A case of revamping of an existing plant.
 Fixed-frequency geared induction generator
replaced by direct-drive SPM alternator
connected to a power converter
 Benefits obtained
 Installation and plant layout
 Higher efficiency
 Better turbine exploitation thanks to the variablespeed control for efficiency maximization

Further
experience with
microhydroelectricity

Despite in many regions the hydroelectric potential has


been greatly exploited, the contribution of small hydro is
still considerable scope for development.
Until a few years ago, the small hydro has been
neglected, even because of the market conditions and
the main business operators who did not encourage the
development of the sector.
Since several years, there are good overall conditions
for the revitalization of the small hydro and the PM
technology established to give satisfactory solutions
Small hydro

PM technology

HOWTHE NEW TECHNOLOGY CAN BE


ENVIRONMENTALLY BETTER ACCEPTED ?
Especially for low speed small machines, the permanent magnet technology
(Permanent Magnet Generator PMG) gives optimal solutions to the small
hydro by providing high-polarity, rugged, compact and highperformance
generators.
These features match in a natural way some of the increasingly stringent
environmental constraints that are now
required in most small hydro plants:
- limited oil/grease in the vicinity of the river water and low maintenance
costs with direct drive installation (no gear-box);
- well adapted to the surrounding with minimum visual impact and reduced
noise level thanks to the compactness;
- adjustable to different heads and flows with variable speed operation.

HOW THE NEW TECHNOLOGY (PM) CAN MAKE BETTER


PERFORMANCES
The high torque density and the PMs on the rotor in place of the wound excitation,
naturally give to the PM generators particular good performances and a high efficiency.
Furthermore, small machines can easily allow low speed applications with direct drive
solutions, with the very big benefit of an installation without the gearbox.
A PM machine can be manufactured in several modes, in particular the arrangement of
the magnets determines certain characteristics of machine:
- magnets fixed superficially to the rotor (SPM)
- magnets disposed inside the rotor (IPM).

Taking into consideration the long life generally request to hydro power
plants (never less than a few tens of years), for an absolute guarantee on
the preservation of the performance of PMG over time, is important
during design steps to accurately manage external stresses potentially
affect the physical properties of the magnets. In particular, the
temperature of the magnets and the cooling system are critical to the
good operation of the machine on long and very long term.
The best solution is a cooling system integrated in the frame, type water
jacket.
This method has several benefits:
- high efficient cooling system
- best protection the machine from the environment due to the
totally enclosed construction
- very compact solution
- sound proof.

PMGENERATORS AT FIXED SPEED - Direct Grid Connection


The direct connection of the PMG to the distribution grid (PMG dol = direct on line) is
possible but, depending on the parameters of the grid and the prime mover, the turbine,
the PMG is asked to give a special response in terms of sub-transient reaction and/or a
damping capacity. This is critical because PMG machines are typically not equipped with
dampers.
In principle, the excitation of a PMG is constant, due to the magnets on the rotor.
In reality, it depends on the operating temperature, which may be very contained thanks
to a goodelectromagnetic design.
It means that for a given speed/frequency, the PMG makes available a practically constant
electromotive force: the generator cannot independently control the reactive power flow
to the grid, which is determined only by the grid voltage and the load.
However, the PMG can be design so that the power factor is:
- very high (almost unity in the vicinity of the nominal conditions)
- such as the reactive power compensation can be virtually avoided (if the mains voltage is
stable and thedegree of load always greater than 50%).

Damper cage

In case a power factor control is required, the insertion of an


electronic static compensator, connected to the same bus bars of the
generators, is an efficient solution to:
- control the overall reactive power flow from the power plant;
- set the power factors operating points, even lagging and leading, to
comply with the imposed conditions to parallel with the mains;
- react quickly to load changes practically nullifying the effects of over
and under voltage, even on weak distribution systems.
A good joint sizing of PMG DOL and compensator can allow a very
reduced reactive load on the compensator, if grid is close to nominal
voltage.
When grid is close to max and min allowed limits, the compensator
must to supply the entire reactive power.

In both cases, the losses on the power electronics are still very
modest: the compensator is designed in fact for the amount of
reactive power that the PMG naturally not be able to deliver
because of the discrepancy between its no load voltage and the
grid voltage, and this is normally only a part of the rated output.
For this reason, the combination of PMG DOL and static
compensator guarantees maximum efficiency
(maximum productivity) at the same time to guarantee the
stability of the network, in consequence both of transient
perturbations and/or daily variations.
Moreover, the static compensator can even be only one in a power
plant with several PMG DOL, or be sized in order to stabilize and
control the grid voltage when other loads are connected, allowing a
great flexibility of the project from the system integration point of
view, not only of the generating

Efficiency comparison

PM GENERATORS AT VARIABLE SPEED - connection to the grid through a Variable


Speed Drive, Full Converter

In the conversion of the potential energy of water into electricity, the


turbine is the most critical component from the efficiency point of
view: consequently in the engineering compromise is always trying to
put the turbine in the best conditions of operation and fit the other
components accordingly.
Therefore, we have always been used to think that fix grid frequency
50Hz (60Hz) = constant turbine operating speed
Different generators polarity always helped us to adapt the speed to
the nominal speed of the turbine: still the design of the turbine is a
compromise between the imposed synchronised speed and the
optimal speed, suggested by the most probable conditions of
head/flow.

A certain runner profile has a typical hill curve.


For some head H1, there will be different possible openings of the distributor an but the
point of maximum efficiency will fixe the optimum speed nopt1.
For some changed head H2, we will also have different possible openings of the distributor
but still the point of maximum efficiencywill fixe the optimum speed nopt2 , different from
the previous.
We need to match the different speeds in order to maximize the efficiency for different
conditions of operation.
However, variable speed on mini hydro is not a general approach.
When specific hydraulic conditions occur, a site with a variable operating points,
especially head variations, it helps us:
- to solve some problems, (noise, vibrations, oil/lubrication, )
- to make better performances
- to make economies (no gear box, reduced maintenance, no synchro devices, wide
operation range, increased global efficiency, ) on new installations or rehabilitation of
existing plants.
The solution at variable speed, with direct driven inverter controlled PMG+VFD (PM
generator + Variable FrequencyDrive) gives the best global performances.

The control operates by:


- the inverter INV : it manages the speed of the turbine and the voltage on the DC bus
- the Active Front End AFE : it manages actively the interface with the mains (available
four quadrant operation, bidirectional energy flow).
Once the Inveter and the AFE are activated and the turbine begins to rotate, it is
possible to start to produce.
The ENERGY PRODUCTION CAN START SINCE VERY LOW SPEED (10% of the nominal
speed).
A smart control automatically manages the input head/flow, to match the imposed
ondition of operation, and gives a speed/torque output to match the best condition of
efficiency.
The Speed/Torque reference can be supplied by:
- a look-up table, integrated in the system and matched during operation, based on
level measurement;
- a automatic Maximum Power Point Tracking MPPT wich provides by itself to find the
point of maximum power production.
The focus of both systems is to maximize the global efficiency in the widest expected
range of operation.
A breaking resistor is available on option for continuity of production in case of grid
power failure.
No difficulty to put in parallel with the mains since the AFE works constantly
synchronized with the grid and decoupled from the speed/frequency of the turbine by
means of the dc bus.

The waveform is particularly clean: the harmonic distortion is within 1%.


The power factor is near to the unit and adjustable according to requirements.
The result of the solution is a maximum exploitation of the hydraulic conditions, therefore
an increased global efficiency for a final INCREASED ENERGY PRODUCTION.
The comparison between a solution with PMG + VFD and with brushless synchronous
conventional generator (fixed speed) can not be done in a direct way, since the exploitation
of water conditions is not the same, the head/flow is not always the same.
Therefore, the comparison between the efficiency values can not be direct.
Even if a first comparison might show similar and comparable efficiency in the operating
range, in fact the solution PMG+VFD allows the water exploitation even in extreme
conditions of head/flow.
Thanks to the variable speed, still good performances of the turbine are possible whereas
under fixed speed conditions would be unacceptable or even impossible (downtime).
In this case, THE COMPARISON doesnt make sense for specific efficiency but must be done
ON THE BASIS of MEAN ANNUAL EFFICIENCY or of ENERGY ANNUAL PRODUCTION, which
can greatly increased.

CASE HISTORY
The Lake of Paneveggio (1460 m asl) is part of the Natural Park of Paneveggio-Pale di San
Martino, a protected naturalistic environment, in the heart of the Trento Dolomites.
The lake is formed by the dam of Forte Buso, more than 100 meters high and with a
reservoir of about 30 million cubic meters, mainly exploited by a historic and important
hydroelectric power plant.
The small hpp of Forte Buso have been built practically at the base of the dam, to exploit the
reserved flow, previously released in a free way.

Whereas a hydraulic turbine generally manages with difficulty an important head variation,
the variable speed control is an optimum solution for hydroelectric exploitation of the
ecologic flow of a dam, subject to significant changes in the water level.
The solution technically advanced, shows excellent performance, the base of which there is
the best operating the power plant at highest/lowest water levels.

A quick comparison can give some idea of the difference between a possible solution at synchronous
speed and the adopted solution at variable speed
On the basis of the diagrams seen so far, in particular:
- the daily records of reservoir levels, as a result of the net head,
- the seasonal values imposed for the reserved flow, as a result of the available flow discharge,
- a plant shutdown for not applicable conditions of operating of the turbine below a minimum head of
77 meters (see Figg. 17 and 18) (See also HYDRO 2013 - Session 4a: Variable speed Pelton turbine ),
- the efficiencies of an equivalent system at synchronous speed and the adopted solution at variable
speed, both for the mechanical part (turbine, see Figg. 17 and 18) and the electrical part (generator and
power electronics; see Fig. 6 and 9), it is interesting to draw up two tables to compare the average
annual results of:
- overall efficiency
-annual mean power output
-Energy production

CONCLUSIONS
The new technologies applied to the established and traditional solutions on small hydro, can provide
good
solutions.
It is not a general approach, but where conventional technology (brushless synchronous generators and
asynchronous) can be constrained, the direct driven permanent magnet generators PMG give
performing
solutions in terms of:
- compact footprint
- reduce weight
- more acceptable noise level
- less construction constraints
- high performances
The power electronics for variable speed operation, already integrated since longtime in industrial
applications and renewable energy sources (PV, wind, ), is a further integration to traditional
schemes, for
- a smart exploitation of the entire operating range (avoiding some limitations of operation)
- the cost-effective use of a single performing machine (avoiding schemes with more machines in backup
each other)
- simpler mechanics with less moving parts, in particular with Kaplan turbines.
The case history of the Forte Buso shpp is proof, but many other situations.

Some pictures of the built


generator