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DRAFT FEB 07, 2008







S.No. TITLE Page No.

1. Guidelines for Layout of small hydro plants 1

1.1. Introduction 1

1.2. Guidelines for layout of shp 1

1.3. types of scheme 2

1.4. run – off – river scheme 2

1.5. canal falls schemes 2

1.6. toe of dam schemes 3

1.7. renovation of existing plants 4

1.8. layout methodology – general 6

1.8.1. Data collection 6

1.8.2. map studies 7

1.8.3. Field Visit 7

1.8.4. Mapping and site investigations 7

1.8.5. Conceptual Design 7

1.9. Layout of Run – off – river Schemes 8

1.9.1. Determination of plant flow capacity 8

1.9.2. Determination of FSL of Head Pond 8

1.9.3. Feeder Canal 9

1.9.4. Desilter 9

1.9.5. Power Canal 9

1.9.6. Other Water Conduction Structures 9

1.9.7. Forebay Tank 10

1.9.8. Penstrock Intake 10

1.9.9. Penstock 10

1.9.10. Surge Tanks 12

2. Lowest Down Surge 13

3. Weight of Steel Surge Tank 13

3.1. Powerhouse and Tailrace 13

3.2. Layout of Canal Falls Schemes 13

3.3. Layout of Dan Toe Schemes 14

3.4. Determination of Capacity and Energy Benefits 14

3.5. Benefits and Economic Evolutions 14

3.6. RET Screen 14

3.7. Provision for Future Expansion 16

3.8. References 16

3.9. Examples of Project Layouts 17


This part provides guidance on layout, hydraulic and structural design of civil
works and on the maintenance of civil structures and related hydro mechanical


1.1 Introduction
The objective of this phase of study is to produce estimates of preliminary costs
and benefits of a scheme and to assess its economic viability. Often the work of
this phase is done with incomplete site data. If the findings of this phase show that
a scheme appears technically and economically feasible then more detailed pre-
feasibility and feasibility studies can be commissioned. The initial findings can be
useful in designing the scope of investigations needed to reliably evaluate the

This section provides guidelines on the conceptual design of small hydro plants.

1.2 Guidelines for Layout of SHP

The following topographical features favour the development of economic

a) Waterfalls
b) Rapids
c) Irrigation canal falls
d) Toe of dam locations
e) Canyons and narrow valleys
f) Major river bends

Small hydro plants are most often associated with features a) to d) and
infrequently with e) and f).

In layout studies (conceptual design) the engineer shall also take into account
other site specific conditions, as given in the following checklist.

Table 1.1 Check List on Site Conditions

Factors to consider:
• Climate
• Condition of main road to the area, weight and width limitations on bridges.
• Access to site and space for structures and site roads.
• Foundation conditions and slope stability
• Developable head
• Penstock/head length ratio

AHEC/MNRE/SHP Standards/ Civil Works – Guidelines For Layout Of Small Hydro Plants /Feb 2008             1 
• Availability of construction materials (sand, aggregates, lumber and
impermeable fill, as required)
• Local services and skills availability
• High water levels and tail water and head pond flow rating curves
• Others

1.3 Types of schemes

The most common development schemes for Indian small hydro projects are of
the following types:
• Run-of-river
• Canal falls
• Toe of dam
• Renovation of existing plants

1.4 Run-of-River Schemes

A typical run-of-river project would comprise:

• Low diversion dam and intake (head works)
• Desilter
• Power canal / Power Tunnel
• Forebay tank / Surge Tank
• Penstock
• Powerhouse and tailrace

If the water carries a substantial sediment load (say more than 200 ppm on
average) a desilter would also be required. Preferably, the desilter would be built
as close to the intake as possible, but can be located anywhere along the water
conductor system where relatively flat land can be found. It should be noted that
the waterways upstream of the desilter must be designed for turbine plus flushing
flows and while downstream turbine flow alone is sufficient. Most often the water
conductor system will be a concrete masonry canal of rectangular cross section.
However, depending on site conditions, portions of the water conductor system
may have to be constructed as box culverts, tunnels, aqueducts, pipelines or
inverted siphons.

A typical example of a mini hydro scheme is shown in Figure 1.4.1 and an

example of a small run-of-river project is Figure at end of this Section.

1.5 Canal Falls Schemes

Canal falls are locations along an irrigation canal where the level of the canal is
stepped-down in a fall structure to better conform to ground elevations. Although
the developable heads available at such structures are often quite small (2.0 m to
5.0 m) the energy potentials are significant given the large flows available.
Almost all canal fall projects undertaken to date have been constructed many

AHEC/MNRE/SHP Standards/ Civil Works – Guidelines For Layout Of Small Hydro Plants /Feb 2008             2 
years after the original canal project had been completed and were subject to the
following constraints:
• That the new powerhouse would be constructed without interfering (or
with minimum interference) of irrigation system day-to-day operations.
• That the new plant should not jeopardize the safety of the existing

A typical plant layout includes a bypass (power) canal, compact intake-power

house and tailrace canal rejoining the irrigation canal below the existing fall
structure. All efforts should be made to minimize costs while maintaining
efficient operation.

Innovative solutions include:

• Use of vertical axis semi-Kaplan units in a siphon elbow (used for heads
up to 4.0 m and unit capacities up to 500 kW). This approach provides
above water access to turbine runners, thus eliminating the need for very
costly intake and draft tube gates.
• Use of speed increasers to permit use of small low cost high speed

At other sites, more conventional bulb or Kaplan turbines layouts were selected.
As hydraulic losses have disproportionately high impacts on the economics of low
head developments, careful attention to hydraulic design is required to minimize
head losses at the canal entry, trashracks and flow restitution in the tailrace canal.
All canal fall projects must include provision for flow bypassing so that irrigation
flows can be maintained during periods when the plant may be out of service.

A typical example of this type of development is the Sirkhinda Mini Hydel.

Figure 2.1.3 shows the main features of this project.

1.6 Toe of Dam Schemes

A toe of dam project would comprise an intake and short penstock, powerhouse
and tailrace canal returning flow to a main irrigation canals or river. The intake
and penstock would normally be constructed in parallel to the outlet works, to
ensure that irrigation on water supply releases would not be interrupted during
periods when the plant might be out of service. The power plant intake and
penstock may be incorporated into the diversion works or spillway, as practical,
or constructed as a separate facility in an abutment. Typically, toe of dam projects
are located below storage reservoirs that would effectively trap sediment entering
the reservoir. Therefore sediment abrasion of turbine components would not be a
problem with this type of development. These plants are often subject to large
variation in head and flow and turbine selection must take this into account. These
conditions favour the use of Kaplan turbines. Depending on the operating rules of
the reservoir toe of dam reservoir may produce significant amounts of firm
energy, or only secondary energy.

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A typical example of a toe of dam development is Dukwan SHP. Figure 2.1.4
shows the main features of this development.

1.7 Renovation of Existing Plants

There are many old hydro plants in India, where operating and maintenance costs
are increasing due to deterioration of aging equipment and structures. Also plant
efficiencies are decreasing due to wear of turbine parts. Renovation projects are
often initiated by the necessity of major equipment repairs such as runner
replacement or generator rewinding. At such times it is opportune to undertake a
complete refurbishment of the plant. Combining several renovation activities
together will reduce the cost of downtime and lost energy production, which
would be incurred if renovation was done piece-meal. This minimizes the cost of
lost production which is a significant factor in the economics of renovation
projects. In terms of economic parameters such as b/c ratio renovation projects are
often found to be very attractive.

These are three fundamental options to evaluate in a renovation project:

• Plant abandonment.
• Plant renovation
• Plant upgrading

A renovation project should start with a thorough condition assessment of the

plant including hydrology, civil structures, electrical and mechanical equipment.
Assessment of civil structures should include a re-evaluation of structural
stability, flood hydrology and spillway flow capacity. Deficiencies in civil works
should be identified and requirements for refurbishment defined. Condition
assessment of equipment should be done by qualified electrical and mechanical
engineers using approved testing methods to evaluate condition and performance.
Based on the findings of these condition assessments lists of items requiring
repair or replacement should be prepared and opportunities for upgrading
identified. It is customary to assign standard service lives to structures and
components mainly for the convenience of economic and financial analysis. In
reality some plant components can continue to perform satisfactorily well beyond
their conventional service life where site conditions are favourable and
maintenance work has been regularly performed. Therefore it might not be
necessary to replace some components simply because they have exceeded their
conventional service lives. Other items, notably electrical instrumentation and
switchgear, which could still be in good operating condition, may be considered
technologically obsolete because spare parts are no longer manufactured.
Replacement of these items with modern components should be assessed as part
of a renovation project.

With the above data in hand the scope of renovation should be evaluated by
comparative studies of selected development concepts (options). Such conceptual

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design (layouts) should be developed in sufficient detail so that reliable capital
costs and benefits can be determined and the relative merits of each option
reliably evaluated.

The following paragraphs elaborate on the objectives of each type of option:

• Plant Abandonment
Abandonment might be the preferred choice where site conditions have
changed excessively over the life of a project or where renovation costs
are found to be excessive. For example, change in site conditions could
result from excessive flow diversion from upstream. Occasionally, a plant
may be abandoned in favour of a major redevelopment of the site as part
of a much larger project.

• Plant Renovation
The objective of plant renovation is to restore the plant to its original
condition. This improves plant reliability and extends service life. Civil
works are minimal in this option and are limited to necessary repairs to
restore structural integrity and function. Although the basic objectives of
this option would be achieved with replacement of turbines and generators
(if required) of the original designs; it may be worthwhile to consider new
runner designs for improved efficiency. If generator rewinds also required,
then new designs with improved insulation material and more copper
should also be considered. Options for modernization of switch gear,
protection and control should also be assessed.

Typical benefits from this option are:

- Recovered efficiency 5% - 5%
- Efficiency improvement turbine 3% - 5%
- Efficiency improvement generator 0.5% - 1%
- Increased capacity 6% - 15%
8.5%- 12% in energy.
8.5% - 15% in capacity.

• Plant upgrading

Plant upgrading usually implies substantial increases in plant output.

Upgrading could involve additional units in an extended power house or
development of a new powerhouse on the opposite bank or replacement of
existing units with larger units. These approaches all assume substantial
increases in power plant flows that would require additional civil works
above the necessary repairs as noted in the proceeding sub section. Unless
the original design included provisions for these expansions, execution of
the required civil works can become quite complicated as these works may
interfere with existing structures and / or ongoing plant operations –

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introducing additional works and risks. Careful analysis and planning of
construction activities will therefore be necessary to minimize such risks.
Benefits from upgrading projects are very site specific but often can
double the output of the original project. An interesting example of an
upgrading project is Bluefish G.S. in NWT, Canada. Figure 2.1.4 shows
the main features of this project.

Further guidance on various aspects of plant renovation can be found in the

following references:
• Guide to Concrete Repair
U.S. Department of the Interior
Bureau of Reclamation
Technical Service Center (available on internet)
• Guidelines for Evaluating Aging Penstocks (manual) ASCE ca. 1995.
• IEA Guidelines on Methodology for Hydroelectric Francis Turbine
IEA Guidelines on Methodology for Generator Upgrading.
IEA Guidelines on Methodology for Upgrading Controls.
All from the International Energy Agency – Paris
• Renovation, Modernization, Upgrading and Life Extension (RMU&LE) of
Hydro power Stations.
Manual Published by Central Board of Irrigation and Power. New Delhi.
• Civil Works for Hydroelectric Facilities: Guidelines for Extension
Upgrade, ASCE Hydropower Task Committee, 2007

1.8 Layout Methodology - General

Layout or conceptual design involves the identification of all practical alternatives
and the evaluation of such alternatives in order to determine the optimal
conceptual design. If the selected design appears economically viable then more
detailed feasibility studies would be undertaken in a later phase of studies. The
recommended layout methodology includes the following sequential steps:
• Data Collection
• Map studies
• Field Visit
• Mapping and site geotechnical investigations
• Conceptual design
• Economic evaluation
• Report on preliminary studies

1.8.1 Data Collection

All available maps and documents including: site or regional hydrology

data, previous planning studies, market surveys, aerial photos, geology
reports should be collected and reviewed.

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1.8.2 Map studies

Potential development schemes should then be laid out on available

mapping for guidance during the field visit. It is further recommended that
an outline of preliminary studies report be made at this time and a check
list prepared before going into the field. This will help to establish which
important information is lacking in order to obtain it during the field visit.

1.8.3 Field Visit

The field visit provides an opportunity to obtain an appreciation of site

topography, flow regime, geology and access for roads and transmission
lines. From these on-site observations it is often possible to identify
practical locations for temporary facilities, head-works, desilting tank and
powerhouse and to decide the side of the river best suited for routing of
the waterways, preliminary access roads and T.L. routes. These locations,
their elevations and co-ordinates can be determined with portable GPS
equipment. It is also recommended that the inspection team include at last
three professionals: a hydrologist, a geologist and a hydropower engineer.
It is also recommended that the team include local representatives. Their
practical knowledge of the area and its people could be invaluable.
Typically, a field visit will require 1-3 days depending on the remoteness,
size and complexity of the site. Field visit should be supplemented with
photos and a field inspection report prepared.

1.8.4 Mapping and site investigations

The scope of the mapping and site investigation programs should be

prepared following the field visit. The extent of the mapping should be
sufficient to cover all alternatives envisaged and to allow for reasonable
adjustments (re-alignments) of structures, waterways, access roads and
T.L. routes. It is also recommended that surveyors also record ground
conditions on their maps, such as: grass land, sparse or heavy forest,
ephemeral on perennial streams, deep soil, broken rock or solid bed rock.
For small projects high head schemes extensive site investigations are
rarely required, but should at least include collection of sand and rock
samples to test for suitability for concrete production. On larger projects,
diamond drilling, geological mapping and (possibly) seismic surveys may
also be required, as recommended in Section 1.13 of the Standards.

1.8.5 Conceptual Design

In this activity preliminary designs and cost estimates are prepared for
each alternative and benefits evaluated. The relative merits of each
alternative are then be assessed by economic analysis to determine the best
alternative. Careful attention should be paid to the cost components with

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vary from one alternative to the other. Less attention is needed for
determining the cost of common components, such as: access roads; since
their values will not affect the outcomes of comparisons between

In this section preliminary design parameters are suggested to facilitate

layout and sizing of project components. These preliminary parameters
should later the refined in component optimization studies in detailed
feasibility study or design phases, but such changes should be relatively
minor and unlikely to change the choice of optimal alternative.

Preliminary design is based on data developed in the above steps and

hydrology studies performed in accordance with Section 1.4 of the

1.9 Layout of Run-of-River Schemes:

1.9.1 Determination of plant flow capacity

Plant flow capacity should be developed with reference to the flow

duration curve (FDC) for the site. The following preliminary criteria are
For isolated plants: QP = Q90%
For grid connected plants: QP = Q35%
QP = plant flow capacity (m3/s).
QT% = flow equaled or exceeded T% of time.

1.9.2 Determination of FSL of Head Pond

Three types of intakes are suitable for low head diversions: lateral intake,
trench intake or Tyrolean intake. Lateral intakes would be favoured on
relatively narrow rivers and for medium to large flows (5m3/s and above).
Trench intakes would be favoured in relatively wide plains rivers for plant
flows up to about 20m3/s, at which point a lateral flow design should be
considered. Tyrolean intakes would be favoured for mountain streams and
for relatively small plant flows up to about 2 m3/s.

Section 2.2.1 of the Standard provides rules on determination of diversion

heads for each type of intake structure.

For the lateral type the resulting FSL should be compared with the natural
high water level, conventionally taken as the level for the mean annual
flood (Q2). Also the MFL should be calculated for the design flood,
normally Q100 for SHP (or Q10 for temporary type head-works of mini-
hydro schemes). The need for spillway gates is determined considering the

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elevation of the MFL and whether unacceptable upstream flooding
upstream flooding would be caused with a simple overflow weir design.

1.9.3 Feeder Canal

Feeder canals transport sediment laden water from the intake to the
desilter. They should be designed to carry 1.20Qp which provides 0.20 Qp
flushing flow for desilter operation (assuming continuous flushing type).
Preliminary canal dimensional design should be based on V = 1.5 m/s to
ensure no sediment deposition (based on coarse sand, d = 2.0 mm). For
flows up to 2.0 m3/s canals in masonry would be preferred, while for
larger flow reinforced concrete should be considered.

1.9.4 Desilter

A continuous flushing hopper design with four hoppers is recommended,

Preliminary design of the settling tank (parallel wall section) can be
derived from the following formulae. For a design flow of Q (flushing
flow plus plant flow):
- Depth D = 1.30 Q (m)
- Specific Volume (Vs) = 50.7 Q (m3 per m3/s of flow).
- Tank Volume (VT) = Vs.Q (m3)
- VT
Length (L) = (m)
- Width (W) = (m)
This design is based on excluding silt of 0.2 mm and larger. Four hoppers
with depths of W/2 are also required below the rectangular tank bottom for
flushing. Where practical a distribution weir is preferred at the entry to the
tank, otherwise a transition section expanding at 6:1 will be required. At
the outlet end a converging transition is also required, a straight sided
section converging at 2:1 is satisfactory.

1.9.5 Power Canal

A design velocity of 1.5 m/s is recommended for preliminary design of the

power canal. Choice of construction type would be the same as for feeder
canals, as noted above.

1.9.6 Other Water Conductor Structures

Where topography is unfavourable other types of water conductor

structures may be required. In such cases the engineer will have to develop
more detailed layouts in accordance with the relevant standards and

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1.9.7 Forebay Tank

For projects, where water is conveyed by canals a forebay tank is normally

required at the transition between canal and penstock to handle transient
flows due to changes in plant operation and also to facilitate plant control
for plants operating in water level control mode. For preliminary design
the tank volume can be determined using the following formula:

V= Qp ×120 (m3)

The tank area would be calculated assuming a difference of 1.0m to 2.0m

between the tank FSL (spillway crest) and minimum operating level.

1.9.8 Penstock Intake

The concrete volume of a typical penstock intake is approximately

15.QP m3 and net cost can be estimated as:
C1 = 15.Qp.f1
QP = plant flow (m3/s)
f1 = unit price of reinforced concrete (Rs/m3)
C1 = cost of intake (Rupees).
The penstock intake should be protected with trash racks but gates can be
omitted for mini-hydro plants.

1.9.9 Penstock

Check head /length (H/L) ratio of the proposed penstock layout, if H/L > 5
a surge tank or turbine bypass valve may be required. Exceptions to these
requirements are:
- Mini hydro plants with load controller.
- High head plants with Pelton turbines

If H/L > 5, then calculate maximum length of penstock:

Lmax = 3.14 Hn. (m)
Hn= net head on turbine (m)
Te = effective governor closure time, max = 6.0 secs
V = flow velocity in penstock (m/s)
[for penstocks with varying diameters Aequiv = L/ΣAi/Li and V = Q/ Aequiv].

If L< Lmax, no surge tank is required.

The economic diameter of a penstock can be estimated as below:

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⎛ Q2 ⎞
D = 3.55 ⎜⎜ ⎟⎟ Sarkaria’s equation
⎝ 2 gH ⎠
4 Q
D= . based on V = 3.0 m/s
π 3 .0

Use the lesser of the two values.

Weight of Penstock Steel:

An approximate estimate of steel penstock weight can be calculated as

Input data:
- H = max head at turbine with normal waterhammer (m)
(Use 1.3Ho for Francis, 1.4Ho for Kaplan & 1.15Ho for Pelton)
- D = diameter of penstock (m)
- L = length of penstock
t min = (9.0 +1.25 D) × 3 m
t max = 0.0000272 HD + 0.0015 m

If t max ≤ t min
Wt = 24.5 tmin.D.L tonnes

If tmax > tmin

⎛t ⎞ ⎛t +t ⎞ ⎛ t ⎞
Wt = 24.5 t min .D.L.⎜⎜ min ⎟⎟ + 24.5 ⎜ min max ⎟.D.L.⎜⎜1 − min ⎟⎟ tonnes
⎝ t max ⎠ ⎝ 2 ⎠ ⎝ t max ⎠

For surface penstocks estimate volume of concrete saddles as:

Vf = 3.5 (L.D2) 0.82 and

Cost (C2) = Vf. f2

L = slope length of penstock (m)
D = diameter of penstock (m)
Vf = concrete volume, footings (m3)
f2 = unit price of footing concrete (Rs/m3)
C2 = estimated cost of footing (Rupees)

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The volume of anchor block concrete is of the same order of magnitude as
concrete saddles; therefore assume cost of anchor blocks as 66% cost of
saddles (or derive a more exact cost from detailed layouts).

1.9.10 Surge tanks

Surge tanks are required to protect long penstocks from excessive water
hammer pressure rise, to control excessive generator runaway speeds and
to contribute to system speed regulation. Alternatives to surge tanks
providing some of the benefits of surge tanks, include:
- addition of extra machine inertia (typically by adding a flywheel
to a horizontal axis unit or extra mass to a vertical axis generator).
- installing turbine bypass valves.
- pressure relief devices.

As surge tanks are expensive all options should be evaluated. Section 2.2.6
of this Standard provides guidelines for this task.

A preliminary design methodology for surge tanks is outlined below. It is

1.6 AL Cross-section area of surge tank (As) = (m2)
2 gcH 0
- Where : A = cross section area of upstream pipe (m2)
L = length of pipe, surge tank to reservoir (m)
c = head loss factor as hL= c.V2 (m-1.s2)
H0= steady state head on turbine (m) Highest up-surge:

In order to dimension the surge tanks it is also necessary to know the
maximum and minimum water levels that can be expected. An
approximate method is shown below that is based on Parmakian’s
method for balanced design (Parmakian – 1960). This method provides
equations relating the following parameters from which the maximum
and minimum surge levels can be calculated:

Q0 = initial steady state flow (m3/s)

As = cross-section area of surge tank (m2)
g = acceleration due to gravity (= 9.8 ms-2)
L = length of pipeline between forebay reservoir and surge tank (m)
A = cross section area of pipeline (m2)
SA = upswing (m)
SB = downswing (m)
H0 = steady state water level in surge tank (m)
Hs = static water level in surge tank (m)
Hf and bo as defined below:

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For maximum upsurge calculate:
Hf = pipe friction loss + minor losses +
Hf As g
bo = .
Qo L/ A
S A = 1.05 bo−0.89 .H f
Max. W.L. = Ho - Hf + SA

2 Lowest down surge:

For lowest downswing calculate

Ve 2
Hf = pipe friction losses + minor losses +
(where Qe = flow demanded by turbine)
Hf AS g
bo = .
Qe L/ A
S B = 0.88 b0−0.91 .S f
Minimum W.L. in surge tank = Hs - Hf - SB

3 Weight of steel surge tank (WS):

Ws = 1.29 x 10-4 x (HV) 0.96 (kg)

H = Height above c/l of penstock to centroid of tank (m)
V = Volume of tank cylinder (m3)

3.1 Powerhouse and Tailrace

Preliminary powerhouse layout requires the selection of appropriate
generating equipment and estimation of the main powerhouse dimensions.
Preliminary guidelines on unit selection and basic layout dimensions can
be obtained from IS 12800: Guidelines for Selection of Hydraulic Turbine,
Preliminary Dimensioning and Layout of Hydroelectric Power Houses.
Using these basic dimensions, preliminary powerhouse layouts can be
prepared. Alternatively, for preliminary analysis, powerhouse cost
estimates by a parametric estimating technique are satisfactory. The
RETScreen Model can be used to obtain preliminary powerhouse cost
estimates, as explained in Sub-Section 3.6 of this Standard.

3.2 Layout of Canal Falls Schemes

There are rarely more than two alternatives for development depending on
which side of the existing canal the diversion canal and powerhouse would
be located. Practical considerations regarding foundation conditions,
access and the like will probably decide the optimal arrangement. Coffer
dams are not usually needed as interconnecting canals can usually be build

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during periods when the canal would be out of service for annual
maintenance. Attention must also be paid to hydraulic design to minimize
head losses. Acceleration of flow velocity through the entry is acceptable
if economically justified and compatible with flow conditions at the power
plant intake. Deceleration of flow velocity should be avoided. Layout
concepts should be based on successful designs of similar plants. Central
Board for Irrigation and Power (CBIP, 2003) gives an inventory of Indian
hydropower plants with salient data and drawings.
3.3 Layout of Dam Toe Schemes.
As for plants at canal falls, practical consideration of site characteristics,
foundations, access and the like will probably determine the optimal
arrangement. Occasionally original designs will include provision for
addition of a power plant. Layout concepts should be based on successful
designs of similar projects. Design of cofferdams and other protective
works must be done with equal care as these works form an integral part
of a successful project. Examples of successful designs can be found in
CBIP (2003).

3.4 Determination of Capacity and Energy Benefits.

For run-of-river hydro schemes average energy benefits are determined by
integration of the project flow duration curve (FDC) using the net head
appropriate for each flow class. For isolated or stand alone projects firm
energy is of greater interest. Indian practice is to base firm energy
determinations on the Q90% flow from the FDC. For this exercise it is
convenient to express hydraulic losses as a function of Q2. Normally,
maximum head loss is normally found to be between 2% and 10% of gross
head. Energy output should be expressed in mean kWh per year. Firm
capacity should be calculated based on the capacity that can be produced
with Q90%. Firm capacity, firm energy and mean energy should all be
referenced to the transmission, or distribution line, voltage as appropriate.

3.5 Benefits and Economic Evolutions

The determination of benefits and economic evolution should be carried
out in accordance with Sections 1.4, 1.6 and 1.7 of the Standard. For
isolated SHP the capacity providing the least cost of energy should be
selected. For grid connected plants the optimum capacity should be based
on benefit-cost analysis using appropriate incremental costs for energy and
capacity. These values should be selected in consultation with the
responsible State or Central Government authority.

3.6 RET Screen

RET Screen is a computer model developed by the Government of
Canada, Department of Natural Resources and available freely over the
internet at The model is available in several languages,
including Hindi. The purpose of the model is to compute costs and
benefits, including greenhouse gas analysis, for small scale run-of-river

AHEC/MNRE/SHP Standards/ Civil Works – Guidelines For Layout Of Small Hydro Plants /Feb 2008             14 
projects. While originally intended as a tool for preliminary studies
utilizing mainly map data, the latest version now allows the engineer to
enter work quantities and unit costs against a comprehensive list of work

The program is setup in Excel and comprises four screens, as below:

3.6.1 Energy Data Model
Input Data: H, Qp, Qr, ΣHL, η gen, transformer losses and parasitic losses
and hydrologic & equipment parameters as calculated in Screens 2 and 3.
Output: Annual energy production.

3.6.2 Hydrology
Input Data: Flow duration curve (FDC).
Output: FDC and load duration curve (LDC) in tabular and graphic

3.6.3 Equipment
Input : Type of turbine.
Output : Estimated turbine efficiency curve.
The program calculates the energy benefits which are reported in Screen 1,
using hydrology and equipment data from Screens 2 and 3.

3.6.4 Cost Analysis

Two options are offered: detailed cost analysis or formula costs.

Choose the method that is most suitable for cost analysis (detailed or
formula) then select economic parameters in accordance with Section 1.7
of the Standard.

If the detailed analysis is chosen, the engineer will have to provide

quantities and units costs for the list of work items contained in the
program. The list allows inclusion of additional items one for each
division of the work list.

If the formula analysis method is chosen cost components are determined

from parametric equations for each structure. Data comprise characteristic
parameters (geometry, flow or capacity) for each structure. Overall data
requirements are much less in this option. For preliminary design and
planning studies the utility of this option is enhanced if the model is first
bench marked (on calibrated) against recent projects and escalation factors
and main unit prices adjusted to fit.

The currency for all cost and financial calculations are input in this screen,
along with the applicable conversion rate Rs per Canadian $ 1.00.

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Output: Capital cost estimate

3.6.5 Financial Summary

Input : Financial parameters
Output : Project costs and savings
Results of financial analyses
Cost of power.

3.7 Provision for Future Expansion

The engineer should think about the possibility of future expansion and
consider providing features that would facilitate such work in the future.
Such provisions could include addition of a branch in a penstock, pre-
excavation of the foundation of a future unit and the like. An appropriate
structural addition could greatly simplify expansion of the plant in the
future with significant savings in cost and schedule.

3.8 References

Indian Standards Cited

IS 12800 (Part 3)
Guidelines for Selection of Hydraulic Turbine,
Preliminary Dimensioning and Layout of Surface Hydroelectric Power

Other References
Waterhammer Analysis
J. Parmakian,
Dover Publishers (1963)
Hydroelectric Power Stations in Operation in India, CBIP (2003)

RET Screen International:

Clean Energy Project Analysis Software
Natural Resources Canada

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3.9 Examples of Project Layouts:


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