Optimising Electric Power From a Small Scale Hydro Plant

by Dan Levy, Univ of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Waterpower '91: A New View of Hydro Resources


The paper summarizes new development in electrical power generation from small scale hydro prime movers. It describes various methods of power generation such as CSCF (Constant speed constant frequency) and VSCF (variable speed constant frequency) systems. The CSCF system varies the torque on the turbine in such a way that it allows it to run at a constant speed despite head variation. On the otherhand, VSCF allows both the torque and the turbine speed to vary, thus, it provides better flexibility to the system for optimization. Some newer electrical generators which are developed or under development and which simplify the hydro and mechanical side of installations, are presented. These include optimal controllers which measure and optimize the output power from the generator in closed loop. Both methods with optimal controllers are promised to be of particular importance in low variable head development such as in run-of river.

Subject Headings: Electric power | Power plants | Hydro power | Control systems | Head (fluid mechanics) | Rivers and streams | Hydraulics | Turbines

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