Typically the demands for multi-unit hydropower plants are defined related to the plant and not in relation to the individual unit. This offers the opportunity to benefit from the degrees of freedom, which exist inside the plant to fulfil the required demands.
Use water efficiently - The load dispatcher requires a specific plant output to be fed into the grid and does not care about the individual units which are in operation. The HyCon plant optimization distributes the power to the units in operation in the most efficient way taking into consideration deviations in design, efficiency and water passages. So the plant optimization helps to save valuable water.
Maximized output - The same is true for run-of-the river power plants. In this case there is usually a given water inflow to be passed through the plant. The given flow will be distributed to the units in operation in the most efficient way. So the output of the plant is maximized taking the advantage of differences between the unit’s operational behavior caused by deviations in the hydraulic characteristics or differences in the water passages.
The optimization methods implemented in the HyCon plant optimization module are applicable for all types of hydraulic machines, whereas the expectable benefit by tendency is higher for Francis units than for Kaplan turbines. For the processing of the optimization a detailed plant model including characteristic curves and physical models for
- shut-off and closing devices
- water passages