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Voith HyCon

Hydropower automation from a single source

Voith automation is HyCon

    Voith’s comprehensive knowledge of plant equipment and processes provides the basis for supplying best-in-class solutions. For our HyCon automation family, we provide excellent engineering expertise and experience to select, design and implement a specific automation solution. In this way, HyCon (Hydro Control) is able to promise top-level efficiency, maximum reliability and excellent performance. As a result of an international recognition from our customers, Voith has been able to deliver more than 7 000 complete automation systems in nearly 3 200 powerhouses worldwide to date.

    Hydropower plants have a very long life cycle, so reliability of the chosen system and the offered service are of utmost importance. Therefore, we practically implement the entire Voith system.
    Lino Ossami Yassuda of Enerpeixe S.A.

    HyCon automation family

      HyCon Control System


        Voith HyCon Control System is offering complete and comprehensive SCADA functionality for all power plant environments, combining Voith´s long-term process know-how and control system expertise to create a hydropower-specific solution. By that we are able to engineer tailor-made solutions for all types and sizes of hydropower plants quickly and cost effectively. The HyCon Control System is a reliable and safe solution for new and modernized projects.

        Product details:

        • Hydropower-specific block library
        • Scalable redundancy for PLCs, network, server and I/O
        • Distributed server configurations for multi-unit plants, very complex auxiliaries and others
        • Ergonomically designed process screens that help to focus user attention on what is most relevant
        • Independant local operation
        • Open interfaces to various IT systems like MES, ERP and CMMS

        HyCon Turbine Governor System


          Voith has been developing and manufacturing the core components of turbine governor systems for more than 120 years. Our optimally aligned turbine governor packages include all equipment for an outstanding control performance of any kind of turbine. Voith is a supplier of low- and high-pressure governor systems, depending on turbine type, size and application. Our goal is to deliver maximum safety and availability, maximum life time, maximum sensitivity and accuracy as well as minimum losses. As of today, over 18 500 complete turbine governors have been delivered and installed by Voith worldwide.

          Digital Turbine Governor

          Our HyCon Digital Turbine Governors combine leading-edge technology with concepts that have proven their reliability and performance under all operating conditions over many years. By using the best hardware and software available, this governor offers the highest availability. Because of its modular and flexible design, the governor can be customized to satisfy the requirements of every type of turbine. The HyCon Digital Turbine Governor is based on Siemens SIMATIC S7 components and supports a wide range of open interfaces including IEC 60870-5-101/103/104 and IEC 61850.

          The HyCon Digital Turbine Governor includes all control modes required for any type of turbine:

          • Speed control
          • Opening control (with or without frequency influence)
          • Power control (with or without frequency influence)
          • Water level control (with or without frequency influence)
          • Flow control
          • Pump control

          Governor oil supply

          Low-pressure solutions (up to 63 bars) can be used for all types of turbines. They are a perfect fit for large hydraulic machines but are also an absolutely safe and reliable solution for any kind of hydraulic machine. Voith delivers all components for your customized solution:

          • Oil sump tank with pump group
          • Main valves for the energy production
          • Pressure tank for energy storage
          • High-pressure air compressors for air replenishment
          • Sensors and actuators

          High-pressure solutions (up to 160 bars) can be used for all types of turbines. They are often a cost-effective solution for small and medium sized hydraulic machines. Voith delivers all components for your customized solution:

          • Oil sump tank with pump groups
          • Main valves for the energy production
          • Piston accumulator station with nitrogen filling
          • Sensors and actuators

          Governor control elements

          The importance of interfacing the control system to the machine is frequently underestimated. The electro-hydraulic converters to operate the servomotors, which are the main control elements for the hydroelectric power conversion processes, are individually designed for each power unit. Our wealth of experience in hydropower engineering helps us create the required level of reliability and control accuracy. To add matching actuators to the digital governor, we design and deliver all required first class control elements for the turbine control. Voith delivers its own specialized manufactured components for governor controls:

          • Control valves up to DN 200
          • Moving-coil type servo valves (TSM 6) including quick shutdown device

          The advantage of moving-coil type servo valves compared to a standard proportional valve is the up to three times longer life-time.

          Hydraulic control

          Voith delivers all components for further hydraulic control systems, including:

          • Ring gate controls
          • Butterfly valve controls
          • Spherical valve controls
          • Sleeve valve controls
          • Gate controls for intake and draft tube
          • Torque converter controls
          • Pressure relief valve controls

          HyCon Thyricon Excitation System


            Our HyCon Thyricon Excitation product line offers best-in-class technology to feed the hydropower generator’s field windings as well as to intelligently and reliably control generator voltage and reactive power. Thyricon offers many benefits for all types of projects in the hydropower world. This applies to new installations, modernization and rehabilitation projects.

            Digital voltage regulator

            Thyricon employs state-of-the-art industrial programmable logic controllers for performing the digital voltage regulation tasks, stator and rotor limiting functions, power system stabilizing and interface with other systems in the power plant. The regulation and control software are engineered according to IEEE standards, which guarantee the best system behavior as well as reliable and safe operation within the generator limits.

            The controllers are based on standard Siemens electronic components and parts. The program language of the Thyricon controllers is identical to the Siemens automation product line, which facilitates the handling of the excitation system. Therefore, training and maintenance becomes easier and faster.

            Static excitation system

            In HyCon Thyricon static excitation systems, the field winding of the generator is fed directly by a fully controlled thyristor rectifier bridge. The direct access to the rotor winding is the reason for the superior dynamic characteristics of such systems. State-of-the-art power electronics combined with a self-excited configuration enhance the reliability of the static excitation system, as its power part is independent from the rest of the power plant. The high ceiling voltage capacity and wide-range operating voltage of the rectifier bridge guarantee that Thyricon continues working even during severe voltage drops in the power system.


            • Superior dynamic control characteristics
            • Negative field forcing capabilities
            • Rotor temperature estimation (field voltage and current)
            • Static power part, no rotating machines required

            Brushless excitation system

            On smaller generation, instead of static exciter, a directly driven AC exciter machine with the rectifier mounted on the generator shaft is employed. The main advantage of this solution compared with DC exciters is that the problems associated with the commutator and brushes can be completely eliminated. The brushless system eliminates the slip rings and thus all current-carrying brushes. The brushless excitation system is used for high-speed synchronous machines with horizontal shafts as well as for hydropower generators.

            HyCon optimization modules


              Hydropower plants can be operated more economically and ecologically with Voith HyCon optimization modules. In addition to standard supervision and monitoring functions, intelligent optimization modules are important extensions within the scope of our HyCon family. They can significantly enhance the profitability of a plant by increasing its annual energy output and by reducing operating and maintenance costs. Our goal is to use every liter of water as efficiently as possible with HyCon optimization modules.

              Cam curve optimization

              The outstanding feature of Kaplan and bulb turbines is their high efficiency in a wide head range thanks to adjustability of wicket gates and runner blades. The Kaplan optimization module corrects an inaccurate dependency automatically. The optimization is done during normal operation of the machine. The optimization method adds small changes to the wicket gate and runner blade opening. Thanks to the steady machine flow, the disturbance of the machine operation is negligible.

              Voith offers a module to fully and automatically optimize the cam curve that directly results in optimizing the profitability of the hydropower plant.

              Plant optimization

              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. Thus, plant optimization helps to save valuable water.

              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. A detailed plant model with characteristic curves and physical models for turbine, generator, shut-off and closing devices as well as water passages is used to perform the optimization.

              Joint control

              The Voith HyCon joint control (JC) is an integral part of the HyCon control system. It is the approved approach to optimize the active and reactive load distribution. Accordingly, the discharge distribution is optimized in plants with multiple units.

              Water management control

              HyCon water management control is the central element in the management of your water storage facility. Water resource management employs weirs, locks and the turbines in hydroelectric plants. Efficient and optimized operation of these installations must always comply with governing water management regulations and should be automated to the greatest extent for efficient and optimized operation. Thanks to the many years of experience and gained expertise with its HyCon water management control, Voith can satisfy all requirements associated with stored water facility management.

              OnCare.Health Hydro


                OnCare.Health Hydro is the Voith monitoring, analysis and diagnostic system. It is a valuable tool due to its outstanding capabilities to support early fault detection and condition-based maintenance. It combines our engineering and manufacturing expertise with your operational experience and knowledge to design a powerful information source for operation and maintenance activities tailored to your individual hydropower plant.

                To meet various demands for different types, sizes and operation modes of hydropower machines, we offer:

                • Highly scalable systems
                • Tailored solutions for protection, monitoring, analysis and diagnostics
                • Predefined standard configurations to assure reliable and safe measurement and protection functions


                The OnCare.Health Hydro monitoring module evaluates all measurements and characteristic values as a function of operation mode and operation point and includes logical functions based on parameters that generate trip signals to be transferred to the mechanical protection of the unit. The following monitoring functions are supported by the OnCare.Health Hydro concept:

                • Shaft, bearing, turbine head cover, stator core, labyrinth, end-winding and axial vibration
                • Partial discharge
                • Generator air gap
                • Magnetic flux
                • Among others: temperature, pressure and shaft current 

                Cavitation monitoring

                Cavitation is an undesired hydraulic phenomenon that potentially limits the operational range of hydraulic turbines. It causes noise, vibrations and can even erode the surface of turbine components.
                OnCare.Health cavitation monitoring provides reliable online information about the cavitation state inside the hydraulic machine. This module helps you to find the right balance between operations requirements and economic performance. Voith is currently testing a cavitation and erosion care HyService package. The service enables monitoring for individual adjusted maintenance to lower maintenance cost and increase availability.
                Become one of our first pilot customers and benefit from additional comprehensive benefits of cavitation and erosion monitoring.

                Contact us now


                In order to extend the benefit for the plant operator, the system must be able to efficiently support condition-based maintenance strategies. Our OnCare.Health Hydro modules are specifically designed to meet these advanced requirements:

                • Highly sensitive measurement technology with adapted analysis techniques.
                • Diagnostic intelligence for proper selection of specific parameters and comparison of the measured values with the expected behavior depending on specific plant conditions and machine operation modes.
                • Tailor-made systems to meet specific conditions such as very low speed or various operating modes with highly volatile excitation requirements.
                • Precise machine monitoring through intelligent measuring and analysis systems covering analytical evaluation of pre-processed values from the measurement device – as for example frequency analysis providing frequency selective observation results – and the calculation of further hydropower specific characteristic values.


                OnCare.Health Hydro, with its flexibility and adaptive modular configuration, provides a powerful tool for reliable diagnostics for safe operation at all times, main component towards predictive maintenance. A knowledge database automatically processes the results of the analysis. The database is adapted individually to each power unit and is largely based on fully customized dynamic machine models. A mathematical model of the unit ensures quantitative and qualitative evaluations since it incorporates the highest process know-how and all existing mechanical couplings. In addition, operational experience can be integrated into the knowledge database.

                OnCare.Health Hydro is a complete multi-parameter monitoring system for the hydropower industry. I have been working with monitoring systems in Eletrobras Eletronorte hydropower plants for more than 12 years and have never seen a system that is as easy to use and extremely reliable with large amounts of data as OnCare.Health Hydro. For maintenance technology and technology analysts in hydropower, OnCare.Health Hydro is currently the best tool.
                Angelo Torres Madureira, Mechanical maintenance engineer at Eletrobras Electronorte, Belo Monte, Brazil

                Protection system

                  In addition to the control system perfectly designed mechanical and electrical protection systems are crucial factors for a safe operation of the power plant. Safety of human lives and protection of your investment are priority number one for Voith. Only carefully selected components are combined into a thoroughly tested, safe and secure concept, which is employed in the HyCon family.

                  Telecommunication and access security

                    Hydropower plants are often unmanned and operated from remote locations. Therefore, systems are required to protect the plant against unauthorized access. For this purpose advanced video surveillance systems and telecommunication solutions are required. The layout of the power plant and the required functionality offer a wide range of possible solutions. Voith matches equipment from first-class suppliers to specific solutions for your hydropower plant.

                    CONTACT OUR EXPERTS NOW
                    Hy2Grid – the solution for automation and electrical systems for small hydropower plants

                    Hy2Grid is a modular, full-service solution for small hydropower plants. It covers the entire product range of electrical systems for connecting a hydropower plant to the grid and offers an automation solution from a single source.

                    LEARN MORE ABOUT HY2GRID

                    OnCare is a sustainable way to increase plant productivity by decreasing unplanned and planned downtime while simultaneously increasing the efficiency at which machines can be maintained. This allows for maintenance efforts to be optimized and costs minimized.

                    Intelligent Hydropower

                    The increasing demand for energy and the use of different energy sources worldwide require greater flexibility and more precise data from hydropower providers. Plants are therefore networked with the power supply grid, centrally managed, and software algorithms control many processes on their own. Hydropower is already highly automated; now Voith is making it intelligent.

                    Voith HyService: On site. On time.

                    Maintaining the maximum efficiency of your system is our goal – which is why we offer individual, affordable service solutions. Whether for regular maintenance or emergencies, our HyService Team is available around the world, day and night.


                    Automation systems for hydropower plants – how can we help you?

                      HyCon Governor

                      Martin Sallfert

                      Expert Governor


                      t +43 2742 806 22914

                      HyCon Thyricon Excitation

                      Hermes La Macchia

                      Global Product Manager Excitation Systems


                      t +1-717-792-7673

                      OnCare.Health Hydro

                      Jose Manuel Nieto Diaz

                      Global Product Manager Hydro Condition Monitoring


                      t +49 7321 37 3481

                      Felix Lippold

                      Global Product Manager Hydro Asset Management and Condition Monitoring


                      t +49 7321 37 9622

                      HyCon Optimization Modules

                      Ralf Grether

                      Senior Manager Automation


                      t +49 7321 37 2538

                      Selected customer references

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