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Hydro Review World Magazine March 2013 Hydro water power...


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March-April 2013

Making Development Work in India

Media sponsor of


24-26 September, 2013, São Paulo • details pg. 37

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In India, demand for electricity is skyrocketing. Before the hydropower plant in Omkareshwar on the Narmada River was connected to the grid, the local population sometimes had just 15 minutes of electricity per day. Since then, a continuous supply of electricity has been ensured.

With more than 140 years experience in the field of hydropower and high annual spending for research and development, Voith is well equipped to continue delivering excellence in hydropower in the years to come. ____________ RS #1

Renewable Energy for India. A Voith and Siemens Company

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MARCH-APRIL 2013 INDIAN HYDROPOWER 12 Koteshwar: Case Study of

Efficient Development in India

By R.S.T. Sai and D.V. Singh

To conform to a tight schedule, the owner of the 400 MW Koteshwar project on the Bhagirathi River in India scrapped many previous plans and used a hands-on managerial approach. This enabled the plant to be commissioned ahead of schedule.


ARTICLES 20 The Path to Commercialization for Wave and Tidal Power By Tildy Bayar

As more ocean energy technologies emerge as commercially viable generation propositions, we explore which technologies are likely to succeed and why.

24 Determining Monthly Discharge on the

Tapajos River Using a Rainfall-Runoff Model

By Eurico de Carvalho-Filho, Iara P.G. Machado, Humberto Jacobsen Teixeira, Gabriel S.C. Rocha and Maria Tereza F.R. Campos

To develop a historical flow profi le for projects in the Tapajos River Basin, a mathematical model was used. Data from this model fi lled gaps in data available from rainflow gauging stations.

30 Using Radar to Improve Level Measurement By Christiano Dalosto Pase and Edson Leandro Tomaselli

To better measure the water level in the reservoir behind Machadinho Dam, plant owner Tractebel Energia installed radar level transmitters. Their use has increased reliability and eliminated the need for corrective interventions.


● Peer Reviewed

DEPARTMENTS 2 Viewpoint: Hydropower’s Positive European Outlook

4 Briefings

33 New Hydro

32 Tech Notes

34 Small Hydro

36 Index to Advertisers

ADVISORY BOARD H. Irfan Aker Dolsar Engineering Limited, Turkey

Ian M. Cook ICCL, United Kingdom

Chris Head Chris Head & Associates United Kingdom

Leonard B. Kassana East African Tea Trade Association Kenya

Peter Thomas Mulvihill Pioneer Generation, Ltd. New Zealand

Raghunath Gopal (R.G.) Vartak AFCONS Infrastructure Limited, India

Emmanuel Antwi-Darkwa Volta River Authority Ghana

Arturo Gil Garcia Iberdrola Generation Spain

Liu Heng International Network on Small Hydropower (IN-SHP), People's Republic of China

Carlos Alberto Knakiewicz Itaipu Binacional Brazil

Montri Suwanmontri, PhD Dr. Montris & Associates Thailand

Luis C. Vintimilla Consulting Engineer Ecuador

Zhang Boting Chinese Society for Hydropower Engineering People's Republic of China

Roger Gill Hydro Focus Pty. Ltd. Australia

Zhang Jinsheng China Yangtze Three Gorges Project People's Republic of China

Dr. Terry Moss Eskom Generation South Africa

C.V.J. Varma Council of Power Utilities and The Dams Society India

James Yang, PhD Vattenfall Research and Development AB Sweden

March-April 2013 / HRW 1

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Hydropower’s Positive European Outlook


Vol. 21, No. 2, March-April 2013

European electricity generator trade group Eurelectric, together with the Hydro Equipment Association (HEA) and European Small Hydropower Association (ESHA), have issued a new fact sheet on hydropower because, they believe, its key role as an enabler of the transition to clean renewable power remains insufficiently understood among Brussels-based policy makers. The trade groups argue that hydropower in Europe not only creates economic value, but at the same time it also increases energy security and local energy supply and supports both the speed and volume of variable output renewable power entering the European energy system. “Hydropower is a highly efficient and competitive electricity generation technology that lies at the heart of the renewable energy family and currently provides 11% of Europe’s electricity. With its flexible capability to ease imbalances between demand and supply, it is already important to our electricity system today. It will become even more important as the share of variable generation from renewables such as wind and sun increases,” the Eurelectric paper asserts. The group also makes much of hydropower’s storage capabilities, noting that the total installed storage capacity in Europe already amounts to more than 180 TWh. Nonetheless, continued hydropower deployment in the region faces several challenges, Eurelectric argues. Capital costs are high and there are long permit granting procedures and construction times. Such a long lead time increases future regulatory framework uncertainty and investment risk. Moreover, Eurelectric says, administrative barriers and regulatory changes during operation represent additional challenges. For example, grid fees can disadvantage pumped-storage plants compared with other competing flexibility options, the trade group says. In its outlook, Eurelectric finds that hydropower can and should play a key role in achieving the EU 20-20-20 climate and renewable energy goals, and it makes a number of policy recommendations to ensure this happens. Among the demands is a call to establish appropriate and consistent framework conditions and for European legislators to create a level playing field for power generation from domestic water resources, compared with other electricity production and storage technologies. Perhaps most telling, Eurelectric adds that a special focus should be placed on the value of providing flexibility to the electricity system. It is perhaps this more than any other attribute that sets hydro apart from other renewable energy sectors and that could have a significant economic value with the right balancing market structures in place. And, with the right structures, the possibility of using far more of Europe’s hydropower potential becomes all but a certainty.

PennWell Global Energy Group The Water Tower, Gunpowder Mill, Powermill Lane, Waltham Abbey, Essex, EN9 1BN, UK Telephone: +44 1992 656 600 Fax: +44 1992 656 700 E-mail: hydror[email protected] World Wide Web: CHIEF EDITOR — David Appleyard +44 1992 656659 [email protected] SENIOR EDITOR — Elizabeth Ingram +1 816 214 5629 [email protected] A SSOCIATE EDITOR — Bethany Duarte +1 918 832 9330 [email protected] PRODUCTION MANAGER — Daniel Greene +1 918 831 9401 [email protected] GRAPHIC DESIGNER — Kermit Mulkins +1 918 831 9554 [email protected]

SUBSCRIBER SERVICE P.O. Box 3264, Northbrook, IL 60065-3264, USA Customer Service: +1 847 559 7330 Fax: +1 847 291 4816 Email: [email protected] PUBLISHER — Marla Barnes +1 918 832 9353 [email protected] SALES MANAGER: EUROPE, A SIA , A FRICA , OCEANIA — Alasdair Evans +44 1992 656636 [email protected] SALES DIRECTOR: A MERICAS — Howard Lutzk +1 913 402 7119 [email protected] REPRINTS — Rhonda Brown +1 866 879 9144 [email protected] CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS — PennWell Corp. 1421 S. Sheridan Road, Tulsa, OK 74112, USA Telephone: +1 918 835 3161 CHAIRMAN — Frank T. Lauinger PRESIDENT/CEO — Robert F. Biolchini CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER /SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT — Mark C. Wilmoth AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT MANAGER — Emily Martha Martin SR. VP, AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT & BOOK PUBLISHING — June Griffin PRODUCTION DIRECTOR — Charlie Cole The views expressed by contributing authors are those of the individuals concerned and do not necessarily reflect those of HRW or the publishers. HRW (ISSN 1072-9542) is published six times in January, March, May, July, September, and November by PennWell Global Energy Group, The Water Tower, Gunpowder Mill, Powermill Lane, Waltham Abbey, Essex, EN9 1BN, UK; phone +44 1992 656 600. Printed in the U.K. Canadian GST Registration Number 12681 3153 RT0001. Canada Post International Publications Mail Product (Canadian Distribution) Publications Agreement No. 40029359. @Copyright 2013 by PennWell Corp. (Registered in U.S. Patent Trademark Office). No part of this periodical may be reproduced without the consent of the publisher. Authorization to photocopy items for internal or personal use, or the internal or personal use of specific clients, is granted by HRW, ISSN 1072-9542, provided that the appropriate fee is paid directly to Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923 USA 508-750-8400. Prior to photocopying items for educational classroom use, please contact Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923 USA 508-750-8400. Periodicals postage paid at Tulsa, OK and additional mailing offices. Annual subscription rate: US$44 per year. Single copies: US$20. Payments accepted in U.S. funds only. HRW is a subscriber to Business News Americas news services and incorporates their copy in its news columns. POSTMASTER: Send change of address, other circulation information to HRW, PO Box 3264, Northbrook, IL 60065-3264. “HRW” is a registered trademark of PennWell Corp. Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to P.O. Box 122, Niagara Falls, ON L2E 6S4.

Member: BPA International

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Chief Editor 2 HRW / March-April 2013

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Progress at two hydro plants in Vietnam

Alstom also previously supplied two 130 MW reversible

Vinacomin Power Holding Corp. has awarded a US$26.6 million

pump-turbine units for the fi rst phase of the Alqueva project,

contract to a consortium of Alstom and Hydrochina Huadong

which has been operating since 2004.

Engineering Corp. to supply turbines and electromechanical equipment for the 154 MW Dong Nai 5 project in Vietnam. Alstom said it will design, manufacture, deliver and supervise the erection of two 77 MW turbine-generator units and related mechanical and electrical auxiliaries.

Hydro activity continues strong in India Development work is ongoing in several locations in India. The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) recently upheld India’s right to divert water from a Neelum River tributary

The $302 million Dong Nai 5 complex, on the Dong Nai

for National Hydroelectric Power Corporation’s 330 MW

River, is part of Vietnam’s Power Development Master Plan VII

Kishanganga project, being built by HCC-Halcrow Consortium.

and will begin operation in August 2015, Alstom said.

At the same time, Pakistan’s Water and Power Development

In other news, a consortium of Alstom and Hydrochina

Authority has progressed in its plans to develop the 969 MW

Zhongnan Engineering Corporation signed a $144.76 million

Neelum-Jhelum plant, which would be located downstream from

contract with Electricity of Viet Nam in January to provide elec-

Kishanganga on the same river system. Fearing that Kishanganga

tromechanical equipment for the 1,200 MW Lai Chau project.

might reduce the capacity of its Neelum-Jhelum plant by divert-

Alstom is to supply three 400 MW Francis turbine and genera-

ing water, Pakistan asked the neutral PCA to resolve the confl ict

tor sets, as well as mechanical and electrical auxiliaries.

under provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty in 2010. The court — located in The Hague — ruled that India was

Portugal inaugurates Alqueva pumped-storage

adhering to the treaty, which stipulates that the fi rst country to

project expansion

complete its project will have priority rights to the river’s waters.

An extension of Portugal’s Alqueva pumped-storage plant has doubled its capacity to 520 MW. The addition — called

Advancing work on other Indian plants

Alqueva 2 — was announced by Energia de Portugal (EDP) in

India’s West Bengal state hopes to use hydroelectric projects to

October 2007 as a means of storing power produced by south-

increase its supply of water and energy, according to a master

ern Portugal’s booming wind sector.

plan that details potential development along the North and

In September 2008, EDP awarded a contract worth

South Bengal rivers.

US$138.3 million to a consortium consisting of Alstom,

The plan, released by the West Bengal State Electricity

EFACEC Engenharia S.A. and SMM of Portugal to equip the

Distribution Company (WBSEDCL), said new conventional

Alqueva 2 expansion. Alstom said the group supplied, delivered

and pumped-storage hydro projects in the state could provide

and installed two 130 MW reversible pump-turbine units and

capacity of 6,300 MW. WBSEDCL is in the preliminary stages

other mechanical equipment, which were officially inaugurated

of identifying hydropower potential in existing canals and irri-

during a ceremony in January.

gation systems, is preparing feasibility reports for conventional hydro schemes in Darjeeling, and has identified potential sites for a 1,000 MW pumped-storage facility in Purulia district. In addition, development of hydropower projects in several Indian states could benefit from the Forest Advisory Committee’s (FAC) reversal of a recommendation in February requiring cumulative impact assessments for three new hydroelectric plants. Affected by the committee’s decision are 800 MW Tawang 2 in Arunachal Pradesh, 520 MW Teesta 4 in Sikkim and 775 MW Luhri in Himachal Pradesh. FAC said last year that it could not consider giving the projects Stage 1 environmental clearance until comprehensive hydrology, ecology, wildlife, sociology and disaster management studies were

Alqueva Dam is the location of the 520 MW Alqueva 2 pumped-storage facility, which was recently expanded through the addition of two reversible pump-turbine units.

4 HRW / March-April 2013

complete, although the requirements were relaxed in an effort to help meet India’s growing demands for power, sources said.

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Georgia, USAID agreement to increase

that we were committed to settling that debt and to demonstrate

private sector development

that we are bona-fide partners before they could actually enter

A new partnership between the United States Agency for

into the Batoka project,” Chifamba said. “Because we have done

International Development and the Georgian government is

so, that has unlocked the project.”

intended to help spur private development of hydro projects. USAID and Georgia’s Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources signed a letter in January declaring their intent

Development of Batoka Gorge is seen as crucial for Zimbabwe, whose industries have been crippled by a lack of available power and load shedding.

to implement the program — called the Georgian Electricity Market Model 2015 (GEMM 2015) — as a “core strategy”

Update on hydro development in Nepal

for the country’s energy sector. According to Georgia officials,

Production at Nepal’s 60 MW Kulekhani 1 project was cut in

GEMM 2015 will promote private development of new hydro-

half by a short circuit in a cable that occurred in February. The

power construction by giving energy producers easier means of

project — on the Kulekhani River — is the only reservoir-type

selling their power to Turkey and other regional markets.

hydroelectric plant in the country, according to owner the Nepal

USAID has a history of supporting hydro projects in Georgia

Electricity Authority (NEA).

and said GEMM 2015 grew from the response it received dur-

Kulekhani 1 is intended to provide power for peak demand and

ing previous projects. “The hydro electrical power development

emergencies, although NEA said recent rainfall in the area should

project initially started with a series of studies to help identify

allow other run-of-river facilities to keep pace with demand.

potential investors for one of the hydroelectric facilities,”

NEA said repairs would take about a week, although a more

USAID Mission Director Stephen Haykin said. “In the course

permanent replacement cable would be installed as soon as pos-

of doing this, we were trying to attract investors to Georgia. We

sible. That process, NEA said, might take months.

got feedback and saw Georgia is in need of changes in policy structures and institutions.”

In other Nepal hydro news, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)

Georgia’s Ministry of Energy will seek further input from

have agreed to fi nance two-thirds of Nepal’s 140 MW Tanahun

the country’s National Energy and Water Supply Regulatory

project. JICA and ADB said they will provide $150 million each

Commission (GENRC) and local and foreign experts. The

after negotiations completed in February. The JICA loan will

ministry said it hopes to have the new market model formed by

carry 0.01% interest with a 40 year payback period, while the

the end of 2014, with implementation to begin in 2015.

ADB loan has a 1.5% interest rate over 30 years. Official loan documents have not yet been signed.

Zimbabwe making Batoka Gorge debt repayments

Sources report the European Investment Bank (EIB) has

Debts being paid to Zambia from state-owned Zimbabwe

expressed interest in fi nancing at least part of the Tanahun proj-

Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) should help pave the way

ect’s remaining costs, although officials said negotiations have

toward construction of the 1,600 MW Batoka Gorge project.

not taken place yet.

The US$3 billion plant is being developed by the Zambezi River Authority, which is jointly owned by Zimbabwe and Zambia. ZESA Chief Executive Elijah Chifamba told a parliamentary

The run-of-river project will be built on the Seti River and could be generating power by 2020, assuming NEA can begin construction in 2014 as proposed.

committee in February that the utility will have paid Zambia $40 million of its $70 million in debt by the end of March,

RusHydro announces consolidations, objectives for 2013

allowing development to proceed. “Zambians needed to see fi rst

Russian hydropower project operator JSC RusHydro has announced it will reorganize the company’s hydro engineering operations by consolidating its three subsidiaries. As per an in absentia meeting of the RusHydro board of directors in February, the consolidation “aims to improve project complex efficiency and increase the total economic effect through better usage and planning of hydro engineering resources.” Included in the consolidation are JSC Institute Hydroproject, JSC Lenhydroproject and JSC Mosoblhydroproject. The three will now operate under the “JSC Incorporation Hydroproject” banner, which will be wholly owned by RusHydro. According to RusHydro, the three groups have “similar capabilities and functions that often overlap,” although Institute

Batoka Gorge on the Zambezi River will be the site of a 1,600 MW hydro project jointly owned by Zimbabwe and Zambia.

6 HRW / March-April 2013

Hydroproject and Lenhydroproject have more “expertise in developing comprehensive and complex hydro engineering

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projects,” while Mosoblhydroproject specialized in small and medium hydro project developments.


When completed in 2019, officials said about 90% of the power generated will be exported to Thailand.

The board also identified several hydropower-related prior-

In January, governments and organizations used the 19th

ity objectives for 2013, including reliability and modernization

Mekong River Commission (MRC) Council Meeting to voice

of operating plants, operations and maintenance efficiency

displeasure with Laos’ 1,285 MW Xayaburi project. Although

improvements, and increased capacity through implementation

Poyry Energy Business Group was selected in November 2012 to

of investment projects.

supervise construction of the US$3.5 billion run-of-river plant, some members of MRC and their international partners have

Syrian rebels take control of 824 MW Tabqa project

expressed concern that the prior consultation process was not

A group of rebels took control of the 824 MW Tabqa project and

adequately completed. “It is our consensus that building dams on

the lake it impounds on the Euphrates River in February. Tabqa

the mainstream of the Mekong may irrevocably change the river

and Lake Assad — Syria’s largest hydropower plant and biggest

and hence constitute a challenge for food security, sustainable

reservoir — are in the northeastern Raqqa Province and help

development and biodiversity conservation,” a statement from

power the contested city of Aleppo.

MRC’s international partners said. These partners — which

Sources said the dam seizure comes after Syrian President

include the European Union, USA, Australia, New Zealand,

Bashar al-Assad has been denying power to rebel-held areas as

World Bank and Asian Development Bank — are concerned that

a means of turning the population against the insurgent forces.

Laos has not addressed the concerns of other MRC members.

Syria’s government has not confi rmed that Tabqa is in rebel

MRC was founded in 1995 and consists of Laos, Cambodia,

hands, although the United Kingdom-based Syrian Observatory

Thailand and Vietnam. The council is intended to provide a forum

for Human Rights said the insurgent group had captured both

for cooperative use of the Mekong River, but the Cambodian,

the powerhouse and areas in the nearby town of Al Tabqa.

Thai and Vietnamese representatives said Laos did not complete its due diligence before moving forward with Xayaburi. At a Special Joint Committee Meeting in April 2011, Vietnam proposed a 10-year moratorium on decisions regarding mainstream dams on the Mekong. The Laotian government appeared to accept Vietnam’s proposal and announced it would suspend development of Xayaburi during the 18th MRC Council Meeting in December 2011, pending further impact studies. However, in October 2012, the Andritz Group announced it was awarded a $322 million contract by CH. Karchang Public Co. Ltd. to supply electromechanical equipment for the plant. Laos now says a cofferdam will be complete in May, with construction of Xayaburi to begin in full shortly after.

Tabqa Dam on the Euphrates River in Syria was reportedly taken over by rebels in February, along with the 824 MW powerhouse and the lake the dam impounds.

WAPDA moves forward on several projects in Pakistan Pakistan’s Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA)

Laos: Land lease advances development,

began mechanical runs of its 121 MW Allai Khwar project in

update on Xayaburi

February and anticipated power generation by the end of the

A 32-year land lease will allow investors to continue develop-

month. WAPDA said Allai Khwar was expected to begin com-

ment of the 390 MW Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy project in Laos’

mercial operation the fi rst week of March.

Champassak and Attapeu provinces.

Allai Khwar — built on an Indus River tributary of the same

The US$830 million plant is a venture of the Laotian govern-

name — includes an 88 meter-long by 51 meter-tall concrete

ment (24%), Korea’s SK Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd.

dam, a 2.3 km-long steel-lined tunnel and two 61.5 MW turbines.

(26%), Korean Western Power Co. Ltd. (25%) and Thailand’s

The project is the second of three WAPDA high-head hydro-

Ratchaburi Electric Generating Holding PLC (25%). The group signed a project development agreement with the Laotian government in November 2008. Now with a land lease worth about $1 million, construction

electric complexes that have been developed in recent years. Also included are 72 MW Khan Khwar, which went online in November 2010, and 130 MW Duber Khwar, which WAPDA said will be commissioned soon.

of Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy (also spelled Xae Pien-Xae Nam Noi)

In related news, WAPDA expects to begin construction of its

is expected to begin in July. The project will create a reservoir

122 MW Keyal Khwar plant in April. WAPDA said engineer-

that will cover about 238 hectares in the Xe Kong River Valley

ing design and prequalification of fi rms for civil and electrome-

and reflects Laos’ efforts to become the “battery of the region.”

chanical works must be completed before work can begin, but

8 HRW / March-April 2013

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that it expects those prerequisites to be completed “very soon.” The US$242.6 million Keyal Khwar plant will be located on


IEC’s rehabilitations will raise the facilities to modern technical standards and restore their lost capacity.

Keyal Khwar River, which is a tributary to the Indus River in Brazil: Continuing to be a hotbed for hydro

the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. These projects are being developed as part of WAPDA’s “least-

Significant new hydroelectric development work is ongoing

cost energy generation and water storage plan” that could include

in Brazil, although the current drought raises questions as to

as many as 26 hydro plants with 21 GW of installed capacity.

whether consumer demand can be met by these facilities.

Pakistan sees Indus Water Treaty from Pakal Dul plant

Rousseff in September 2012 will force power distributers to

Pakistan’s Punjab Irrigation Department has objected to Indian

slash tariffs by 18% for residential customers and more than

plans for a new 1,500 MW plant at Pakal Dul Dam.

30% for industries. The new policy is expected to have a marked

Energy tax reform announced by Brazilian President Dilma

India’s proposed Pakal Dul project — to be located on the

effect on utility company and hydro project operator Eletrobras’

Marusdar River in Jammu and Kashmir — is subject to terms

budget, with profits projected by some analysts to drop at least

of the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960 because the Marusdar is a

30% through the next year.

tributary to the Chenab River. Sources said India submitted the

To respond, Eletrobras is in the midst of a restructuring plan

proposal to the Pakistan Commission for Indus Waters, which

it expected to be complete in March. The company says it will

forwarded it to the Punjab Irrigation Department for analysis.

utilize “synergies between subsidiaries and propose a framework

According to India’s plan, the Pakal Dul complex would 3

include a 87,500 m reservoir that would be impounded by a concrete-faced rockfi ll dam 1,708 meters high.

for management of generation assets, transmission and distribution compatible with the new regulatory landscape” to cut costs. In early February, Alstom shipped the fi rst stay ring to the

The Irrigation Department is concerned that Pakal Dul Dam

373.4 MW Santo Antonio do Jari plant. The company is also sup-

could decrease the flow of water into Pakistan, which violates the

plying Kaplan turbines, generators, hydromechanical and lifting

treaty. The department has also questioned several design aspects

equipment, a distributed control system and engineering works,

that, according to Pakistan, are cause not to endorse the project.

along with erection, supervision and commissioning services. Santo Antonio do Jari is being built on the Jari River in Brazil’s

Armenia developing, rehabilitating hydro projects

Amazon region. Commissioning is expected for late 2014.

An agreement signed in February at the Armenian National

Voith Hydro received a contract for work on this plant in

Assembly will allow for construction of two hydro projects along

January, and the company will supply and install a Kaplan S tur-

the Aras River on the Armenia/Iran border.

bine, a generator, automation systems, and related electrical and

The two governments signed agreements in 2007 and 2008

mechanical parts. This will expand capacity by about 3.4 MW.

allowing for construction of the 130 MW Meghri and 130 MW

Speaking of new development, in January ANEEL autho-

Karachilare (also spelled Gharachilar or Ghare Chiler) plants.

rized the start of commercial operation for the 10th turbine at

Meghri — under construction as of November 2012 — will be on

the 3,150 MW Santo Antonio plant. The Santo Antonio com-

the Armenian side, with Karachilare on the Iranian side.

plex is on the Madeira River in the Amazon basin. The plant is

As per draft laws adopted by the Armenian National Assembly,

part of the 3,750 MW Jirau project, which received an operating

Iran will fund construction of the US$400 million Meghri proj-

license from Brazil’s Institute of the Environment and Natural

ect in exchange for the electricity produced until Armenia’s debt

Resources (IBAMA) in October 2012.

is repaid. Sources said repayment will likely take 15 years, at which point Armenia will assume control of the plant.

Santo Antonio’s newest turbine unit adds 69.6 MW to the plant’s existing 713.5 MW of capacity. The turbine is the sec-

Construction of the plants is being undertaken by the Farab

ond in Santo Antonio’s Power House II, which is located on the

Sepasad Co. Each powerhouse will include two 65 MW hydro

left bank of the Madeira River. According to operator Santo

turbines. Completion is expected within the next five years.

Antonio Energia, another 17 turbines will enter commercial operation in 2013, totaling 27 generating units in production.

EBRD loans to finance Armenian rehabilitation projects The





Sources report that Brazil’s dry summer is depriving hydro


plants of water, straining the available power supply and causing

(EBRD) has provided a US$25 million loan that will help fund

fear that the country will face energy rationing. Brazil’s national

International Energy Corporation (IEC) rehabilitations of

electrical system operator, ONS, said reservoirs are at 31.61%

seven hydro projects in Armenia’s Sevan-Hrazdan Cascade.

capacity in the northeast and 41.24% in the north region.

The stations are located along the Hrazdan River and have a

Meanwhile, the Brazilian Association of Independent Power

total combined capacity of 565 MW, or about 10% of Armenia’s

Producers said reservoirs for hydro plants in the southeast and

annual production. The plants were constructed between 1936

midwest are at 28.9% — just 0.8% above the minimum levels

and 1961 and have received little investment since, EBRD said.

required to meet demand at full load.

10 HRW / March-April 2013

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India n Hydropower

Koteshwar: Case Study of To conform to a tight construction schedule, the owner of the 400 MW Koteshwar project on the Bhagirathi River (a tributary of the Ganges River) in India scrapped many of its previous plans and used a hands-on managerial approach. This innovation enabled the plant to be commissioned ahead of schedule.

By R.S.T. Sai and D.V. Singh


n an industry often marked by slow progress

Completing side-by-side construction activities

and long struggles for project authorization, the

simultaneously with the help of innovative orga-

400 MW Koteshwar Hydroelectric Project in India

nization was one method used to fi nish the project

can provide a model of effective and efficient con-

ahead of schedule. Many of these innovations and

struction and operation. First proposed in 2000, the

managerial strategies could be applied to other

project was under construction in early 2007. Two

hydropower projects.

R.S.T. Sai is chairman and

of the four generating units were commissioned

managing director and

just four years later. The progress of the facility can

Project summary

D.V. Singh is technical

be credited in large part to hands-on management

The Koteshwar project is a vital component of the

director and former chief

practices and construction methodology used by

larger 2,400 MW Tehri Hydropower Complex,

the plant’s owner, THDC India Limited.

the fi rst major attempt to harness the potential of

project officer of the

the Ganges River.

400 MW Koteshwar project

To overcome a construction delay and fi nish

with THDC India Limited.

the Koteshwar project in a timely manner, THDC

Koteshwar is the most quickly-implemented

implemented a unique management methodology

hydro project of its type in the nation, according to

that placed decision-making ability in the hands

sources within the Ministry of Power, which com-

of a small committee and those working directly

mended the project and its owners and contractors.

on the project. This eliminated much of the red

Contractor PCL-Intertech LenHydro Consortium

tape that often halts hydropower development.

began construction work in April 2007, the fi rst

Additionally, innovative construction techniques

two units were commissioned in March 2011, and

were used to shorten building time and make more

the third and fourth units were commissioned in

efficient use of available resoures and manpower.

January 2012 and March 2012, respectively.

Photo (above): The reservoir for the Koteshwar project is a vital component of the larger Tehri Hydropower Complex, which will have a capacity of 2,400 MW when complete in 2017.

12 HRW / March-April 2013

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The Koteshwar project is comprised of a 97.5 meter-high concrete gravity dam on the Bhagirathi River, a tributary of the Ganges River, and a powerhouse at the toe of the dam on the right bank that houses four 100 MW turbine-generating units. Each generator is a vertical shaft, semi-umbrella type and is coupled to a Francis turbine. The turbines, generators, transformers and balance of plant equipment were provided by Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. of New Delhi, India. Power generated at this plant contributes considerably to the ability of the Tehri Hydro Complex to provide a combined peak capacity of 2,400 MW to the local grid once the fi nal phase is completed. The complex is operating

The powerhouse at the 400 MW Koteshwar hydropower project is located on the toe of the dam on the right bank and was fully operational in March 2012.

at a capacity of 1,400 MW. The third component of the project, the 1,000 MW

was sluggish, largely due to the resettle-

team. As a result, work progressed very

Tehri Pumped Storage Plant, is under

ment of families affected and repeated

slowly up to February 2007, delaying all

construction and is expected to be com-

geological failures on both river banks.

other development work past the initially scheduled completion date.

missioned by2017. Annual energy genera-

The village Pendaras, where all the

tion from Koteshwar is 1,155 GWh based

major structures were to be constructed,

THDC management had two options:

on 90% water availability.

was to be completely vacated in March

terminate the work and seek a fresh ten-


2005. However, those vacating the land

der, or take some innovative management

Reservoir, situated 20 km upstream of

disturbed the construction activities by

action to streamline the fi nances and

Koteshwar Dam, is being regulated by the

organizing sporadic agitations with vari-

resources of the contractor and get the

Koteshwar powerhouse for irrigation pur-

ous motivations, such as seeking employ-

work done through this company.

poses. Also, the reservoir impounded by

ment with the contracting company.

Termination was not an ideal option,

Koteshwar Dam functions as a balancing

Officers and contractors were often man-

as the owner would have to terminate a

reservoir for the pumped storage plant.

handled and physically attacked.

signed contract and risk a stay order,





Apart from this, two of the quarries

and progress up to that point would be

Complex prevailing

being used to supply materials for the

lost through demobilization of the site.

conditions and issues

dam were in the villages of Mulani and

The project would essentially have to be

Despite its considerably fast construction

Gairogisera. The state government relin-

restarted from scratch, creating an addi-

and implementation time (3.5 years as

quished control of the last one in 2007,

tional delay in completion of 18 months to

opposed to the nation’s average of six to

substantially delaying construction work.

two years. In addition, THDC would face

10 years), the Koteshwar project faced a

Further, soaring prices of raw materi-

a revenue loss of US$80 million per year.

number of complex issues that temporar-

als also created a problem. For example,

Moreover, delay in completing this

ily impeded progress. The innovations

the price of steel started increasing, from

project would jeopardize development

that enabled the project to be completed

US$547 per unit in 2007 to US$948 in

of the pumped-storage project, as the

early were developed and implemented as

2008. As the prices increased, the proj-

Koteshwar Reservoir was designed to

a response to the issues faced.

ect contractors did not receive adequate

be the lower reservoir. In addition, the

Major work on the project began on

compensation as per the price adjust-

delay would result in lost revenue from

August 31, 2002, when a US$66 million

ment formula in the contract agreement.

the Tehri plant, as it would not be able to

contract was awarded to PCL-Intertech

The resulting cash-flow problem made

function as a peaking station in the true

LenHydro, with a scheduled completion

it difficult for the contractor to procure

sense. Currently, the Koteshwar plant

date of May 31, 2006. The fi rst river

materials. Additionally, payments to sup-

fulfi lls the needed water requirement

diversion milestone was achieved on

pliers and for salaries were not made on

in the river by running one unit in base

December 28, 2003, only 28 days behind

time, promoting an attitude of distrust

mode. If Koteshwar had not been imple-

schedule. Thereafter, the pace of work

toward the project and its development

mented, Tehri would have to meet this

March-April 2013 / HRW 13

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need by running one unit in base mode

were deemed to have standing approval

around the clock. This means instead of

of the CMD (Chairman Managing

getting peaking revenue, THDC would

Director). Such vast powers were vested

receive normal revenue. With all these

with the committee to make administra-

factors considered, THDC management

tive, technical and fi nancial decisions

chose the second option.

required for bringing the project on track

Erection of turbines using a crawler crane

and to develop infrastructure so the proj-

Conventionally, the erection of turbine

Implementation of

ect could be commissioned. The actions

parts is achieved with the assistance of

effective management

of the empowered committee drastically

an electrical overhead traveling crane,

The value of work completed by the civil

reduced the procedural and regulatory

which travels on the crane beam cast on

works contractor up to March 2007 was

hang-ups that could slow progress.

the walls on either side of the machine

encouraged more unique developments. Some of the innovations used at the site are described below:

about US$20 million, as compared to a

Work proceeded quickly. The organiza-

hall. The same methodology was planned

total contract price of US$66 million. At

tional set-up of the work site was restruc-

for Koteshwar. However, based on the

this stage, THDC felt that if the avail-

tured to increase efficiency. Executives

project requirements, a hydraulic crawler

ability of required equipment, material

with proven track records with the Tehri

crane with a maximum lifting capacity of

and workforce could be ensured, the

project were inducted into the new man-

250 MT was used. The crane was kept on

project could be completed within a

agement team. Four independent sections

the downstream side of the powerhouse

minimal time frame by taking advantage

were created within the civil works team,

in the tailrace channel area.

of the resources/equipment already mobi-

divided by the section each team would

Erection of such turbine parts as the

lized by the contractor. Accordingly, the

work on (dam, powerhouse, power intake

draft tube, stay rings and spiral casings

THDC management board decided to

and switchyard), each headed by an expe-

was achieved using a mobile crane while

carry out work at the project by “risk and

rienced senior manager.

the other parts were being constructed

cost” methodology. This meant making

All of the construction activities at site

simultaneously. Use of this mobile tower

decisions at the site and making payments

were planned and handled by THDC

crane enabled the project to engage in

to manufacturers, suppliers, transporters

engineers. Incentives were distributed to

both civil and electromechanical activi-

and piece rate workers directly at the

the laborers directly by THDC as they

ties, saving time and setting a new prec-

behest of the contractor and on that con-

achieved locally set targets. This ignited

edent for efficient development.

tractor’s written requests.

stiff competition between labor groups

THDC’s management team empow-

deployed at different locations on site,

Using trusses to support the powerhouse

ered the project team with the decision-

thus stimulating the pace of work. The

The above-ground powerhouse was con-

making abilities to cut short the proce-

uninterrupted cash flow and timely pay-

structed using roller-compacted-concrete

dural delays. The managing engineer for

ment also boosted morale and confidence

columns, walls and beam structures.

civil works was redesignated chief project

among contractors, workmen and suppli-

Conventionally, in a surface powerhouse,

officer (CPO) and was authorized to

ers and resulted in accelerated progress.

the roof slab is cast after raising the walls

procure material, manpower, specialized

The hands-on management strategy

and columns to roof level. Thereafter,

work force and spares for maintenance

adopted at Koteshwar was an unprec-

scaffolding erected from ground to roof

of tools and equipment. He was also

edented move in the history of Indian

level provides support and shuttering for

authorized to induct labor gangs/piece

hydro. When the plant was commis-

the slab. In such a case, erection of elec-

rate workers and fi x their rates, if the con-

sioned, the efforts were lauded by the

tromechanical equipment is delayed until

tractor failed to do so. Finally, the CPO

government of India.

the scaffolding and shuttering material can be cleared from around the units.

was authorized to set targets and directly distribute incentives to work gangs to

Innovative construction

accelerate the pace of work.

The unusual delay and later innovative

install the units simultaneously, steel



trusses of 21 meter span were constructed

whole, an “empowered committee” was

the project required a shift in approach

to support the shuttering of the slab. This

established in March 2007 to ensure there

toward innovative construction tech-

made the entire unit area accessible, sav-

were plentiful resources available. The

niques to catch up on the tight schedule.

ing four months of construction time.

committee was comprised of the CPO

The engineers at the project site dared to

and one member each from the design and

think out of the box and adopt innovative

Alternative approach during excavation

engineering and corporate fi nance depart-

techniques to replace conventional con-

Excavation for the penstocks was origi-

ments. Decisions made by the committee

struction methods. The empowered com-

nally planned from the downstream side

were recorded as meeting minutes and

mittee stood behind these innovations and

of the dam near the powerhouse. The

To speed progress of the project as a

14 HRW / March-April 2013



To construct the powerhouse and

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essential. RS #7



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excavated muck would be dumped into

of the concreting, which would shave 15

completion of the civil works up to the

the powerhouse pit for disposal. To work

to 20 days off the schedule.

top level.

on both tasks simultaneously, a meth-

For this to happen, a temporary gallery

odology was developed to forego the

nearly 1 meter wide was left around the

interdependence of both the structures.

stay ring pedestals below the spiral cas-

Accelerated reservoir filling and commissioning of Units 1 and 2

Initially, construction of a partition wall

ing. Once the discharge ring was lowered,

A geological event occurred on December

between the powerhouse and stilling

concrete work around it was completed

17, 2010, above the underground diver-

basin was suspended in this area to enable

from this gallery. Meanwhile, the turbine

sion tunnel of the project. As a result,

access from the stilling basin side. Later,

was erected alongside this work.

the excavated muck found its way into

the partition wall was raised, leaving an

As a result, concreting of the Unit

the diversion tunnel, blocking the flow

opening 8 meters wide by 8 meters tall at

1 generator barrel was completed on

of water. As soon as the blockade was

an elevation of 529 meters for carrying

September 26, 2009, in only 57 days as

noticed, all four units of the Tehri plant

out activities in the powerhouse.

compared to the planned 75. This was

located upstream were immediately shut

a great achievement because this activ-

down to avoid sending any more water

Alternative approach to service bay area

ity conventionally takes as much as five

into the Koteshwar powerhouse.

months. Nearly one month was saved as

The balance of the civil and hydro-

The only approach to the service bay

per the schedule and nearly 2.5 months if

mechanial works that were pre-requisites

and powerhouse area was through a 376

it had been completed conventionally.

to reservoir impoundment had to be

meter-long main access tunnel, with an

completed so that water could be passed

inlet at Elevation 570 meters on the right

Arrangement for erection of steel liners

downstream through the spillway. The

bank. This area of the right bank had very

Construction of the steel liners for the

diversion tunnel gate at Koteshwar was

unsteady geology, marked by repeated

penstocks was to be carried out through

lowered on January 23, 2011, and water

slope failures. Consequently, excavation

the lower horizontal penstocks, but due to

passed through the spillway on the 27th.

of the tunnel was delayed until June 2007.

rock ledge failure and further delay in exca-

At the time of reservoir impound-

To move forward with work despite

vation of the lower horizontal penstocks,

ment, the penstocks of Units 1 and 2

this delay, THDC chose to take an alter-

this could not be achieved. To facilitate

were complete; however, the penstocks of

native approach from the downstream

the erection of penstocks from the upper

Units 3 and 4 were not connected to their

side, through the tailrace channel up to

side, the contractor built cement concrete

spiral casings and were expected to take

the service bay area of the powerhouse.

buttresses between all four penstocks.

more time. This would delay fi lling the

Excavation of the tailrace channel would

The contractor also installed a track-

reservoir and, consequently, could have

be connected with the downstream main

mounted gantry crane with the rail track

delayed commissioning of Units 1 and 2.

approach of the stilling basin.

at Elevation 590 meters up to Penstock 4.

To allow for fi lling the reservoir, the

Although the main access tunnel was

The steel liners were constructed with the

water flowing through the incomplete

not fully operational until July 2009

help of this arrangement, which prevented

inlet pipes of Units 3 and 4 would have to

because of the slope failures, service bay

a possible construction delay.

be rerouted. Leakage water was routed to

work began in early 2008. This approach

a draft tube by erecting a barrier of steel plates with stiffeners inside the penstock,

of schedule and provided access for both

Arrangement of canopy for simultaneous work

men and materials, it also provided a

C onvent ion a l ly, hyd rome ch a n ic a l /

the accumulated water behind the plate.

means for an electrical overhead traveling

electromechanical construction work is

This arrangement made it possible to fi ll

crane to be transported to the service bay,

completed once the civil works have been

the reservoir even though the Unit 3 and 4

where it was erected in early 2009.

completely fi nished, which takes a con-

penstocks were not entirely complete.

not only helped keep the project ahead

with pipes and gate valves to discharge

siderable amount of time. To save time,

Concreting of generator barrel

erection work of the electromechanical/


Concreting of the generator barrel of Unit

hydromechanical equipment began after

Fully operational since March 2012, the

1 was a challenge because there was not

completing the civil works up to mid-level

Koteshwar project can be seen as a model

sufficient time to complete the task con-

only. To do this, workers created a canopy

for hydro plant development in India due

ventionally. To shorten the length of time

of steel to facilitate simultaneous working.

to the effective management techniques

required, THDC decided the discharge

Substantial time was saved in the con-

that were put into practice. However, suc-

ring, which was to be placed in the turbine

struction of the power intake and draft

cess could not have been achieved without

pit after hydraulic testing of the spiral

tube gates of the powerhouse, which

the innovation in construction techniques

casing, would be placed after completion

were ready to house gates even before

mentioned above.

16 HRW / March-April 2013


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Hydro H d T Turbines bi Kaplan


Benesov, CZ +420 317 728 483 [email protected]

Boston, MA USA +1 617 242 2204 [email protected]

Pelton www. m a ve l. c z ___________ RS #8 RS #9


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“We’re looking for partners who want to grow with us” Dr. Lipphardt, what is the background of your search for partners? “We look back on vast growth within the last years in particular in the area of hydromechanical engineering and offshore applications. This has been possible ever since we have been capable of providing complete system solutions, which are in successful operation worldwide. We intend to build up this position by developing partnerships to strengthen our sales organization.” What do you expect from your partners?

Interview with Dr. Peter Lipphardt, Chairman & CEO

“We are looking for existing sales or engineering organizations with experience in the field of hydropower applications and with an existing network to potential customers.” Are you focusing your search on specific countries or continents?

“At present, we are particular interested in expanding our presence in South America with special focus on Brazil and Argentina. Besides this, we intend to increase our activities in Turkey and the Middle East.” Where do you see the special advantages in cooperating with Montanhydraulik? “Despite the size of our company employing worldwide more than 1,000 people in our various plants, we have a lean organization, are very flexible and can react quickly to market demands. There are almost no limits regarding the size or volume of the projects. We can back up on our own R&D center, which is concentrated in our head office in Germany as well as highly qualified specialists in the Netherlands, Italy and India. We see a great potential in building up our worldwide activities together with partners, who have a similar drive for growth.”

Worldwide successful as supplier of complete systems for hydromechanical engineering Ever since we established our company in Chennai, India, Montanhydraulik has been capable of delivering a complete package to its customers, with engineering support and the production of hydraulic cylinders, hydraulic power packs and control panels together with the installation and commissioning of complete systems. Hence, Montanhydraulik belongs to the world          of hydromechanical engineering.

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Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page // HYDROMECHANICAL ENGINEERING






INTELLIGENT POWER is what stands behind some of the world’s biggest hydromechanical engineering projects. As one of the leading complete system providers for many different hydromechanical configurations for dams and sluices, Montanhydraulik offers one-stop solutions, including engineering, production and delivery of hydraulic cylinders, aggregates, software, control systems, installation and commissioning. Why not let your next project benefit from Montanhydraulik’s INTELLIGENT POWER? Find out more at RS #11

Montanhydraulik (India)


Glückauf Montanhydraulik Group


Reparatur und Service GmbH

Montanhydraulik Group

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O c e a n/ T i d a l/S t r e a m

Tidal Technologies Drive Commercialization in the UK Tidal technologies in the UK are closer to commercialization than wave technologies because of the similarities of tidal unit designs between companies. Together, tidal and wave resources offer the potential to generate up to 20% of the UK’s electricity needs.

By Tildy Bayar


hese are heady times for tidal energy, says

9 MW deployed in UK waters and generating

Matthew Reed, engineering director at

power — more than the rest of the world com-

Marine Current Turbines (MCT). “It’s all kick-

bined. The Crown Estate has awarded leases for

ing off now,” he said in mid-March. “There’s a

more than 1.8 GW of capacity at nearly 40 sites in

sense of excitement.”

UK waters.

Reed has a lot to be excited about. The Welsh government has given consent for his Siemens-

Advancing technology

owned company to build the 10 MW Skerries Tidal

Of the main marine energy technologies, the tidal

Stream Array. This is Wales’ fi rst commercial tidal

sector is seen as further toward commercializa-

farm and one of the largest to be consented in the

tion than wave energy because tidal technology is

UK, which leads the global wave and tidal market.

increasingly similar across companies. Growing

Once it is commissioned, the array will consist of

standardization is lowering risks for these tech-

five 2 MW SeaGen tidal stream turbines in an area

nologies as propositions for investors and driving

about 1 km off the northwest coast of Anglesey in

down costs. Wave energy technologies, on the

North Wales, close to the port of Holyhead, in

other hand, are still fairly diverse, leading to inves-

water depth of about 20 to 40 meters.

tor nervousness.

“The entire industry is rooting for this project

Ed Gill, head of external affairs at renewable

because it will prove the potential” of tidal arrays,

energy development fi rm Good Energy, termed

said Reed, who has worked on the SeaGen turbine

tidal energy a “potential game-changer” for

for four years, from design through production.

renewables due to its predictability, in contrast with

SeaGen is the first proven full-scale commercial tidal

variable wind and solar. And, according to Reed,

turbine developed by MCT. A previous project has

SeaGen’s capacity factor at Strangford Lough is

been operational in Northern Ireland’s Strangford

67%, while that of a typical wind turbine is 30%.

Lough since 2008, using 1.2 MW turbines.

Attendees at RenewableUK’s Wave & Tidal

Another project developer, MeyGen, which

2013 event in mid-March said they expect tidal

is working with Andritz Hydro Hammerfest on

energy to make a big commercial leap fairly soon.

1.4 MW turbines, has secured a lease agreement

For example, Ben Child, an engineer in GL

from the Crown Estate for the area that lies in

Garrad Hassan’s Wave Energy Group, predicted

the channel (Inner Sound) between the island of

that it could happen as early as next year. And

Stroma and the north-easterly tip of the Scottish

RenewableUK predicts that commercialization


mainland, encompassing about 3.5 km of fast-

of the tidal sector is “just around the corner” and

flowing water. The company’s goal is to deliver a

confidently expects an increase to 100 MW to 200

fully operational 398 MW tidal energy plant by

MW of wave and tidal capacity installed by 2020.

2020. In 2012, MeyGen secured 253 MW of grid

Tildy Bayar is associate editor of Renewable

capacity and began upgrading transmission lines

Challenges and risks

to provide a 15 MW grid connection point in a new

Many challenges remain for the sector. For exam-

substation at Gills Bay, scheduled for commission-

ple, one Wave & Tidal 2013 conference session

ing in July 2014.

was focused on the specialized installation vessels

Energy World magazine,

A study by trade body RenewableUK identi-

that many companies want to develop as soon as

a PennWell publication.

fies 12 full-scale single devices with a capacity of

they have the money. But for the moment none

20 HRW / March-April 2013

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exist, even though installation accounts

electricity in real conditions for the fi rst

leader at insurer JLT Speciality Limited,

for one-third of projected project costs.

time with its 1 MW tidal turbine, said

said investors require 8,000 operating

MCT’s Reed agrees that the industry

that although tidal technology has none

hours for proof of the technology, which

needs to reduce costs, of which instal-

of the variability of solar and wind, policy

requires significant investment. Insurers

lation is “a good part.” Reed says the

uncertainty is a key risk. It has defi nitely

will cover accidental damage for a proto-

SeaGen turbine uses off-the-shelf parts

hurt the sector, although the latest policy

type, he said, but not an electrical fault, i.e.

wherever possible, because “avoiding

is “more stable,” he added.

a problem in the technology itself. Only

clever technology avoids extra risk.”

Nick Murphy, head of wave and tidal

And making structures lighter will make

projects at Searoc, identified a number of

installation easier and cheaper.

when the technology is commercialized will insurers cover technology problems.

risks to marine projects, including risks

Developers tend to concentrate on the

The Carbon Trust has predicted that

related to weather, mechanical failure,

big contracts, Fairley said, but he has seen

marine energy could make a meaningful

reputation, and health and safety, as well

examples of projects gearing up for fi nan-

contribution to the UK’s energy mix from

as human error. These risks are shared

cial close only to discover that “the basics

about 2025. But the cost of the energy

between the developer, turbine supplier,

that were put in place years ago aren’t here

generated will need to be reduced by 50%

supply chain services (subsea cabling

or are wrong. How many projects get held

to 75%, to about £100 (US$149)/MWh,

fi rms, for an example) and investors, and

up because of property rights — you’d be

within this timeline if marine energy

Murphy said each must be prepared to

amazed.” His advice was to “get the con-

is to compete with offshore wind and

shoulder some of the risk.

sents right. Make sure you have the rights

other technologies, the Trust cautions.

Ross Fairley, partner and head of renew-

to put in a grid connection. In the early

RenewableUK highlights challenges such

able energy at Burges Salmon, agreed. In

stages, focus on getting the technology

as delays in getting grid connections for

developing “complicated” projects with a

right, then look up and see the big picture.”

wave and tidal projects and the high cost

number of different contracts, “it’s about

Some companies focus on the technology

of transmission charges.

everyone accepting that they have to take a

and assume everything else will fall into

share of the risk,” he says.

place, but they do this to the detriment of

Rob Stevenson, vice president of Alstom Ocean, which has recently produced

James Green, renewable energy practice

the project, Fairley cautioned.

𰀵𰀲𰀹𰀃𰀬𰁑𰁖𰁓𰁈𰁆𰁗𰁌𰁒𰁑𰀃𰁄𰁑𰁇𰀃𰀰𰁄𰁌𰁑𰁗𰁈𰁑𰁄𰁑𰁆𰁈 𰁒𰁉𰀃𰀸𰁑𰁇𰁈𰁕𰁚𰁄𰁗𰁈𰁕𰀃𰀶𰁗𰁕𰁘𰁆𰁗𰁘𰁕𰁈𰁖 " # #    #     $$      $  %&  '    & #$ %  '     #       '      # %#( #)$ *

 $ '    $$   # '

 # '     %   

+,-.,.-/+ 0+1/,/2

𰁺   𰁺   𰁺  𰁺  𰁺   𰁺   𰁺  𰁺  𰁺 𰁺 𰁺   𰁺   𰁺 ! "#$$ 𰁺 ! "#$$ 𰁺   𰁺   𰁺% &

'$( 𰁺% &

'$( 𰁺)"')"*! 𰁺)"')"*! 𰁺"!"  𰁺"!"  𰁺 + !$  𰁺 + !$ 

0+1/, 30/4. 1"/0,

𰁺,   '+  *" 𰁺,   '+  *" 𰁺"  𰁺"  𰁺.  𰁺.  𰁺/ " " " 𰁺/ " " " 𰁺 %"  𰁺 %"  𰁺0!"" ' "$ 𰁺0!"" ' "$ 𰁺𰀃 *%"  2349"  𰁺 *"  234 "  36444, %7: 36444 7 𰁺""6 "'+"*"  𰁺""6 "'+"*" 

-35.02/-67,/- -35.02/-67,/30+,-., 30+/-5 /+ 0+1/, 30+/-5 /+ 𰁺""  /" 𰁺""  /" 𰁺# " 𰁺# " 𰁺8   𰁺8     !7     !7   𰁺/+" 𰁺/+" 𰁺+" 𰁺+" 𰁺 "" 𰁺 "" RS #12



March-April 2013 / HRW 21

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The 10 MW Skerries Tidal Stream Array, Wales’ first commercial tidal farm, recently received consent from the Welsh government. It will feature five 2 MW SeaGen tidal stream turbines supplied by Marine Current Turbines.

Slow and steady

significant chunk of this resource is in the

energy industry, leading to economies of

The sector’s excitement is tempered by

Severn estuary (which has 8 GW to 12

scale and learning through experience,

caution. “Slow and steady wins the race”

GW), with the estuaries and bays of the

which will lower the strike price for the

seems to be the dominant viewpoint.

northwest representing a similar amount

second generation of arrays in 2018. Also,

When asked in a conference session about

and the east coast a further 5 GW to 6

under EMR, contracts would last for 15

prospects for speeding up project delivery,


The Carbon Trust’s 2011 Tidal

years, but RenewableUK argues that this

Barry Carruthers, marine development

Current Resource and Economics report

must be extended to 20 years to give inves-

engineer at ScottishPower Renewables,

suggests a total of 20.6 TWh/year could

tors an adequate return, otherwise it says

seemed to speak for the sector when he

practically be extracted from the 30 key

the strike price would have to be higher.

replied, “We’re in this for 20 to 30 years.

tidal stream sites in the UK.

“There are significant hurdles that

We’re in it not just to do it, but to do it

need to be overcome to ensure the sus-

right. I’d rather be talking about when we

Reforms could help or hinder

tained growth of the industry. Wave tech-

can do it than talking about ‘Oops, we

RenewableUK says that, depending on

nology in particular will need tailored

didn’t do it right’.”

how it plays out, the biggest shakeup of

capital support in the coming years if

And Michael Betschart, engineering

the UK’s energy sector for decades, the

we are to maintain pole position in this

manager at Andritz Hydro Hammerfest,

Electricity Market Reform (EMR) bill

promising and strategically important

asked whether speeding up project deliv-

that is due this summer, could act as a

sector,” the trade body said.

ery is actually desirable. “We’re closer

springboard for the growth of wave and

than we’ve ever been to commercial

tidal energy, or it could undermine inves-

Investors are taking note

projects,” he said, “but you don’t want

tor confidence in marine power at a cru-

In more good news for the sector’s

to push your supply chain. The delivery

cial stage of the industry’s development.

imminent boom, the UK’s Crown Estate

date isn’t the most important aspect.”

EMR is meant to help the UK power

recently granted an operating license to

network upgrade to cope with renewable

the Solent Ocean Energy Centre (SOEC),

energy sources.

a tidal energy testing facility to be built off

Abundant resources The British Isles have 50% of the total






the southernmost tip of the Isle of Wight.

European wave energy resource and

RenewableUK, is the level of fi nancial sup-

The center will feature 20 berths for

25% of tidal energy resource, and

port technologies will receive. The trade

use by every kind of tidal technology, said

RenewableUK says these technologies

body recommends setting an initial strike

local councillor David Pugh, and will be

could generate up to 20% of the UK’s

price (also known as the exercise price of

grid-connected. It is planned to feature a

electricity needs, as well as being worth

an option) for the fi rst generation of tidal

generic anchor that can anchor any device.

£1.6 billion ($2.38 billion) by 2035.

arrays at £280-£300 ($416-446)/MWh.

When asked whether the island had

Studies have estimated the UK’s total

For wave technology, the initial strike

decided to invest now because of tidal

tidal range resource at 25 GW to 30

price should be £300-£320 ($446-476)/

energy’s current momentum toward

GW, enough to supply about 12% of the

MWh. RenewableUK believes that this

commercialization, Pugh answered sim-

nation’s current electricity demand. A

level of support will catalyze the marine

ply, “Yes.”

22 HRW / March-April 2013


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Determining Monthly Discharge on the Tapajos River Using a Rainfall-Runoff Model To develop a historical flow profile for hydro projects in Brazil’s Tapajos River Basin, a mathematical model was used. Data from this model filled gaps in measurements available from rainflow gauging stations, and data generated correlated well with available rainflow measurements.


razil has more than 110 GW of installed

independent reservoirs: evapotranspiration of the

electric capacity, 77% of which comes from

superficial flow soil, infi ltration phenomena of the

Filho, Iara P.G.

hydroelectric sources, according to the 2010

superficial flow soil, and groundwater flow. For

Machado, Humberto

National Energy Balance. The country has

each time step, measurements are performed as a

By Eurico de Carvalho-

Jacobsen Teixeira,

unexploited hydro potential of 160 GW, meaning

mass balance process, in which total precipitation

Gabriel S.C. Rocha

Brazil has implemented only 35% of the available

is partially intercepted by the vegetation and then

and Maria Tereza F.R.

total. This makes the Brazilian hydroelectric

evaporates,1 while the remaining precipitation is

market very attractive.

shared between superficial soil reservoirs depend-


To perform inventory studies of Brazilian

ing on the soil moisture rate. The infi ltrated part

rivers, it is imperative to follow the Electrobras/

of the precipitation goes into the mass balance on

MME Inventory Manual, published in 2007. This

the soil reservoir, while evapotranspiration and

manual provides guidelines for these studies to

groundwater recharge are derived from another

Eurico de Carvalho-Filho

determine the best alternative for exploring the

balance considering the groundwater-soil mois-

and Iara P.G. Machado,

hydropower potential of a river basin, maximiz-

ture saturation process.

junior engineers with

ing the energy generated with minimum cost and

CNEC WorleyParsons,

environmental impact.

A Newtonian exponential decay is used to draw down the superficial and subterranean flow that

develop inventory and

One of the main outputs of this inventory study

could be combined to generate the discharge from

technical feasibility studies.

is a monthly discharge serial for each dam site

every gauging station. This allows a comparison

Humberto Jacobsen

inventories from 1931 until two years before the

between the calculated and observed discharge.

Teixeira, a civil engineer

study began. This period was defi ned based on

The parameters could then be calibrated to pro-

at the Polytechnic School

regulations from the Brazilian Electrical Agency

vide more adherence to the mathematical model,

of the Sao Paulo University,

(ANEEL). These series cannot necessarily be

as well as preserve statistical factors such as long-

specializes in developing

determined using level or discharge measure-

term average and standard deviation.

studies and projects in

ments from gauging stations because early data

hydrology, hydraulics

may not be available, there may be failures in data

River basin characterization

and the environment.

capture during certain periods of time because of

The Tapajos River basin is in the north central

Gabriel S.C. Rocha is a

the absence of observers or damage to the equip-

region of Brazil, east of the Madeira River basin

project manager and

ment, or some of the data may be inaccurate. The

and west of the Xingu River basin. Its surface

Maria Tereza F.R. Campos,

alternative to deal with this situation is to use a

covers an area of 492,481 km² in the states of

rainfall-runoff model to provide the missing data.

Mato Grosso, Para, Amazonas and Rondonia.

with CNEC WorleyParsons

This method was applied for the Tapajos River

According to the regulation adopted by Agencia

Rocha focuses on hydro

Basin’s Inventory Study, which was delivered

Nacional de Energia Eletrica (ANEEL), the

plant studies and Campos

in 2010, because there were no gauging stations

Tapajos River basin belongs to Basin 1 (called the

focuses on power projects.

installed for this river basin from 1931 to 1972.

Amazonas River Basin). The Amazonas River

MBA, is superintendent

The model involves reproducing the physical This article has been evaluated and edited in accordance with reviews conducted by two or more professionals who have relevant expertise. These peer reviewers judge manuscripts for technical accuracy, usefulness, and overall importance within the hydroelectric industry.

process of the hydrological cycle using math-

Basin is divided into 10 sub-basins numbered 10 to 19, with Tapajos identified as sub-basin 17.

ematical expressions and algorithms, in situations

The Tapajos River is formed by the confluence

where the physical characteristics are represented

of Juruena and Teles Pires rivers, which together are

as unknown factors. Simply speaking, this model

responsible for almost 70% of its discharge. From

considers the river basin as three hypothetical and

the point where these two rivers meet, the river

24 HRW / March-April 2013

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stretches 825 km before draining into the right bank of the Amazonas River. Water levels and flooding in the final stretch of the Tapajos River are affected by the backwater of the Amazonas River and the tidal influence. The main tributaries of the Tapajos River are the Crepori and Jamanxim rivers. Figure 1 shows the Tapajos River basin and its tributaries. The Juruena River has a drainage area of 190.931 km² and originates in the slopes of Serra dos Parecis at Elevation about 700 meters. It receives many tributaries along the 850 km-long stretch to its confluence with the Arinos River. The Arinos River originates in Serra Azul at Elevation about 400 meters. It travels 760 km to join the Juruena River. Its slope is stressed in the first 50 km, softening in the remainder. Arinos and Juruena Rivers are not considered navigable because of many obstacles in the riverbeds. The Teles Pires River originates in Serra Azul at Elevation about 800 meters, growing as it flows northwest to its confluence with the Juruena River, where it forms the Tapajos River at Elevation about 95 meters. The Teles Pires River runs a total length of 1.638 km and has a total area of 141.718 km². The Tapajos River presents an asymmetrical shape, with larger tributaries along the right bank, such as the Jamanxim River, which has a basin area of 58.633 km². The Arapiuns River is the largest tributary feeding into the left bank of the Tapajos River, near its drainage into the Amazonas River. The last 100 km of the river before it flows into the Amazonas River is an estuary, with the distance between the two banks being more than 20 km. Flow into the Amazonas River drains through a channel 1.12 meters wide. This phenomenon is related to the backwater effect from the Amazonas River. The influence at the mouth of the Tapajos River results in a _________________

river level oscillation of about 0.4 meters. All the drainage area of the Tapajos River presents geomorphologic characteristics of soils of crystalline basement covered by exuberant vegetation. In this RS #15

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Tapajos River Basin


the phases of the hydrological cycle in a very detailed manner, while others consider only portions of the phenomenon, presenting limited applications. CNEC WorleyParsons developed a simulation rainfall-runoff model to be used to translate the monthly precipitation data into the monthly flow data, using for that expressions and functions that represent physical processes in the hydrological cycle. The transformation process of the total monthly rainfall into runoff is represented in the model by 11 physical parameters. Eight of these represent the physical characteristics of the basin, and three represent the conditions in the first moment of the simulation. The physical

The Tapajos River Basin covers an area of 492,481 km 2. The river is formed by the confluence of the Juruena and Teles Pires rivers and eventually drains into the right bank of the Amazonas River.

parameters are: evapotranspiration, the recession value of runoff and underground flow, water content of soil, field

wet climate with large amounts of precip-

the beginning of the 1970s. To perform

factor, soil’s nominal capacity, runoff

itation, this leads to an extremely dense

this modeling, some precedent stages

regulation and groundwater recharge.

drainage. These climate factors lead to

are necessary. These include preparing

a very positive water balance, with high

the database for the model, consolidat-

specific yield, emphasizing its aptitude

ing drainage areas near the project and

— Superficial (Rsup), which repre-

for multiple uses.

the gauging stations installed in the river

sents the portions of runoff and superfi-

basin before 1971, and consolidating the

cial discharge;

Periods to be generated

average monthly precipitation series for

using hydrological simulation

the period of study.

To fill in the missing data for the Tapajos

The model is represented by three hypothetical reservoirs:




represents the water content in the soil influenced by the roots; and

River basin, mathematical modeling of

Simulation model adopted

rain-flow was performed for the time

There are many hydrological simulation

period ranging from January 1931 to

models available. Some of them present

— Subterranean (Rsub), which represents the underground aquifer. During each precipitation event, a mass balance is done. Initially, a portion of the


Average Monthly Flow Hydrographs


rain is intercepted by the vegetal coverage and lost by evaporation. Remnant

Simulated Flow

Observed Inflow


precipitated volumes are divided between runoff and infiltration, whose division of flow is regulated by the water content in

Discharge (m3/s)


the soil. This implicates that the greater the water content of the soil, the greater


the portion directed to runoff. The infiltrated portion in the ground


is added to the reservoir to represent the water content in the soil. In this reser-


voir, water content is updated over time through the contributions of infiltration


and loss of water due to evapotranspiration

0 1975 1978 1981 1984 1987 1990 1993 1996 1999 2002 2005 2008 During the period for which inflow measurements were available, a comparison to simulated flow using the rainfall-runoff model shows good correlation.

26 HRW / March-April 2013




Groundwater recharge is limited by the soil’s field capacity, which is the water

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_______________ RS #18

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Monthly Flow Hydrographs

Vazão (m3/s)

25.000 20.000

Simulated Inflow


Observed Inflow

10.000 5.000 0


Average Monthly Inflow (m3/s)



Flow Duration Curves of Average Monthly Flows

35.000 30.000

Simulated Inflow

Observed Inflow

25.000 20.000 15.000 10.000 5.000 0 0




40 50 60 70 Incidence (%)




Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Another method of comparing the simulated versus observed inflow, on a monthly basis, also shows good correlation.

content in the soil below which water does not flow toward

Flow duration curves charged using data from the rainfall-runoff model and gauging stations vary slightly more than the comparison of monthly flow hydrographics shown in Figure 3 but are still close.

gauging stations are at an acceptable level of error.

the subterranean reservoir. Both subterranean and superficial

Calibration for the period being studied (1975 to 2008)

reservoirs suffer a drawdown in an exponential rate, resulting,

was established based on research of the common data serial

respectively, in basic and superficial flows.

available for precipitation and flow, resulting in definition of

The storage capacity of these reservoirs adheres to the hierarchic order described above, where the water content rate in the soil is the common denominator that governs the portions of remnant rain to be add in each reservoir.

the period from January 1931 to December 2008. For model calibration, the following inputs were considered: — Average monthly precipitation in the basin. Because of the lack of large periods of observation, precipitation series considered in the modeler were composed by three points around the

Simulation model calibration

river basin: Diamantino, Vilhena and Alto Tapajos.

The model is calibrated through a process of successive tries,

— Average monthly evaporation (Class A) data. The values

until the differences between the flow hydrographs generated

of climatological normals were obtained from the climatologic

by the model and the hydrographs observed at the chosen flow

station of Itaituba, which represents the climatic conditions of the Tapajos River. Table 1 presents patterns of evaporation considered in the model; and — Input parameters of the model. These values were presented according to the flow gauging station used in the modeler of the Tapajos River. The portion of the rain intercepted by the vegetation (leaves, bushes, etc.) is also an important input parameter for the calibration. In the simulation model, this is calculated through an equation generated from a parametric study for values of interception ranging from 3 to 5 mm. Calculations were run to provide a monthly accounting of the precipitation with values

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similar or inferior to daily precipitation values, which represent the amount of precipitation that remains in foliage and is lost by evapotranspiration. For each initial value of interception, a monthly data series was obtained and correlated with the correspondent value of monthly precipitation. This correlation originated the adjustment equation between interception and monthly precipitation for each studied station. From the five equations, the average of coefficients a and b were calculated, generating one equation for determining the daily interception for each initial interception value. The calibration was realized by comparing values of observed and simulated flows from 1930 to 2008 to the aver-

age monthly flow hydrographs and flow duration of the average monthly flow. Average, standard deviation and coefficient of RS #19

28 HRW / March-April 2013

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determination of the observed series were


drainage area (catchment area) of both

considered as well.

The use of mathematical modeling

places. In this case, the series was used

enabled generation of a monthly flow

to generate the average monthly flow

Jatoba flow gauging station

serial covering January 1931 to December

at the Sao Luiz do Tapajos and Jabota

The calibration was completed at the

2008. Data for the more recent period

hydroelectric plants, two projects on the

Jatoba station in the Tapajos River, which

(1975 to 2008) was replaced by data

Tapajos River that together will have

covers a drainage area of 387,634 km².

generated through correlation between

installed capacity of 8,500 MW and

Parameters and graphs related to the

the three stations previously mentioned,

generate about 40,800 MWh.

period of calibration, January 1975 to

resulting in a fi nal series of monthly flows.


December 2008, also are presented. This

The full series can be transferred

permits evaluation of the performance of

to an axis of hydroelectric develop-

the rainfall-runoff modeler against this

ments placed next to this gauging sta-

de Informacoes Hidrologicas HidroWeb,

station. Figure 2 provides a comparison

tion through the relation between the





ANA - Agencia Nacional de Aguas, Sistema


observed and simulated. Figure 3 provides a comparison between monthly hydrographs observed and simulated. Finally, Figure 4 shows a comparison between flow duration curves observed and simulated.

Expert Engineering. Proven Results.

As it is possible to see, the completed series has the same behavior, temporal and statistical, as the previous one. This shows that the model preserves not only the seasonality of the data series (an intrinsic characteristic of the regional climate) but also some statistical parameters, thus making them part of the same statistical universe.

Table 1: Monthly Evaporation Data of Itaituba Climatologic Station Evaporation (mm) January
























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Source: Brazilian National Institute of Meteorology RS #20

March-April 2013 / HRW 29

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Ideas in Action

Using Radar to Improve Level Measurement at the Machadinho Plant become operational at the plant, which enabled the reservoir to be fi lled August 28, 2001. Level monitoring was needed to allow the project owner to measure the tailrace, intake, and reservoir levels, as well as determining hydraulic losses at the trashracks covering the three turbine intakes, specifically those caused by accumulation of wood. Correct measurements are invaluable, as they are needed to detect the amount of waste accumulated on the trashracks. When preset levels of waste accumulation are reached, an alert is sent to the control center so that the operator can reduce the power dispatched to the generating units, reducing the flow and decreasing the head loss until the alert in the control center turns off. The operator also can convert the unit to synchronous compensating mode, which makes the waste trapped in the trashracks float away. The fi nal action is to remove the wood using a giant claw mechanicsm. This is vital to avoid a system Installing a new monitoring system that utilizes radar to measure water levels in the reservoir significantly increased the accuracy of the measurement.

overload, which could cause severe damage to the power plant. The original level measuring system made use of submersible pressure-resistant hydrostatic probes, manufacturered by

Measurements of the level of water in the reservoir behind

Brazil-based Hytronic, as a primary sensor. This type of sensor-

Machadinho Dam have been problematic since the hydropower

ing is regularly used at hydropower plants in Brazil.

plant for which it impounds water began operating in 2002. At

However, several problems arose, the most critical one being

this plant, called Machadinho Carlos Ermirio de Moraes, the

inaccuracies in calculation of head loss at the trashracks. These

level measuring system that was used until 2011 consisted of

racks, placed at the entry to the penstock for each unit, pre-

submersible pressure-resistant hydrostatic probes: one each

vent the passage of solid materials, such as branches and wood

for reservoir level, upstream level, the generating units after

trunks, through the turbines. Passing these materials could

the trashracks and the tailrace level. Constant accumulation

result in damage to the turbines and wicket gates that would be

of residues, mostly wood, in the reservoir interfered with the

costly to repair and result in extensive downtime for the unit.

measurements and resulted in errors and constant corrective

The continuous accumulation of wood and other waste mate-

interventions, such as removing the probe for cleaning, reset-

rial on the trashracks results in partial or complete obstruc-

ting the sensor positioning, or replacing the probe. To correct

tion, which increases the pressure over the rack and results in

this ongoing problem, radar level transmitters were installed

greater head loss. Head loss is calculated by comparing the res-

in 2011. Use of these transmitters has corrected the previously

ervoir water level with the level past the trashracks of each unit.

stated problems, increasing reliability of the measurements and

The difference in elevation between these two measurements,

eliminating corrective interventions.

minus the portion corresponding to the dynamic pressure, demonstrates the head loss.

Understanding the situation at Machadinho This facility is on the Uruguai River between Piratuba (Santa

Defining the problem

Catarina) and Maximiliano de Almeida (Rio Grande do Sul) in

The more waste accumulates on the surface of the trashrack, the

Brazil. The plant, which is owned by Consorcio Machadinho

larger the head loss here. At Machadinho, the admissible maxi-

and operated by Tractebel Energia S.A., contains three

mum value for head loss based on the design of the trashracks is

380 MW turbine-generating units, for total installed capacity of

3.5 mca (meters in water column). Once this limit is surpassed,

1,140 MW. The project was commissioned in 2002 is controlled

the trashrack can suffer structural damage and may even by

via a digital system operated from the central control room.

pulled into the penstock.

The level measuring system was one of the fi rst systems to 30 HRW / March-April 2013

To prevent head loss, the water column between the trashrack

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and reservoir must be reduced, and this can only be accom-

distance, defined as the distance from the radar sensor to the

plished by reducing power demands on the generating unit.

surface of the water.

This situation leads to a less-than-optimal utilization of the available hydraulic resource.

The output is a miliampere signal that gives a distance in meters from the sensor to the water surface. In the control

The operations and maintenance team evaluated the situation

system used, we configure the lowest possible level (the largest

to determine why measured head loss values with the existing

distance in meters from the radar) and the highest possible level

system were inconsistent. To find that, the maintenance team

(the smallest distance in meters from the radar).

had to perform a simple procedure that consisted of determin-

For example, the minimum level in cote (comparison to sea

ing with a measuring tape the difference in the level in the res-

level, or zero meters) at the tail race is 372.90 meters. The radar

ervoir and the level past the trashracks of each unit. Comparing

sensor shows that there is a 40 meter distance between the sen-

these measures with the value displayed in the control room

sor and the water surface.

revealed the errors.

We do the same thing with the maximum level, which is

They determined that several conditions provided the incor-

397.15 meters. As the tailrace level cannot be increased to this,

rect information, including level variation and water quality by

the sensor installation cote is set at the maximum level. With

mud impregnation. However, it was determined that the varying

this information, the distance in meters from the radar to the

level in the reservoir as a result of the drawdown was the main

surface level can be translated in the right cote.

contributing factor to measuring errors and the resulting need for system intervention. In addition, water quality further worsened the measuring errors because the mud suspended in the water obstructed the

Because these waves do not propagate mechanically, they are immune to temperature variations. In addition, the radar sensors allow an application over a wide range of distances, reaching more than 50 meters.

holes in the submersible probes where the pressure measurements were taken. The structures to which the submersible

Significant results

probes were installed were also often obstructed by wood, which

The hydrostatic sensor installed after each unit trashrack,

changed the water column’s level by creating level variations.

upstream sensors and tailrace water level sensors were replaced with new radar transmitters. A number of infrastructure

Developing a solution

improvements were required to allow installation of the new

Because of the lack of system reliability and the constant need

sensors. According to operational requirements, the radar trans-

for corrective interventions that could vary depending the con-

mitter must be installed at least 60 cm from any walls, avoiding

dition of the reservoir, occurring more than once per week in the

interference in the radar beam.

worst situations, Consorcio Machadinho undertook a search for

In total, five radar transmitters were installed: one to measure

alternative technologies available for level measurement. Given

tailrace level, another to measure reservoir level, and one for

the history of failures of the existing system, one of the require-

each generating unit to measure the level past the trashracks. It

ments for the solution at Machadinho was a technology that

took us one week to prepare the civil and supports structures,

does not have to stay in direct contact with the water.

and after that, one afternoon to start up and configure the radar

Ultrasound, radar and guided radar options were all consid-

transmitter. The units were not taken offline for the installation.

ered. Ultrasound sensors did not appear to be workable because

The radar transmitter measuring system has been operating

most of the available options did not have the range needed

for two years at Machadinho. During this time, the plant opera-

(40 meters) for this application, and external temperatures are

tors have observed a significant improvement in the precision

known to interfere with ultrasound signals, thus affecting the

and reliability of measurements. The hydrostatic sensors pre-

measurement accuracy.

sented a scale accuracy rate of ±0.25% and resolution of 0.015%;

To use a guided radar system at Machadinho, a wave guide, which is a metal guide that links the sensor to the water level,

the new system provided a significant gain in full-scale accuracy of ±0.01% and resolution of 0.003%.

would have to be installed. In addition, this guide would be

This improvement has added great value to the plant’s opera-

in constant contact with the water, a factor the operators were

tions, as it provides precise and reliable information for each unit

hoping to avoid.

and prevents unnecessary waste of resources otherwise avail-

Given the limitations of these methods, radar was chosen

able for power generation. The new system has also positively

as the most suitable measurement option for the needs of the

impacted the maintenance schedule for the plant. Before the

project. A radar level transmitter operates according to the

improvements, 260 hours were dedicated to corrective main-

microwave irradiation principle: by propagating electromag-

tenance and system adjustments in a five-year span. Once the

netic waves. The instrument receives a portion of the energy

system was adopted, corrective interventions dropped to zero.

reflected off the surface of the environment being measured. The time it takes the signal to travel from is the wave’s reflection

— By Christiano Dalosto Pase, electrical engineer, and Edson Leandro Tomaselli, electrical engineer, Tractebel Energia S.A. March-April 2013 / HRW 31

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Tech Notes For more technical news, check out the Technology and Equipment tab at

110 GW; Brazil, 21 GW; OECD Europe, 19 GW; Africa, 14 GW; and India 13 GW.

Users also can click on a specific country and get data on all of the topics.

IEA says this new annual publication

REN21 connects governments, inter-

provides a key benchmark, assessing the

national organizations, industry associa-

current state of play of renewable energy,

tions, and science and academia. Its goal

identifying the main drivers and barriers

is to facilitate knowledge exchange, policy

IEA report predicts status of

to deployment, and projecting renew-

development and joint action toward a

renewables through 2017

able electricity capacity and generation

rapid global transition to renewable energy.

Renewable electricity growth should

through 2017. IHA partners with China Society

accelerate from 2011 to 2017, expanding

— The report can be purchased for prices

by 1,840 TW, compared with growth of

starting at €80 (US$105), depending on

for Hydropower Engineering

1,160 TWh from 2005 to 2011. Global

format and number of people accessing, at

The International Hydropower Assoc-

renewable electricity production was

iation and China Society for Hydropower Engineering (CSHE) have announced a

4,540 TWh in 2011 and should reach almost 6,400 TWh in 2017. These are

Online worldwide renewable

collaboration that will lead to establish-

just some findings in Medium-Term

energy map available

ment of an IHA National Office in China.

Renewable Energy Market 2012 released

An interactive map of renewable energy

IHA said CSHE is China’s leading

by the International Energy Agency.

throughout the world is available from

hydropower organization, with 40,000

the REN21 (Renewable Energy Policy

individual members, 203 corporate mem-

Network for the 21st Century).

bers and 22 provincial hydroelectric engi-

Non-hydro renewable development is becoming increasingly widespread, with growth shifting beyond traditional support markets in Europe, the report indicates.

The map, at,

neering societies. CHSE will work to pro-

allows user to search by technology,

mote IHA’s Hydropower Sustainability

Of the 710 GW of global renewable

including hydropower and ocean energy.

Protocol, which has been adopted by

electricity capacity additions expected

Once a technology is chosen, users can

organizations in 28 countries.

from 2011 to 2017, China accounts for

refine the search by topic:

270 GW, the USA 56 GW, India 39 GW,

— Policies, which covers financial

Vietnam to investigate dam

Germany and Brazil 32 GW each. In 2017,

incentives, public financing and regula-

safety after recent incidents

non-OECD countries should account for

tory policies;

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan

65% of hydropower generation and almost 40% of non-hydro generation. Hydro production has grown by 630 TWh since 2005, and in 2011 it accounted for 80% of total renewable

— Targets, which are primary energy,

Dung has called for improvements to the

final energy, electricity, heating/cooling

country’s dam safety protocol, partially

consumption, heating/cooling, transport,

in response to incidents and concerns

rural energy and not specified;

associated with hydro plants in 2012.

— Shares, which are primary energy,

If a new piece of legislation is approved,

generation. Hydropower will remain the



project owners and operators will be sub-

largest contributor, but its share should

electricity consumption, heating/cooling

ject to dam safety standards established

diminish, dropping to an anticipated

production, heating/cooling consumption

by Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and

70% in 2017. From 2011 to 2017, hydro-

and heating/cooling;

Trade. Penalties include fines of up to



power generation is expected to grow

— Installed capacity;

about US$10,000, with the potential for

120 TWh per year, pushing total capacity

— Energy production; and

operating licenses to be revoked if safety

to 1,200 GW from 1,070 GW in 2011.

— Renewable energy economy, which

checks and repairs are not completed.





covers jobs and manufacturing.

This and other measures are expected to be submitted for approval in the second

nomically attractive source of renewable

Selecting installed capacity provides

energy in countries with good resource

results in 89 countries, from Argentina

potential. Hydropower deployment can

to Zambia. Choosing Mozambique pro-

Operations may be suspended at

scale up renewable generation and meet

vides information on all the above topics

plants operating in violation of safety

power needs in emerging and developed

and indicates total installed renewable


countries while providing the flexibility

electricity capacity in 2009 (most recent

will be checked to assess living condi-

needed to integrate a projected large

data available) of 2.179 GW and total

tions. Dung’s declaration also included

amount of variable renewable electricity.

installed hydropower capacity in 2010 of

measures for a more stringent project

Growth is expected to occur in: China,

2,308 MW.

approval process.

32 HRW / March-April 2013

quarter of this year.




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New Hydro For more ocean/tidal/stream news, see the Hydro Project Activity tab at

electricity-generating Halfren

Tocardo, Repsol form partnership for marine power development



across the Severn Estuary. Power’s


The project — referred to as the “ring island” or “energy atoll” plan by officials


— would be built off Belgium’s northern

Estuary tidal power project could pro-

coast near Zeebrugge, and includes the

duce as much as 5% of the UK’s energy,

construction of a 3 km-long, horseshoe-

according to a scheme that was previously

shaped island that would have a 30 meter-

rejected by Parliament in October 2010.

deep reservoir in its center.

The government has since said, how-

Pumped-storage turbines would be


ever, that the Severn River is open for

installed in the open end of the horseshoe,

Tocardo International and oil and gas

private tidal power development to help

giving the hydro project a total generating

conglomerate Repsol have formed a part-

the UK meet its 15% renewable energy

capacity of about 300 MW.

nership intended to help further offshore

by 2020 goal, leading some to push for

tidal energy development.

reconsideration of the scheme now.



The project would mainly be used to help store the country’s vast amount of

Repsol reported that it has about

Halfren’s proposal — modified slightly

wind capacity, which, as of 2011, equated

1,200 MW of offshore wind concessions

from the one rejected in 2010 — would

to more than 1 GW. The excess wind

in the UK and sees its new partner-

create an 11 mile-long (18 km) barrage

power will be used to pump water from

ship with Tocardo as an opportunity to

between the Vale of Galmorgan and

the interior of the horseshoe into the sea.

expand its New Energy Ventures unit,

Somerset. The barrage would be dotted

That water will then pass back into the

which focuses on initiatives in renewables

with more than 1,000 tidal turbines.

reservoir by running through the hydro

and bioenergy.

The plan was rejected in 2010 largely

turbine units when needed, allowing the

due to environmental concerns, although

island to serve as a battery much like con-

Expansion of Cherbourg

developer Hafren says its new scheme is

ventional pumped-storage facilities.

testing site announced

more fish-friendly and would reduce the

Belgium’s federal energy regulator,

The Raz Blanchard tidal power test site

amount of inter-tidal mudflats that would

Elia, said the project is still undergoing

near Cherbourg in northwestern France

be lost for feeding birds.

feasibility studies but could be completed

will receive a 35 hectare expansion,

Sources said a special Act of Parliament

within seven years if approved.

thanks to a US$96.2 million plan unveiled by the Ports of

Crown Estate to invest in

Normandy Authority.

wave, tidal development The Crown Estate is consid-

PNA, which owns the ports and

ering an investment of up to

Cherbourg, said the decision to

US$32 million in wave energy

increase Raz Blanchard’s size

and tidal energy projects in

came after Electricite de France

the UK. The decision to invest

and Alstom moved their off-

followed analysis of a report

shore wind turbine operations to

issued in 2012 that suggested a

Cherbourg in 2012.

large potential for wave and tidal



energy development in the UK.

PNA said the development

The Crown Estate’s invest-

will use reclaimed land to the port’s east and north, extending

Belgium’s “ring island” energy storage scheme will have pumped-storage turbines at the open end of the horseshoe, with a capacity of 300 MW.

other development companies

the port into the outer harbor in the process. Work on the project is expected to be

ment will be in cooperation with

would have to be passed for the plan to

and government grants and will help fund

become a reality.

development of two projects with a capacity of more than 3 MW.

complete in 2016. Belgium considers “ring island”

To be eligible, potential projects must

UK might reconsider Severn

energy storage scheme

have gained or be in the process of get-

Estuary tidal power proposal

Belgian officials are considering the

ting the proper consents and grid con-

Parliament’s Energy and Climate Change

construction of an offshore hydroelectric

nection agreements, as well as a Crown

committee is taking another look at a

energy storage project to help the country

Estate lease agreement. A final decision

plan that would result in a US$40 billion

wean off nuclear power by 2025.

on investment will be made by early 2014.

March-April 2013 / HRW 33

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Small Hydro For more small hydro news, see the Hydro Project Activity tab at

BHEL inaugurates second of two turbines at Tajikistan’s Varjob Indian








completed the rehabilitation and modernization





Varjob plant. The Varjob project — owned by Tajikistan’s national power company, Barqi Tojik — previously included a pair of 3.67 MW turbine-generator units. BHEL replaced those with two 4.75 MW

Renovation work on the 2.4 MW Storr Loch hydro plant in Scotland will include refurbishing the generators, control gear and switchgear.

units as part of a renovation, modernization and upgrade contract that was

capacity of less than 50 MW on the

partnership in December 2008. Barra do Rio Chapeu is on the Braco

funded by the Indian government.

Philippines’ Panay Island.

Varjob’s first new unit was commis-

do Norte River and is one part of the Sao

Included in Suweco’s plans are the

sioned in November 2012, with the sec-

Bernardo complex. Also included are the

15 MW Main Klan, 8 MW Villasiga 1,

ond being officially inaugurated in early

Itarare, Joao Borges and Pinheiros hydro

9.4 MW Villasiga 2, 3 MW Upper Aklan

January 2013.

facilities, which, along with Barra do

West Tributary, 3 MW Lower East

Rio Chapeu, will have a total combined

Aklan Tributary, 2.4 MW Middle West

capacity of more than 50 MW.

Tributary, 2 MW Guiamon San Ramon,

Cubujuqui project in Costa Rica now online

3 MW Dalanas and 2.1 MW Tibiao

Costa Rican utility Coopelesca has

Albanian government approves


construction of three projects






22.8 MW Cubujuqui project.



hydroelectric stations. The run-of-river plants will be con-


structed along the Paliuan River in

Located in Horquetas de Sarapiqui, the

granted licenses in January for the con-

Filipino states Antique and Aklan, with

hydropower project is a turnkey operation

struction of three small hydroelectric

work expected to be completed within the

jointly supplied by Voith Hydro Brazil

projects: 6 MW Stavec, 3.6 MW Strava

next five years.

and Voith Hydro India and features two

and 400 kW Qafezeze. The

11.4 MW Francis turbines.





SSE to renovate

The project was constructed to help

US$4.8 million and be constructed by

2.4 MW Storr Loch plant

meet Costa Rica’s growing demand for

Stravaj Energy in Albania’s Librazhd

Scotland’s Storr Lochs project will

energy resources.

region. The $11.32 million Strava will be

receive a US$2.41 million refurbish-

developed by investment company Koka

ment that will extend the plant’s life by

Brazil’s 15.5 MW Barra do Rio

in the Bulqiza region, and Qafezeze will

renovating its generators, switchgear and

Chapeu project commissioned

be constructed by Caushi K. in Librazhd

control gear.

An Eletrobras-owned small hydroelectric

at a cost of about $500,000.

project in Brazil’s Santa Catarina state came online in January. The 15.5 MW Barra do Rio Chapeu

Storr Lochs was constructed in the early 1950s and is served by a cable-

Suweco announces development

powered railway because the steepness

of nine projects in Philippines

of the location made a road unfeasible.


Renewable energy developer Sunwest

The project is owned by Scottish and

subsidiary Eletrosul and

Water and Electric Co. (Suweco) has

Southern Energy.

German development bank Kreditanstalt

announced a US$220.3 million plan to

fur Wiederaufbau, which announced the

build nine small projects with a combined







34 HRW / March-April 2013

Work on the project is expected to begin and end in 2014.

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36 HRW / March-April 2013

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Pumped storage Flexible energy linked to grid regulation

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