Case Study

Control System for a Hydroelectric Power Plant

22 Dec 2023

5 min read

Generating power from water is one of the ways with the lowest emission impact on the environment. ComAp, together with ZECO, a globally renowned Italian manufacturer of turbines for hydroelectric power plants, recently commissioned two new run-of-river hydro power plants in Southeastern Europe. ZECO was looking for an integrated solution that would take on the role of automation and supervision of the entire plant.

Each plant consists of a Francis turbine and synchronous generator that turbine water on 4/6 bar of pressure. The difference in water level between the upstream intake and the turbine discharge is about 40/60 meters. The power output is 800 kW per each generator.

ComAp supplied a standard solution for this type of plant using our InteliSys NTC BaseBox controller. With the InteliSys NTC BaseBox, electric protections of the generator, speed and voltage, synchronisation sequence and power in parallel to mains are all controlled automatically. The system is accompanied with the InteliVision 5 display, and for entire supervision of the plant was used ComAp’s InteliSCADA monitoring and management software. For additional remote control, ComAp’s WebSupervisor online monitoring and managment application is used.

Small run-of-river hydroelectric plants pose a great challenge in terms of control for turbine manufacturers. What is needed is a control system that guarantees robustness, that can be simply and quickly replicated in plants of the same type, and above all that has the right degree of customisation to allow the manufacturer to meet the end customer’s needs. With ComAp we have managed to find all this and thanks to a close dialogue right from the early stages of the project and the great technical ability demonstrated we managed to hit the target at the first attempt. It was a pleasure to work with the ComAp team!

Gianluca Marchioretto, Electrical Engineer Chief at ZECO.

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