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Energies 2015, 8(7), 7478-7501; doi:10.3390/en8077478

Flow Regime Changes: From Impounding a Temperate Lowland River to Small Hydropower Operations

Institute of Water Resources Engineering, Aleksandras Stulginskis University, 10 Universiteto str., Akademija, Kaunas District LT-53361, Lithuania
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Academic Editor: Vincenzo Dovì
Received: 19 May 2015 / Revised: 14 July 2015 / Accepted: 16 July 2015 / Published: 22 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Policy and Climate Change)
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Abstract

This article discusses the environmental issues facing small hydropower plants (SHPs) operating in temperate lowland rivers of Lithuania. The research subjects are two medium head reservoir type hydro schemes considered within a context of the global fleet of SHPs in the country. This research considers general abiotic indicators (flow, level, water retention time in the reservoirs) of the stream that may affect the aquatic systems. The main idea was to test whether the hydrologic regime has been altered by small hydropower dams. The analysis of changes in abiotic indicators is a complex process, including both pre- and post-reservoir construction and post commissioning of the SHPs under operation. Downstream hydrograph (flow and stage) ramping is also an issue for operating SHPs that can result in temporary rapid changes in flow and consequently negatively impact aquatic resources. This ramping has been quantitatively evaluated. To avoid the risk of excessive flow ramping, the types of turbines available were evaluated and the most suitable types for the natural river flow regime were identified. The results of this study are to allow for new hydro schemes or upgrades to use water resources in a more sustainable way. View Full-Text
Keywords: small hydropower; small reservoirs; natural and altered flow regime; hydrograph ramping; hydro turbines small hydropower; small reservoirs; natural and altered flow regime; hydrograph ramping; hydro turbines
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Punys, P.; Dumbrauskas, A.; Kasiulis, E.; Vyčienė, G.; Šilinis, L. Flow Regime Changes: From Impounding a Temperate Lowland River to Small Hydropower Operations. Energies 2015, 8, 7478-7501.

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