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Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1662;

Developing a Model to Assess the Potential Impact of TUM Hydropower Turbines on Small River Ecology

Key Laboratory of Environmental Remediation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, China Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
Department of Civil, Geo and Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Munich (TUM), Arcisstrasse 21, 80333 Munich, Germany
State Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
College of Water Resources and Architectural Engineering, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China
Key Laboratory of Agricultural Soil and Water Engineering in Arid Regions of Ministry of Education, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China
Powerchina Guiyang Engineering Corporation Limited, Guizhou 550081, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 March 2018 / Revised: 4 May 2018 / Accepted: 7 May 2018 / Published: 21 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Small hydropower is a renewable energy technology that is used for electricity generation worldwide, but still has potential for further development. However, during the installation of small hydropower, the ecological impacts of the power plants need to be thoroughly investigated. In addressing the challenges of energy production and minimizing the environmental impacts of small hydropower installation and operation, this study has applied an ecohydraulic model to investigate river hydrodynamics, hydromorphology, habitat, and the population impacts of small hydropower, and presented the Mum River as a case study. Two scenarios were implemented in this research to simulate the hydrodynamic, sedimentation, habitat, and population status in order to assess the potential effects caused by the TUM plant. At the Mum River, two scenarios were proposed: the TUM plant was not considered in scenario S1, but was considered in scenario S2. The model results for scenario S2 indicated that the habitat was suitable for fish species living in the Mum River, with fish population numbers between 4.6 × 103 and 6.6 × 103. The S2 results indicated that the impacts of the TUM plant were negligible when compared with S1. Although the impact of the TUM plant on the Mum River is relatively large when the discharge is high (19 m3/s), calculations based on stable flow shows that the TUM plant could function well on the river ecosystem when the discharge is low or at normal rates. Therefore, this study shows that the TUM plant would be a good option to meet the needs of energy generation whilst having a minimal impact on river habitats and changes in fish species population in similar small rivers and streams. View Full-Text
Keywords: small-scale hydropower; TUM shaft power plant; renewable energy; ecohydraulic; habitat model; population model small-scale hydropower; TUM shaft power plant; renewable energy; ecohydraulic; habitat model; population model

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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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Yao, W.; Chen, Y.; Yu, G.; Xiao, M.; Ma, X.; Lei, F. Developing a Model to Assess the Potential Impact of TUM Hydropower Turbines on Small River Ecology. Sustainability 2018, 10, 1662.

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