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Hydropower Case Study Collection: Innovative Low Head and Ecologically Improved Turbines, Hydropower in Existing Infrastructures, Hydropeaking Reduction, Digitalization and Governing Systems

1
Politecnico di Torino, Politecnico di Torino, 10129 Torino, Italy
2
Electromechanical Engineering Dept., Compagnia Valdostana delle Acque, 11024 Chatillon, Italy
3
Power Vision Engineering Sàrl, CH-1025 Saint-Sulpice, Switzerland
4
HES-SO Valais, CH-1950 Sion, Switzerland
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Electricite d’Emosson SA, CH-1920 Martigny, Switzerland
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Enel Green Power, 00198 Rome, Italy
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Eisackwerk Srl, 39100 Bolzano, Italy
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Bioprogramm S.c., 35127 Padova, Italy
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Voith Hydro, Inc., York, PA 17408, USA
10
US Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District, Walla Walla, WA 99362, USA
11
US Synthetic, Orem, UT 84058, USA
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Ocean Renewable Power Company, Inc., Portland, ME 04011, USA
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Hydrodata S.p.A., 10123 Torino, Italy
14
INTECNO Ingegneria e Tecnologia S.r.l., 10123 Torino, Italy
15
Consorzio di Bonifica Emilia Centrale, 42121 Reggio Emilia, Italy
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Studio di Progettazione AISE Engineering, 42123 Reggio Emilia, Italy
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Ingegneri Consulenti srl, 38121 Trento, Italy
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Società Metropolitana Acque Torino (SMAT), 10152 Torino, Italy
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Patscheider & Partner Engineers Ltd., 39024 Mals (BZ), Italy
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ZECO Hydropower S.r.l., 36030 Fara Vicentino, Italy
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Pytheas Technology, 13590 Meyreuil, France
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Teti srl, 06024 Gubbio, Italy
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Turbulent NV, 3012 Wilsele, Belgium
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ATWEO BV, 3012 Wilsele, Belgium
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STE Energy S.r.l, 35141 Padova, Italy
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RNB Hydro, 30030 Pianiga, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: European Commission Joint Research Centre, 21027 Ispra, Italy.
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 8873; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12218873
Received: 31 July 2020 / Revised: 19 October 2020 / Accepted: 20 October 2020 / Published: 26 October 2020
Hydropower remains a key renewable energy source in the pursuit of the decarbonization of the economy, although the relatively high potential impact of the hydro-morphological alterations it may cause poses significant concerns for aquatic ecosystems. In the last years, new technologies and practices have been increasingly adopted to minimize the impacts of hydropower plants, while improving efficiency and flexibility of energy generation. The overall effect of these innovations may be a more sustainable design and operation of hydropower, striking a better balance between the objectives of decarbonization and ecosystem protection. This contribution presents and discusses a few representative examples of hydropower installations from companies in Italy, France, Switzerland, Belgium and the USA, where solutions have been adopted in this direction. The case studies cover (1) ecologically improved and low head hydropower converters (Vortex turbine, Hydrostatic Pressure Machine, VLH and Girard-optimized turbines, hydrokinetic turbines), hydropeaking reduction (2) new control systems, governors and digitalization, (3) hydropower as a strategy for local sustainable development and (4) energy recovery in existing hydraulic infrastructures and aqueducts. It was found that better-governing systems can extend the life span of runners, for example avoiding the runner uplift during a trip. Digitalization can improve efficiency by 1.2%. New sustainable practices and turbines with better ecological behavior can minimize environmental impacts, like the reduction of fish mortality, improvement of fish habitat availability, reduction of oil for lubrication purposes and generation of economic incomes for local development. The use of existing structures reduces the total installation cost: examples are the total saving of 277 €/kW by reusing irrigation pipes and reservoirs, or the reduction of the investment period from 9 years to 6 years by turbining the environmental flow. Innovative low head hydropower converters can exhibit good ecological behavior, with reduced costs (<5000 €/kW) especially when installed in existing weirs. Results are discussed, contextualized and generalized to provide engineering data and tools to support future realizations of similar case studies; normalized costs, efficiency improvement, best practices and new technologies are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: bearing; digitalization; fish; governing system; hydropeaking; hydropower; low head turbine; RHPM; VLH; Vortex; water distribution network bearing; digitalization; fish; governing system; hydropeaking; hydropower; low head turbine; RHPM; VLH; Vortex; water distribution network
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MDPI and ACS Style

Quaranta, E.; Bonjean, M.; Cuvato, D.; Nicolet, C.; Dreyer, M.; Gaspoz, A.; Rey-Mermet, S.; Boulicaut, B.; Pratalata, L.; Pinelli, M.; Tomaselli, G.; Pinamonti, P.; Pichler, R.; Turin, P.; Turrin, D.; Foust, J.; Trumbo, B.; Ahmann, M.; Modersitzki, M.; Kist, S.; Mosca, C.; Malerba, C.; Francesconi, A.; Casoli, I.; Ferrari, R.; Stefani, V.; Scibetta, M.; Meucci, L.; Gostner, W.; Bergamin, R.; Pretto, F.D.; Turcato, D.; Kocher, V.; Lefaucheux, P.; Elmaataoui, A.; Mariucci, M.; Sarma, P.; Slachmuylders, G.; Clementi, R.; Pasut, F.; Bragato, N. Hydropower Case Study Collection: Innovative Low Head and Ecologically Improved Turbines, Hydropower in Existing Infrastructures, Hydropeaking Reduction, Digitalization and Governing Systems. Sustainability 2020, 12, 8873. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12218873

AMA Style

Quaranta E, Bonjean M, Cuvato D, Nicolet C, Dreyer M, Gaspoz A, Rey-Mermet S, Boulicaut B, Pratalata L, Pinelli M, Tomaselli G, Pinamonti P, Pichler R, Turin P, Turrin D, Foust J, Trumbo B, Ahmann M, Modersitzki M, Kist S, Mosca C, Malerba C, Francesconi A, Casoli I, Ferrari R, Stefani V, Scibetta M, Meucci L, Gostner W, Bergamin R, Pretto FD, Turcato D, Kocher V, Lefaucheux P, Elmaataoui A, Mariucci M, Sarma P, Slachmuylders G, Clementi R, Pasut F, Bragato N. Hydropower Case Study Collection: Innovative Low Head and Ecologically Improved Turbines, Hydropower in Existing Infrastructures, Hydropeaking Reduction, Digitalization and Governing Systems. Sustainability. 2020; 12(21):8873. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12218873

Chicago/Turabian Style

Quaranta, Emanuele, Manuel Bonjean, Damiano Cuvato, Christophe Nicolet, Matthieu Dreyer, Anthony Gaspoz, Samuel Rey-Mermet, Bruno Boulicaut, Luigi Pratalata, Marco Pinelli, Giuseppe Tomaselli, Paolo Pinamonti, Raffael Pichler, Paolo Turin, Daniele Turrin, Jason Foust, Bradly Trumbo, Martin Ahmann, Marc Modersitzki, Susy Kist, Cecilia Mosca, Carlo Malerba, Ada Francesconi, Ivan Casoli, Raffaele Ferrari, Vittoria Stefani, Marco Scibetta, Lorenza Meucci, Walter Gostner, Riccardo Bergamin, Francesco D. Pretto, Davide Turcato, Vincent Kocher, Pierre Lefaucheux, Abdelali Elmaataoui, Mario Mariucci, Prakriteesh Sarma, Geert Slachmuylders, Riccardo Clementi, Fabio Pasut, and Nicola Bragato. 2020. "Hydropower Case Study Collection: Innovative Low Head and Ecologically Improved Turbines, Hydropower in Existing Infrastructures, Hydropeaking Reduction, Digitalization and Governing Systems" Sustainability 12, no. 21: 8873. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12218873

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