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Hydroelectric plants

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HomeHydroelectric plants

Design and installation of hydroelectric power plants

The renewable energy source of hydro type has a unique characteristic that stands out from other renewable sources, "the production of electricity occurs on an ongoing basis and not intermittent."
The purpose of a hydroelectric power plant is to harness the energy contained in the water to get electricity. This step requires a series of transformations before the water potential energy can be converted into electricity.
In a hydroelectric plant there are several functions that must be managed and organized for the purpose of electricity generation: it is necessary that each function is carried out automatically, according to the availability of water in the tanks and in the loading docks. To do this, the system must act independently managing its regulation components according to the variation in time of various sizes.
Finally, control systems must be installed. They allow to ensure the protection of any plant organ, both electrical and mechanical, in order to prevent wear and damage of the same.

The system must be able to automatically manage:

  • start and Stop of the machine set operations, after manual / automatic control, or to a protection tripping, with procedures handled automatically by PLC;
  • adjustment of the output power, depending on the availability of water in the basins or in the cargo tanks upstream of the same, automatically managed by a PLC;
  • verification of normal operating conditions, with early warning of anomalies or failures, automatically managed by a PLC;
  • adjustment of the power factor, in accordance with the directives of connection to the ENEL network;
  • useful data collection for local or remote monitoring of the plant.
The Zanocco company, thanks to its automation systems, allows all information to be displayed on a operator panel installed on switchboard, which acts as an interface between the operator and the PLC so that the operator can interact with the settings and key commands. It can also proposes a remote control system that acquires data and, following any processing, transmits them to the remote control station, where they are processed, so as to be then displayed, allowing it to a remote monitoring and adjustment of the plant operation parameters, by making sure that the only necessary manual intervention are reduced to the ordinary or extraordinary maintenance, thus optimizing the use of on-site personnel.
With regard to the adjustment, the main electrical components concerned are the motors of hydraulic power, the solenoid valves that regulate the position of the nozzles or pins, baffles, temperature probes, etc., all controlled by a PLC.
The fundamental component for the energy transformation is the generator which may be asynchronous or synchronous type, as a function of system power. It is evident that the increase of the power (KW), and according to the type of installed turbine, increases the complexity of the system, which will therefore have a greater number of electrical components, necessary for the adjustment of the power itself.

All the control part is grouped into a single electric automation framework, containing all the necessary components to the automatic control of the central (PLCs, Operator Panel, etc ...), as the one shown in the picture:

The whole part of BT's power, is grouped within a single distribution framework: In the case in which the system is connected to the medium voltage distribution network, also will be installed in the processing LV / MV CEI 0-16 cabin, with the transformer and the measuring instruments.

Turbine: Operator panel: