Analysis tool and training simulator for cascade reservoirs

#hydropower #control power #training simulator #system optimisation #coordinated reservoir operation
Schematic longitudinal section through the cascade reservoirs with local controls at each reservoir and a coordinator. The associated communication channels and the relevant measured variables are marked (discharge and water level). The local controllers communicate with their upstream and downstream counterparts, the coordinator with the individual local controllers and the HN model
Overview image from the training simulator: cascade reservoirs with the most relevant measured values © KIMA Gesellschaft für elektronische Steuerungstechnik und Konstruktion mbH

Analysis tools for comparing different control strategies with regard to their effects on the water balance and power generation in cascade reservoirs, as well as a training system for the control room personnel to simulate a wide variety of applications and scenarios.

The operation of a cascade of reservoirs is a demanding, complex task. Increasing automation and extreme events increase the training requirements of operating personnel, and there is also a growing need for specific electricity products (e.g. control power) due to the decline in electricity generation from fossil sources, among other things.

Existing, individual modules of cascade reservoirs including controls were combined and expanded with modules for determining performance in order to analyse and evaluate the effects of different control strategies on power generation and the water balance in the cascade. Studies of tipping and peak operation have shown that the cascade is well suited to the provision of control power and a tipping operation with almost identical water level tolerances is more advantageous.

In close cooperation with the project partners, the system was refined for use as a training simulator on a robust, industrial platform. The connection of the HN model of the reservoirs to the controls used on the systems, including the largely original user interface, enables the project partner LEW to use the familiar operating environment for training and education, as well as for analysing the effects of changes to the controls, incidents or manual interventions.

An interface for the integration of future technologies (e.g. a higher-level control for discharge compensation), was included in preparation for the developing, dynamic requirements of cascade operation. The methodology and the system can be transferred to other river systems.

Water resource: Surface water
Type of product:
  • Modelling & software tools
TRL: 8
    TRL (Technology Readiness Level)
  • TRL 1 - Basic principles observed
  • TRL 2 - Technology concept formulated
  • TRL 3 - Experimental proof of concept
  • TRL 4 - Technology validated in lab
  • TRL 5 - Technology validated in relevant environment (industrially relevant environment in the case of key enabling technologies)
  • TRL 6 - Technology demonstrated in relevant environment (industrially relevant environment in the case of key enabling technologies)
  • TRL 7 - System prototype demonstration in operational environment
  • TRL 8 - System complete and qualified
  • TRL 9 - Actual system proven in operational environment (competitive manufacturing in the case of key enabling technologies; or in space)
Application sector: Industry, Water resource management
Funding measure: GRoW
Project: WANDEL

Contact and partners

Logo Universität Kassel, Fachgebiet Wasserbau und Wasserwirtschaft
  • Universität Kassel, Fachgebiet Wasserbau und Wasserwirtschaft,
  • Kurt-Wolters-Str. 3,
  • 34125 Kassel
Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Stephan Theobald
  • +49 561 804-2679

LEW Wasserkraft GmbH
KIMA Gesellschaft für elektronische Steuerungstechnik und Konstruktion mbH,
Universität Kassel, Fachgebiet Wasserbau und Wasserwirtschaft,

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