Accurate estimation model for small and micro hydropower plants costs in hybrid energy systems modelling

Significance Statement

Due to high need of available and reliable energy, renewable sources have aided the increasing diffusion of small plants and distributed generation, allowing the use of low-density distributed renewable sources and provision of self-sufficient energy for small communities in order to reduce transmission loss and grid congestion problems.

Various models used in analyzing energy systems despite their accuracy and complexity, focused less on model input data such as investment cost. There arises some situation in cases of hybrid energy system technology such as small hydropower plants as simplified models cannot accurately estimate investment costs.

Researchers from Department of Industrial Engineering, at University of Padova in Italy proposed a new approach for the estimation of cost of electro-mechanical equipment, where the final cost was decomposed in three terms, two of which represents the cost of mechanical equipment and one the cost of electrical equipment. The work is published in journal, Energy.

Cavazzini et al. (2016) proposed methodology decomposes cost of electro-mechanical equipment which includes ex-works market prices of turbine, automatic valve, regulation elements and alternator in three terms depending on net head, design flow rate and design power. The great diversity in the topology of turbines was taken into account by defining them for each type of turbine separately as regards to correlation constants. The constants were evaluated by applying a recent modified version of the Particle Swarm Optimization ASD-PSD algorithm.

When optimization procedure to determine correlation coefficients was applied to a data set of 13 small hydropower plants located in Italy and equipped with Pelton turbines, it was seen that correlation simulated with good agreement of the real costs of power plants with an average error equal to 6.4% and standard deviation of 6.5%.

For data set of 12 small hydropower plants located in Italy and in Guatemala equipped with Francis turbine, correlation also simulated with good agreement of the real costs of power plants with an average error equal to 10.6% and standard deviation of 4.4%. For Kaplan turbines, resulting correlation simulates with good agreement the real costs of power plants with an average error equal to 8.1% and a standard deviation of 8.8%.

In comparison with the most popular and accurate literature correlations, the proposed approach reached obtained mean errors of 9.2% for Pelton turbine, 9.8% for Francis turbine and 18.2% for Kaplan turbine which were all smaller than all the literature correlations and in particular than those of Ogayar and Vidal’s widely adopted method (10.2% for Pelton turbines, 11.5% for Francis turbine and 25.0% for Kaplan turbines).

It can be deduced that the researchers approach is capable of reaching good values of accuracy with a mean error smaller than all the literature correlations.

The proposed correlation structure with a direct dependency not only on power and net head, but also on design flow rates seems to generate a better approximation of the real cost trend of the electro-mechanical equipment of small hydropower plants.

 

 Renewable Energy Global Innovations

Accurate estimation model for small and micro hydropower plants costs in hybrid energy systems modelling.Renewable Energy Global Innovations

 

About the author

Giovanna Cavazzini, associate professor, received her Master’s degree with honour in Mechanical Engineering in 2003 from the University of Padova and her doctorate with European Label in Energetics in 2007 from the University of Padova.

She spent in 2005 a research period at the Ecole Nationale Superieure Arts et Métiers ParisTech de Lille with emphasis to the study of unsteady turbulent phenomena developing in turbomachines.

In 2009 she received the qualification of Maitre de Conference from the Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche in France and since 2016 she is Associate Professor of Fluid Machines and Energy Systems at the University of Padova.

Her main research interests include analysis and modeling of renewable energy systems, techno-economical optimization of hydropower plants and design optimization of fluid machines with particular emphasis on hydraulic turbines and pump-turbines. She is author of about 80 scientific publications, the most part of which published in International Journals with Impact Factor and in Proceedings of International Conferences.  She is Deputy Chair of the joint sub-program of the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) on “Mechanical Energy Storage”.  

About the author

Alberto Santolin, received his master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2005 and his Ph.D. in Design of Small Hydroelectric Turbine in 2008, both at the University of Padua. He has worked in the field of hydroelectric since 2005 as design consultant of hydraulic turbines for companies all over the world with more than 50 turbines designed and in operation.

Since 2016 he is CEO and founder of 45 Engineering a company that develops research projects in the field of mechanical engineering with particular focus on hydraulic machines like pumps, turbines and valves. In 2015 he created a web-app named hpp-design.com to help developers of hydropower plant to find the main parameters for their hydro power plant.

He is a mechanical key expert for consultancy services for undertaking feasibility study and preparation of tender documents for developing small hydropower station in Africa and central America with more than 40 technical and economical due diligences of hydroelectric plants in Italy already built and in operation. He is author of various scientific publications, most of them published in International Journals with Impact Factor and in Proceedings of International Conferences. 

 

About the author

Giorgio Pavesi, currently serves as  President of Energy Engineering. He received his MS in Mechanical Engineering with honour from the University of Padova and  his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering in 1989 on ” Small gas turbine for cogeneration plants “. In 2002, Giorgio Pavesi accepted the professorship in Energy Conversion Systems and Machines at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Padova.

He is  Member of ETC (EuroTurbo Committee) and of IEC (International Electromechanical Commission).

He was working since 1987 in the field of Turbomachinery and Energy Conversion Systems, with special attention to hydraulic turbomachinery: Blade Design Optimisation; Improvement of Pump Design Criteria; Improvement of Hydraulic Design Criteria; Dynamic  Behaviour of Reversible Pump Turbines; Off Design Instabilities.  

About the author

Guido Ardizzon,

He received the Master’s degree, with honors, in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Padova in 1982. He is presently a full professor of Energy Conversion Systems and Machines in the Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Padova. He was also Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Padova, from 2009 to 2011.

His current research interests include flow instabilities inception and development in pumps and hydraulic turbines at part-load, preliminary optimization in turbo-machinery design and heuristic population-based optimization algorithms.

 

Journal Reference

Giovanna Cavazzini , Alberto Santolin , Giorgio Pavesi , Guido Ardizzon. Accurate estimation model for small and micro hydropower plants costs in hybrid energy systems modellingEnergy, Volume 103, 2016, Pages 746–757.

Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Padova, Via Venezia 1, 35131, Padova, Italy

 

 

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