Case Study

Hydroelectric Turbine Control in the Himalayas

22 Dec 2023

5 min read

ComAp has recently received the opportunity from ZECO, a globally renowned Italian manufacturer of turbines for hydroelectric power plants, to implement automatic control on a hydro-electric turbine that should power a local hospital in the Himalayas. At more than 2500 meters altitude, this hospital serves as the main hospital of the local mountain camp base. 

One of the main challenges was that the system is completely stand-alone, even without a connection to the mains. The turbine is powered by a pipe loaded with water from a small water reserve lake. The system is powered when the operator manually opens the water valve, which performs the first revolutions on the generator. When the turbine is spinning at the correct RPM, it can provide residual voltage to power the devices involved, even the ComAp controller.

The other great challenge was to regulate frequency of the generator with no auxiliary control of the water valve. To accomplish this, we installed a resistive load bank that dissipates exceed load to maintain the correct frequency of the electrical system. We chose our InteliSys NTC BaseBox controller as the best fit for this application, as the immediate speed control and the instant voltage and frequency data enable inserting the resistance load command in the quickest way possible.

The InteliSys NTC BaseBox controller is accompanied by ComAp´s WebSupervisor for remote management and monitoring of the system. 

The product works as expected and the service has been great. The ComAp engineer who was engaged in another commissioning site on board a boat in Italy, made himself available to operate in the very early hours of the day given the local time zone to help us. This was commendable.

Franco Campagnolo, Electrical Engineer, ZECO

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