The HydroFlex project aims towards scientific and technological breakthroughs to enable hydropower to operate with very high flexibility in order to utilize the full power and storage capability. The project will create the environmental, social and technical basis for successful future industrial developments by performing well-focused research and innovation activities on the key bottlenecks of hydropower units that restrict their operating range and thus limit their flexibility.
Research and innovation activities focus on:
- Identifying and describing the demands that hydropower plants will be confronted with in future power systems
- Developing a variable speed Francis turbine that accommodates high ramping rates and 30 start-stops per day without significantly affecting the operating lifetime and efficiency
- Developing new power station electrical layouts, generator rotor and magnetization systems, and power electronic converter control for increased flexibility and strong grid support
- Assessing social acceptance and testing innovative methods to mitigate social and environmental impacts
Further HydroFlex objectives are:
- Carrying out effective dissemination, communication and exploitation activities to promote the research results to the transmission system operators (TSOs), hydropower industry, scientific community, policy makers and public.
- Ensuring compliance with the ethics requirements related to the recruitment of researchers and the participation of humans in the project.
- Managing the project professionally and in a sound manner through enabling good communication between the consortium and the European Commission and fulfilling administration and reporting requirements.