HydroFlex will develop a turbine, a generator and a converter that will handle the future’s need for flexibility. The methodology for the development of the HydroFlex-technology is divided into four different steps:
- Identification of energy scenarios and load conditions that will be applied to the hydropower plants which the project identifies as reference cases.
- Design of HydroFlex turbine, generator and converter to fit these reference cases.
- Investigation of social and environmental impact and development of new technology aiming at mitigating these impacts.
- Exploitation of HydroFlex technology by industry partners and dissemination of HydroFlex results.
To meet the targets expressed in these four steps, the research and innovation activities of the HydroFlex project are structured in seven work packages. However, as cross-disciplinary work is considered essential in the HydroFlex project, many activities (such as technical meetings, workshops, dissemination and communication, work on scenarios and reference cases) are planned to facilitate collaboration and exchange across the work packages.
WP 1 aims to ensure that any ethical issues arising during the course of the HydroFlex project will be managed properly. In particular, this work package sets out ethics requirements related to recruitment and to human data collection and monitors compliance with these requirements.
WP 2 aims to establish a reference framework that describes the demands hydropower plants are going to be confronted with in future transmission grids.
WP 3 aims to develop a variable speed Francis turbine that accommodates high ramping rates and 30 start-stops per day without significantly affecting the operating lifetime and efficiency.
WP 4 aims to develop new power station electrical layouts, generator rotor and magnetization systems and power electronic converter control for increased flexibility and strong grid support.
WP 5 aims to assess social acceptance and test innovative methods to mitigate environmental impacts of flexible hydropower.
The main objective of WP 6 is to ensure the adaption of the HydroFlex results in future power system planning by carrying out effective dissemination, communication and exploitation activities to promote the research results to the TSOs, hydropower industry, the scientific community, the policy makers and the general public.
WP 7 will provide project management to achieve the technical and contractual requirements of the project to time, budget and quality requirements given by the European Commission (EC) and the project consortium.