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A micro-hydro power plant is using water power to generate electricity on a small scale. This electricity can be used to power remote sites or be sold to a public distribution network.

Its operating principle is to transform the energy of falling water into mechanical energy through a turbine, then into electrical energy via a generator. The installed capacity of the plant depends on water flow and height of the fall.

The micro hydro educational MP3000 produces electrical energy from a hydroelectric power through a turbine-type "Turgo" and simulating a cascade of 21 meters with pressure pipe.

An embedded web server on the terminal dialog allows the supervision and remote control of the system on a PC connected to the Internet and equipped with a simple web browser.


Main educational objectives

- Analysis and study of industrial components (Turgo turbine, voltage regulator…)

- Study performance.

- Measure different types of energy.

- Observe hydroelectric phenomena.

- Highlight electrical and hydraulic laws.


Technical Specifications


The operational part of the micro-station comprises:

- A thermoplastic tank.

- A multi-cellular centrifugal pump.

- A pipework assembly, flowmeter and pressure sensor enable simulation of the waterfall in the form of a forced pipe.

- A turbine equipped with a Turgo wheel consisting of 20 buckets and two injection pipes with manual regulation of the needle openings.

- A porthole window enables observation of the different hydraulic phenomena.

- On the upper side of the turbine there is a three-phase synchronous generator, with encoder for speed control.


The control part comprises:

- An electric cabinet containing the buttons and components necessary for the installation’s safety and proper functioning.

- A frequency variation drive to control the pump.

- An M340 PLC.

- An XBTGT type terminal with WEB server (for remote control) ensures the dialog between operator and system.

- A power analyzer measurement station, integrating three intensity transformers

- A domestic socket enables simulation of domestic electricity consumption.

- A battery of four 230V /40W electricity consumers with switches.

- A battery connection.



To characterize the operation of the micro hydro two kinds of measures are possible:
- Hydraulic : pressure, flow, speed of the generator,
- Electrical : voltage, current, active power, apparent power, reactive power, power factor and energy.



A variable speed centrifugal pump, simulating a waterfall, can propel two opposing jets on a bucket wheel. These are calibrated using two injection nozzles operated separately by motorized valves allowing speed adjustement of the jets on the turbine.
The system can operate in manual mode (manual actions on the pump and actuators) or automatically (PID control on water depth and disturbance by manual action on the actuators).

The assembly is controlled through a terminal dialog providing graphic colour touch viewing different pages such as the block diagram of the installation, operation and grafcet functional representation of different electrical energy levels representative of the distributor network production.

With an embedded web server, it is possible to monitor the system remotely through a PC with a web browser.

The micro power plant offers the possiblity to connect to the network according to 2 coupling modes:
- Coupled direct to the distributor network,
- Coupling feedback, via an inverter.


Direct coupling

When performing the coupling of the generator on the distributor network (charge still not applied to the turbine), it runs at its synchronous speed or 1500 rev / min at 50 Hz
The induction generator must be driven beyond its synchronous speed to provide energy. The torque causes a braking effect and the electrical power changes sign:
- Power consumption of network for motor function (below synchronous speed),
- Power supplied to the network for the operation as a generator (greater than the synchronous speed).
A capacitor allows the recovery of Power Factor.

Coupling by inverter

The generator is not connected to the network (standalone operation), it is necessary to provide a driving circuit. This current is obtained statically by connecting in parallel to the machine a capacitor bank.
If we apply enough torque on the buckets of the turbine so that the generator provides a voltage higher than the entry voltage of the inverter and that it is connected to the distributor network, we will begin to produce electrical energy.
2 meters provide information about the distributor Energy supplied to the network and energy which can be consumed via a user socket.


MP3000A SA


MP3000A SA2