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Case Study

CG Drives helps Dutch hydroelectric station solve Harmonic disturbance

Despite the fact that The Netherlands is a very flat country, hydropower does contribute to Dutch energy production. This originates from centuries old watermills, and in modern times has come to include hydro plants in rivers. Electricity generated by hydropower plants is available in several parts of the Netherlands. In fact, the installed capacity of Dutch hydropower exceeds the installed PV capacity by a factor 3.5!

[2 September 2014]

Hydropower stations generate electricity solely from the energy contained in water, which is why they need to be located close to running water, and are often in mountainous areas to take advantage of a higher flow speed. The water is first backed up using a weir and then released on a controlled basis. Compared to a coal or gas-fired power station, the energy conversion chain in a hydropower station is very short and energy losses are low. Their turbines and generators can convert up to 90% of the usable waterpower into electricity.

Since 2010, the water community Vallei & Veluwe has been using a oke hydroelectric station, built next to the old Hezerbergstuw which is located between the villages Hattem and Wapenveld.
The water, which drops from at approximately 2,5 meters causes  a jackscrew to rotate, which generates electricity. The station can produce enough energy to meet the needs of 43 families (using 150 MWh per year on average). It is an innovative investment that pays for itself and also contributes to sustainable development.

What is micro hydropower?

Hydro systems with a rated capacity up to approximately 300 kW. The limit is set at 300 kW - the maximum size for most hydro systems that are not connected to the grid and suitable for "run-of-the-river" installations.

The challenge faced by Vallei & Veluwe hydroelectric station was the generation of electricity from the water by using standard equipment. On top of that low harmonics operation was a must.

The harmonic disturbance was solved by installing low harmonics drives.
CG Drives contributed to this solution with an Emotron AFE drive FDU48-060-54CE with a regenerative unit.

This makes it possible for the motor to work as a generator and return the energy that is produced to the network.Says Rob Teeuwisse, responsible at Vallei & Veluwe, ”We had no solution for the problem before, so this was an invaluable improvement.”