Vogelgrun is a run-of-river hydropower plant equipped with four 39 MW Kaplan units. For the XFLEX HYDRO demonstration, one of the units is hybridised with a Battery Energy Storage System (BESS).
The team has been testing the operation of the hybrid since May 2021, fine-tuning the system’s smart digital controls developed by CEA and Andritz, to ensure it delivers optimum performance. The hybrid unit was connected to the grid and the official demonstration phase started in early August 2021. Early results have shown a faster time-response by the hybrid unit compared to the standalone hydro unit, meeting one of the demonstration’s key goals. Studies are now ongoing to assess and quantify the expected reduced wear and tear effects on the turbines.
The hybrid unit is equipped with a large set of sensors and acquisition systems installed by UPC, as well as digital systems such as Hydro-Clone from PVE and Andritz’ Metris DiOMera, a platform for predictive maintenance. From now on, data are being collected online on an ongoing basis, and computed through a big data algorithm monthly.
Further developments together with EPFL and ARMINES are also ongoing, regarding the Smart Power Plant Supervisor to further reduce unit wear and tear. The first substantial results of the demonstration are expected in early 2022.