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Supervisory Water Level Control for Cascaded River Power Plants


Gabriela Glanzmann, Martin von Siebenthal, T. Geyer, G. Papafotiou, M. Morari

International Conference on Hydropower, Stavanger, Norway

The discharge through the facilities of a river power plant is adjusted to control the water level at a pre-specified point. The common control method often yields large unnatural discharge variations resulting in unsatisfactory control performance. In cascades of river power plants, these discharge variations are unpredictably amplified affecting nature and imposing problems on navigation. As a solution to this problem, this paper presents a supervisory controller for cascaded river power plants, which is based on Model Predictive Control. The required linear discrete time model of the power plant cascade is derived from the Saint Venant equations. The objective of the controller is to keep the pre-specified water levels within given bounds and to dampen the discharge variations. This is expressed in a quadratic cost function subject to constraints. A Kalman filter is used to estimate the current values of the state variables from available water level measurements. The main advantages of the proposed control scheme are coordinated control of the cascade taking interactions between the power plants into account, preemptive control moves for anticipated disturbances, explicit constraint handling, and straightforward tuning. The proposed concept is compared with the currently employed PI-type controllers via simulations, demonstrating the achieved enhancements. In particular, the damping of disturbances is significantly improved while the water level constraints are met.

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% Autogenerated BibTeX entry
@InProceedings { GlaEtal:2005:IFA_2044,
    author={Gabriela Glanzmann and Martin von Siebenthal and T. Geyer and G.
	  Papafotiou and M. Morari},
    title={{Supervisory Water Level Control for Cascaded River Power
    booktitle={International Conference on Hydropower},
    address={Stavanger, Norway},
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