Our HydroPHIL platform, located on our Grenoble site, is designed to simulate the performance of hydroelectric dams within the power grid – the first of its kind in Europe! Instead of focusing solely on the dam’s static performance, our new platform looks at the interaction between the dam and the grid, enabling hydroelectric dams to become a part of the solution for power grid flexibility challenges. The platform will focus on hydraulic transitions and, more generally, on the unsteady regimes associated with the operation of hydraulic turbines: power build-up, start-ups, shutdowns, etc.
HydroPHIL’s innovative architecture integrates a fully operational scale model of a hydraulic power plant between two real-time physical simulators: on one side, an electrical network and on the other, a hydraulic system designed in-house which makes it possible to monitor the various hydraulic events that the turbine faces, as they occur.
The test platform makes it possible to simulate technologies in a relevant environment within three main research areas:
- Studying system behaviour, whether it is solicited by the network (frequency or voltage drops, etc.) or the piping system (water hammer, basin filling, etc.)
- New conversion technologies with real electrical components (such as variable speed drives)
- The development of new control strategies to improve the provision of ancillary services and other flexibility services.
This platform is a first in Europe, and acts as proof of SuperGrid Institute’s dedication to pushing the forefront of technological innovation. After a year of studies and design, assembly began in July 2020. Today, the electrical and piping work has been completed and our expert engineers are entering the final phase of designing and constructing the scale model of the hydraulic power plant and developing the platform control software.
HydroPHIL will be used to carry out work for various European projects such as XFLEX Hydro & Lolabat, for our own R&D and to provide consulting services for our clients.