Managing turbine fatigue while maximizing solar energy use: adding a battery to the system


The hybridization of a hydropower plant and a photovoltaic plant is a very promising solution for integrating intermittent solar production into the electrical grid. However, hybridization where both hydro and solar components are operated simultaneously to meet a production setpoint increases the movement of turbine actuators and, therefore, their fatigue (especially when the solar signal varies significantly due to passing clouds). The article discusses the use of a 15-minute solar forecast obtained from real-time sky video analysis to minimize this overloading of the actuators. Two Energy Management Systems (EMS), one with forecasting and the other without, are compared across various scenarios of solar production, ranging from partly cloudy to heavily overcast. The paper illustrates the multi-criteria nature of the problem and the necessary trade-off between managing turbine fatigue and fully exploiting available solar production, depending on the quality of the available weather forecast and the cloudiness of the weather. Finally, the paper explores the benefits of adding a battery to the system to enhance solar production penetration while minimizing fatigue on turbine actuators.

Hugo Mesnage, Fabien Grand-Perret,
Renaud Guillaume, Guillaume Amodeo, Benjamin Peltié

Presented at Solar Hydro 2024