Evaluation of Power Generation Efficiency of Cascade Hydropower Plants: A Case Study

Ying Zheng; Xudong Fu; Jiahua Wei
February 2013
Energies (19961073);Feb2013, Vol. 6 Issue 2, p1165
Academic Journal
Effective utilization of scarce water resources has presented a significant challenge to respond to the needs created by rapid economic growth in China. In this study, the efficiency of the joint operation of the Three Gorges and Gezhouba cascade hydropower plants in terms of power generation was evaluated on the basis of a precise simulation-optimization technique. The joint operation conditions of the Three Gorges and Gezhouba hydropower plants between 2004 and 2010 were utilized in this research in order to investigate the major factors that could affect power output of the cascade complex. The results showed that the current power output of the Three Gorges and Gezhouba cascade complex had already reached around 90% of the maximum theoretical value. Compared to other influencing factors evaluated in this study, the accuracy of hydrological forecasts and flood control levels can have significant impact on the power generating efficiency, whereas the navigation has a minor influence. This research provides a solid quantitative-based methodology to assess the operation efficiency of cascade hydropower plants, and more importantly, proposes potential methods that could improve the operation efficiency of cascade hydropower plants.


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