A Control Model for Hydropower Systems Analysis and Operation
Georgakakos, Aristidis Peter
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In North America, hydropower provides a significant portion of the electrical capacity, ranging from about 60 percent in Canada, to more than 30 percent in Mexico, to about 13 percent in the U.S. (North America Hydroelectric Research and Development Forum, 1992). Among the attractive features of hydropower is that it is renewable, clean, efficient, economical., and domestically produced. In the U.S., the amount of hydroelectric production is equivalent to nearly 500 million barrels of oil annually, which, at today's oil prices, have a value of $9 billion. In addition to meeting electricity demands, hydropower facilities play a critical role in water management, helping to provide flood control and water for irrigation, municipal and industrial uses, navigation, recreation, and fish and wildlife preservation. Improving the way projects are operated is a top research need. It is worth noting that a 1 percent increase in the efficiency of existing hydro plants in the U.S. would provide an additional 3 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, saving the equivalent of 1.4 million tons of coal or 4.9 million barrels of oil (North American Hydroelectric Research and Development Forum, 1992). The primary motivations for this research work are (1) to demonstrate that modem optimization methods can effectively optimize the utilization of hydropower facilities and (2) compare the relative performance of optimization and the more traditional simulation models. In this article, we take up the first task and describe the problems addressed, the models developed, and the results obtained. The second task will be the subject of a panel discussion.