Design, operation and testing of hydropower generating units
Operation and maintenance engineering Electrical engineering Hydraulic mahinery Electrical machines Hydropower technologies
62 Ratings

About this course

Operation and maintenance philosophy of hydropower plants is linked to the design of the generatiing units. Mistaken operation of the units will lead to reduction of the remaining serviceable life, generation losses, extended outages and maintenance cost overrun. There is a huge gap between the knowledge of an operator and those of the manufacturer in relation to the design, operation and evaluation of hydropower generating units. The objective of this course is to reduce such a gap providing a foundation for learning more of the key design elements and operation criteria of the generating units, and how the operation should be monitored and evaluated. 


  • Introduction to the operation of hydroelectric plants
    • Classification of hydroelectric plants
    • Requirements of electricity markets
    • Demand variability and response capacity of hydroelectric units
  • Review of synchronous generator theory 
    • Electromagnetism and Induction
    • Reactance concept
    • Saturation
    • Induced voltage in salient pole synchronous generator
    • Eddy currents and electrical losses, other losses
    • Heating and heat transfer
    • Types of hydroelectric generators
    • Nameplate
    • Design parameters
    • Vacuum Saturation Characteristic.
    • Concept of direct axis and quadrature (d and q axes) in the representation of the machine
    • Description of the generator and its components
  • Design considerations of synchronours generator
    • Short circuit at the generator terminals
    • Typical failures and their effects
    • Stator winding insulation faults
    • Effects that produce accelerated aging and sudden failure
    • Rotor winding insulation faults
    • Operating conditions and faults with high negative sequence components and their effects on the generator
    • Irregularities in the air gap of the generators and their effects on the operation and structure of the generator
    • Magnetic pull unbalance out of tolerance
    • Out-of-phase synchronization and structural effects
    • Operations above the rated capacity of the stator and rotor
    • Voltage and frequency variations (Volts / Hertz)
    • Subsynchronous resonance
    • Asynchronous operating conditions
    • Operation close to synchronous speed
    • Operation to / or near the unit stopped
    • Runaway of the generating unit and its dangerous impact on the generator
    • Importance of generator protections and their appropriate settings
    • Standard technical specifications for hydroelectric generators
  • Introduction to hydraulic turbines
    • Classification of hydraulic turbines
    • Hydraulic turbine components
    • Fundamental hydraulic variables
    • Specific speed and other quasi-dimensional parameters
    • Cavitation and tubrine submergence
    • Cavitation and draft tube
    • Cavitation limits
    • Pressure pulsations and stability
    • Design considerations for a hydraulic turbine
    • Efficiency
    • Operation range
    • Hydraulic thrust (runner and wicket gates)
    • Protection against sediment erosion
    • Mechanical design and fatigue problems
  • Design evaluation criteria of hydraulic turbines
    • Turbine technical specifications
    • Model tests
    • Most relevant acceptance tests
    • Guarantees, best industry practices, and applicable standards
    • Efficiency measurement
    • Flow measurement methods
    • Weighted Average Efficiency
    • Reliability run tests
    • Turbine inspection
  • Operation of synchronous generators  
    • Synchronization
    • Synchronization out of phase
    • Steady state generator operation
    • Capacity curves, V curves and operating limits
    • Critical areas of operation
    • Generator and power system
    • Excitation and stability
    • Power system stabilizer (PSS)
    • Parallel operation of generators
    • Stability in operation
    • Dynamic and transient stability
  • Operation of hydraulic turbines
    • Steady-state and transient regime 
    • Continuous operating range
    • Vibrations and pressure pulsations
    • Operating areas susceptible to cavitation
    • Relationship between hydraulic behavior and efficiency
    • Pressure pulsation mitigation
    • Risks of fatigue failure
    • Hydraulic instability
    • Cases of excessive vibration
    • References to international standards
  • Special topics and case studies
Available from





Caroni River Group






2 weeks


24 hours per week

Share this course
Bachelor degree in electrical engineering is preferred
Basic knowledge in operation of electrical machines
Basic knowledge in operation of hydraulic turbines
Previous experience in O&M of hydropower plants, is preferred
Official and verified certificate
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Carlos Azuaje

Consulting Engineer in Electric Power Generation

PhD Electrical Engineering, more than 40 years' experience in the power generation industry. Former Director of Applied Research Centre of the electric power industry in Venezuela. Senior Consultant in electrical machines, hydropower and renewable energy.


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