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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 874060, 13 pages
Research Article

Stability Analysis of a Run-of-River Diversion Hydropower Plant with Surge Tank and Spillway in the Head Pond

Department of Hydraulic, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain

Received 27 June 2014; Accepted 9 September 2014; Published 14 October 2014

Academic Editor: Linni Jian

Copyright © 2014 José Ignacio Sarasúa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Run-of-river hydropower plants usually lack significant storage capacity; therefore, the more adequate control strategy would consist of keeping a constant water level at the intake pond in order to harness the maximum amount of energy from the river flow or to reduce the surface flooded in the head pond. In this paper, a standard PI control system of a run-of-river diversion hydropower plant with surge tank and a spillway in the head pond that evacuates part of the river flow plant is studied. A stability analysis based on the Routh-Hurwitz criterion is carried out and a practical criterion for tuning the gains of the PI controller is proposed. Conclusions about the head pond and surge tank areas are drawn from the stability analysis. Finally, this criterion is applied to a real hydropower plant in design state; the importance of considering the spillway dimensions and turbine characteristic curves for adequate tuning of the controller gains is highlighted.