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Energies, Vol. 4, Pages 1258-1277: Tools for Small Hydropower Plant Resource Planning and Development: A Review of Technology and Applications

This paper reviews and compares software tools for the planning and design of small hydropower (SHP) plants. The main emphasis is on small scale hydropower resource assessment computer tools and methodologies for the development of SHP plants corresponding to a preliminary or prefeasibility study level. The paper presents a brief evaluation of the historic software tools and the current tools used in the small hydro industry. The reviewed tools vary from simple initial estimates to quite sophisticated software. The integration of assessment tools into Geographic Information System (GIS) environments has led to a leap forward in the strengthening of the evaluation of the power potential of water streams in the case of the spatial variability of different factors affecting stream power. A number of countries (e.g., Canada, Italy, Norway, Scotland and the US) have re-assessed their hydropower capacities based on spatial information of their water stream catchments, developing tools for automated hydro-site identification and deploying GIS-based tools, so-called Atlases, of small-scale hydropower resources on the Internet. However, a reliable assessment of real SHP site feasibility implies some “on the ground” surveying, but this traditional assessment can be greatly facilitated using GIS techniques that involve the spatial variability of catchment characteristics.

Authors:   Petras Punys; Antanas Dumbrauskas; Algis Kvaraciejus; Gitana Vyciene
Journal:   Energies
Volume:   4
edition:   9
Year:   2011
Pages:   1258
Publication date:   26-Aug-2011
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  • Italy
  • Canada
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