Journal article

Optimization of the flood protection effect of a hydropower multi-reservoir system

The use of existing hydroelectricity multi-reservoir systems for flood protection may be an efficient approach in many catchment areas. The assessment of the protection potential offered by the hydropower plants during floods requires a comprehensive analysis of the catchment area, including the simulation of flood scenarios. A methodology for the optimization of turbine and bottom outlet operations of multi-reservoir systems during floods is presented. Based on a theoretical catchment configuration, the most relevant parameters in view of reducing of the peak flows in rivers located downstream of the reservoirs are analysed in a systematic way with the help of hydrological forecasts. The influence of the drained areas, the installed turbine capacities, the emergency rules and the location of the reservoirs on the flood control in such a complex catchment area is highlighted. The optimization approach is applied in the Upper Rhone River basin in Switzerland, where 10 major hydropower schemes with large reservoirs are located. The results regarding peak flow reduction at the catchment outlet are in good agreement with the theoretical values obtained with the developed methodology.

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