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Sindelar, C; Schobesberger, J; Habersack, H.
(2017): Effects of weir height and reservoir widening on sediment continuity at run-of-river hydropower plants in gravel bed rivers
GEOMORPHOLOGY. 2017; 291: 106-115. FullText FullText_BOKU

This study conducted scaled physical model tests of a run-of-river hydropower plant (RoR). The physical model represented an idealized gravel bed river with a width of 20 m, a slope of 0.005, a mean annual flow of 15 m(3) s(-1) and a 1-year flood flow of 80 m(3) s(-1). Substrate and bed load had a characteristic grain size d(m) of 56 mm. The model scale was 1:20. The study was designed to test the effects of weir height and reservoir widening on sediment continuity and flushing efficiency at low-head RoR plants. Three different weir heights and two reservoir widths were investigated to assess and quantify their influence. As long as equilibrium conditions had not been established in the reservoir the flushing efficiency was low and thus the sediment continuity was not met. The experiments revealed that both parameters had a significant effect regarding the time needed to reach equilibrium conditions. The equilibrium slope that established was independent of weir height. Weir height, however, determined the starting point from where the equilibrium slope was built up. Accordingly, an increase in weir height will increase the reservoir bed levels by the same amount. A large weir height leads to huge sedimentation volumes and thus to a lack of sediments and to river bed erosion downstream of the hydropower plant. It could also considerably increase the flood risk at the head of the reservoir. This calls for regular maintenance work to re-establish flood safety. The experimental results suggest new concepts of low weir heights and cross sectional reservoir widths in the design of low -head RoR plants to facilitate frequent and efficient flushings, to enhance sediment continuity, and to reduce maintenance and operational costs. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Authors BOKU Wien:
Habersack Helmut
Schobesberger Johannes
Sindelar Christine

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
Sediment continuity
Reservoir flushing
Run-of-river hydropower plant

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