NuTECHTM Controller

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NuTECH Controller

We knew that there were steps to take to modernize hydroelectric systems beyond combination, or CAM, curves. We wanted to find a more efficient generation system that would increase return on investment at hydropower sites and make small hydro development economically feasible.

The NuTECH™ controller is this next step forward in automated control systems it uses new-to-industry control algorithms to improve the performance and efficiency of existing Kaplan turbines. The Controller’s intelligence ensures optimal hydropower system output by maximizing efficiency, regardless of hydraulic or machine conditions.

Any variable, whether it is changes in water level, impurities, wear on the turbine, blockages, or even flow variability, will be optimized to make sure the system is always running at peak efficiency.

Our control algorithm optimizes the hydroturbines performance with any change in conditions. We’ve established the value of the controller through simulation and empirical testing. When operating with the NuTECH™ controller, the turbine achieves efficiency gains throughout the operating range, with the most statistically significant improvements at low flows.

Mesa provides expert support to site operators and engineers, making the setup and integration of the controller a low-risk undertaking. The system is designed to reduce installation effort by minimizing the extent of modifications to the facility PLC. Our approach is to provide additional performance while also addressing and prioritizing the site owners’ concerns.

With the NuTECH™ Controller, hiring expensive consultants to create CAM curves is a thing of the past. The NuTECH™ Controller offers cost-effective intelligence and measures for optimal hydropower system output continuously regardless of any potential variable, such as: water level changes, impurities, wear on the turbine, blockages, flow variability, and more.

CAM curves delivered by manufacturers are typically based either on scaled model tests; simulations, such as those based on computation fluid dynamics; or results from both types of modeling. These outdated methods can produce suboptimal results because of scaling effects, modeling uncertainty, and other factors. Index testing aims to improve manufacturer CAM curves by characterizing the turbine in operation. However, we’ve seen that this testing typically requires expensive consultants and downtime for the unit under test and optimizes for only one value of head.

The innovative design concept of the NuTECH controller makes CAM curves and index testing a thing of the past by optimizing for each operating point. This approach eliminates any inefficiencies that would have arisen when operating under conditions different from those the CAM curve was generated under.

We were excited to observe during testing that the use of the NuTECH controller resulted in efficiency increases of over 20% at lower flows.

Our mission is to enhance the efficiency of hydro’s baseload.

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