Wear and tear on hydro power turbines – Influence from primary frequency control


Wear and tear of hydro power turbines is discussed from the control perspective.

Two indicators, amount and distance of guide vane movement, are analyzed.

Both numerical simulation and concise theoretical derivation are applied.

Impacts of governor parameters, power feedback and nonlinear factors are discussed.


Nowadays the importance and need of primary frequency control of hydro power units are significantly increasing, because of the greater proportion of intermittent renewable energy sources and more complex structure of power systems. It brings a problem of increasing wear and tear of turbines. This paper studies this problem by applying numerical simulation and concise theoretical derivation, from the point view of regulation and control. Governor models under opening and power feedback mode are built and validated by measurement data. The core index, guide vane movement, is analyzed based on ideal sinusoidal frequency input and real frequency records. The results show the influences on wear and tear of different factors, e.g. governor parameters, power feedback mode and nonlinear governor factors.

Graphical abstract


  • Hydro power turbine;
  • Wear and tear;
  • Primary frequency control (PFC);
  • Governor parameters;
  • Dead zone;
  • Power feedback

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