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EDF awards a contract for 4 VLH DN 4000 for “le Rondeau” HPP

EDF awards MJ2 Technologies with the contract for design, manufacturing, installation and commissioning of 4 complete VLH sets with all their auxiliaries for the hydropower plant of “Le Rondeau” located in France downtown the city of Grenoble. The power plant will be fitted with 4 VLH of 4 m diameter runners (DN 4000 type) operating under more than 4 m Gross head with a total output of 2.000 kW of installed capacity.

The power plant will be commissioned by end of 2014.

VLH at Hydrovision 2013

For the first time, the Sorgent.e group with MJ2 technologies were present together at the most important Hydroelectric congress conference in Northern America, which was held this year in Denver Colorado.

The VLH concept raised considerable interest among the attendees. The booth were Sorgent.eSTE Energy and MJ2 technologies presented the latest information regarding the VLH received hundreds of visits.

A presentation of the VLH concept including the latest live fish passage tests results and 4 case studies was made presented by Marc Leclerc during the technical sessions.

New contacts have been established with power plant owners and developers in both from the USA and Canada.

Commissioning of 2 VLH DN 5000 in the Isola Dovarese plant

MJ2 delivered two VLH DN 5000 in North Eastern Italy for the Isola Dovarese HPP on the Oglio River.

The site configuration has a bypass with a double channel built in the right bank adjacent an existing control structure [ secured by a wall executed with Steel sheet piles].

The VLH’s have a unit power of 464 kW and were delivered in November, assembled on site in two weeks, installed on December 18th, and first synchronization to the grid occurred on December 27 and 28.

The supply schedule was a challenge, with less than 11 months between the signing of the contract and the connection to the grid.

Moreover, it is interesting to consider the innovative bottom draw sluice gates incorporated into these two machines. These sediment sluice gates are integrated in the lower section of the VLH distributor/extraction structure which allows the gates to be fully accessible when the turbines are in maintenance position.

A similar device has been tested on the Montodine plant and has functioned efficiently.

A second VLH in Millau

By the end of March 2013, a 345 kW VLH DN 5000 has been delivered to the La Glacière site in Millau. It has been commissioned end of April. This project is located on the Tarn River, downstream of the famous Pont Lerouge, which is considered a historical monument.  The project utilizes an old [tannery’s]farm’s main building and dam. The water passages go under the building, with the VLH is installed immediately downstream and the power equipment on the first floor of the old tannery.

This new plant will allow MJ2 to have a current generation VLH in Millau, where it will be possible to execute the next live fish passage tests as well as other technical tests, for instance the islanded operation mode.

Fish passage tests

On November 2012, we started new live fish passage tests through an operating VLH.

The new tests were done to a scientific protocol that has been agreed to by the ONEMA Eco Hydraulic Center, to investigate the downstream migration of large migrating fish such as Atlantic salmon and sea trout, both in adult and in youth life stages.

Trout, unlike eels which have been tested in the past by MJ2 and essentially migrate during flooding periods, these  large fish can migrate in more intermediate flood flows.

ONEMA’s goal was to obtain in-situ knowledge of how the VLH relates to such migratory species, considering the VLH operating in an intermediate position, with partially open blades.  The test will investigate the impact of the VLH on two different species, Trout and Carp, with the Trout considered in two sizes to simulate both the adult stage migrating downstream after spawning and young life stage[falling salmon?  Is this not the smolt stage].

Arc en Ciel farmed adult trout between 50 to 70cm length have been selected for the tests, with weights between 1,5 and 3 kg.  In order to simulate young trout a  length of between 18 to 23 cm and a weight between 100 and 200 g was selected.

The tests were organized to start at the beginning of November at the Yenne HPP on the Rhône River, which was kindly hosted by CNR.  Unfortunately, due to bad water conditions caused by significant rainfall and lack of one of the Belley plant group, it was necessary to abandon these tests due to high flows and personal safety concerns.

Tests will start again in mid-April of 2013 in Millau on the new La Glacière plant, which is currently under construction.