The domain of sustainable hydropower covers the environmentally friendly implementation of cutting edge water turbines.
In mountainous areas, where heads in rivers are high, conventional (propeller, Kaplan, bulb) turbines can run very efficient, although invasive works are required, and typically fish mortality is high. Traditionally they are scaled up to high MW levels to compensate for the very high capital and operational costs. But below a head of 10 meters their efficiency and applicability drops sharply.
A large variety of turbine types exists, but their technical applicability in terms of yield depends on the prevailing head and flow rate. New types of innovative turbines open the barriers below 10 meter head.
For lower heads specific turbines are needed that can be installed in shallow depth without invasive works, and that cost effectively and fish friendly generate electricity.
Excavation depth varies with the type of turbine applied, allowing different turbines, different designs and thereby diffrent impact on the environment and eventual cost-reductions.
The impact on sedimentation and flow of water is thereby reduced, opening the opportunity to create cascaded hydropower dams. This reduces the impact on the living environment and the risks exposures associated with big reservoirs. And these hydropower dams can also apply innovative types of turbines that are intrinsically fish friendly and can function as water level regulation devices.