Michael Detering






Wenjia Xu

Scientific staff


+49 241 80 25754


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Course description

Hydropower is an important renewable energy source in Europe and worldwide. In Germany, the share of hydropower in electricity production is between 2.9 % and 4.3 %, depending on the actual year; worldwide it is about 16 %. The planning, construction and operation of hydroelectric power plants requires different levels of expertise from different areas of engineering. The technical possibilities and necessities of plant and structural engineering, the economic potentials and the ecological and biological aspects must be taken into account in order to design a functional, safe and durable plant. In addition, far-reaching environmental effects need to be considered, risks assessed and the economic boundary conditions optimised.

Course content

  • Iintroduction: history of hydropower, technical and economic potentials, energy industry
  • basics: types of power plants, types of turbines (introduction), application fields, electronic parts
  • hydraulic engineering structures: dams, water intakes
  • hydrodynamics: pressure pipes, valves, hydrodynamics in practice
  • hydraulic organs: turbines, shut-off valves
  • controlling: water management; regulation valves, plant dynamics
  • environment issues: EU-WFD, IHA Sustainability Assessment Protocol
  • environmental constrains: economy of hydropower plants, risk assessment
  • risks: security organisation work safety, technical equipment, cases of damage
  • project: methodical approach, boundary conditions, design criteria, resources
  • processing: resources, construction site management, commissioning
  • existing power plants: operating organization, maintenance

Learning Obejectives

Students acquire an extended knowledge in hydropower engineering. Besides learning about the technical and economic potential of different hydro power plants, students gain an insight into the technology and various areas of application. Therefore environmental issues and environmental boundary conditions are taken into account. Current sample applications from the industry complete the course and provide an overview of the commissioning, operational organization and maintenance of modern hydro power plants.


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