Current research projects

Client: Energiedienst Holding AG Processing time: 2022-2023 Worked by: M.Sc. Fabian Popp

Electricity has been generated from hydropower at the Rheinfelden site on the High Rhine near Basel for more than 120 years. The old Rheinfelden run-of-river power plant was replaced between 2003 and 2012 by a modernized power plant with a quadrupled expansion capacity of now 100 megawatts after a runtime of more than 100 years. Since the commissioning of the new power plant in 2012, sedimentation has been observed on the inlet plate to the turbines. After a significant increase in the wake of the June 2013 flood, the size and location of the sedimentation remained virtually unchanged through 2021. However, the pronounced flood event in July 2021 resulted in a renewed increase in sedimentation, resulting in temporary restrictions in power plant operation. The investigations commissioned by Energiedienst Holding AG initially aim to gain a deeper understanding of the system with regard to the sediment transport processes occurring and, building on this, to improve the sedimentation situation on the intake plate of the power plant. For this purpose, factors and mechanisms that have a significant influence on sedimentation will be identified and investigated. From this, possible measures to reduce sedimentation are to be derived and evaluated. The underlying investigations are based on a hybrid approach involving the use of a physical model and two- and three-dimensional numerical models of the dam and the run-of-river power plant.

Keywords: Hybrid modeling, sediment transport modeling, hydropower.