La Houille Blanche
Number 5-6, Septembre 1982
|Page(s)||427 - 432|
|Published online||01 November 2009|
L'aménagement intégré d'un grand fleuve : le Rhône – B. Evolution des équipements électromécaniques
Integrated development of a large river : the Rhône – B. Development of electro-mechanical equipments
Directeur de l'Exploitation et des Services Electromécaniques à la Compagnie Nationale du Rhône
It took half a century to develop the Rhône river between Génissiat and Loyettes. There have beer many changes vis-à-vis the initial objectives (economic optimisation, operating safety and flexibility, easing of maintenance procedures). Low heads (5.70 to 21 meters) have been harnessed. In addition, operating constraints relating to energy generation, navigation had to be complied with and substantial variations in flows and heads allowed for. The plants are equipped with vertical axial turbines for the alder sets and horizontal for the new ones. Technological improvements and operating experience have led to the major changes summarized below. 1) Flow and head : increase in the flow handled by plants and possibility of turbining low heads. 2) Safety valves : use of downstream cuts ; in 1958, use of one valve per set, an acceptable measure for up to 6 or 8 sets ; gravity flow valves and single stroke servomotors ; Optimization of the position of valves. 3) Discharge facilities : the use of the circuit of the turbine itself has been studied for rapid discharge, initially for the Kaplan turbines and later for the bulb sets. It is now possible, following this method, to draw on a flow of up to 70 % of maximum flow. 4) Bulb generating sets : the harnessing of the Rhône has played a major role in this field. France accounts for about half of the World park of 5 000 MW ; the sets on the Rhône alone total 1350 MW for 44 sets (18 MW under 6 metre heads fo 45 MW under 18 m). 5) Automation of developments : the fully automated series of mixed projects harnessing 19 heads on the Rhône, is a World first. It allows lock operation to be performed. The ultramodern equipment allows rapid coupling to the system. 6) Locks : the large locks on (12 x 195 m) the Rhône have led to the development of increasingly reliable units of equipment, necessitated by the fact that each lock is in permanent service. 7) Harnessing of dams : 21 main dams have been built, including twenty mobile dams on the rivers. Major progress has been made in construction, especially as regards gates.
© Société Hydrotechnique de France, 1982
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