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Title: Ultra-low-head hydroelectric technology: A review

;  [1]
  1. (Daniel)
Publication Date:
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Wind and Water Technologies Office (EE-4W)
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Publisher's Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 78; Journal Issue: C; Related Information: CHORUS Timestamp: 2018-01-12 08:01:52; Journal ID: ISSN 1364-0321
Country of Publication:
United Kingdom

Citation Formats

Zhou, Daqing, and Deng, Zhiqun. Ultra-low-head hydroelectric technology: A review. United Kingdom: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2017.04.086.
Zhou, Daqing, & Deng, Zhiqun. Ultra-low-head hydroelectric technology: A review. United Kingdom. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2017.04.086.
Zhou, Daqing, and Deng, Zhiqun. 2017. "Ultra-low-head hydroelectric technology: A review". United Kingdom. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2017.04.086.
title = {Ultra-low-head hydroelectric technology: A review},
author = {Zhou, Daqing and Deng, Zhiqun},
abstractNote = {},
doi = {10.1016/j.rser.2017.04.086},
journal = {Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews},
number = C,
volume = 78,
place = {United Kingdom},
year = 2017,
month =

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
This content will become publicly available on May 2, 2018
Publisher's Accepted Manuscript

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  • In recent years, distributed renewable energy-generation technologies, such as wind and solar, have developed rapidly. Nevertheless, the utilization of ultra-low-head (ULH) water energy (i.e., situations where the hydraulic head is less than 3 m or the water flow is more than 0.5 m/s with zero head) has received little attention. We believe that, through technological innovations and cost reductions, ULH hydropower has the potential to become an attractive, renewable, and sustainable resource. This paper investigates potential sites for ULH energy resources, the selection of relevant turbines and generators, simplification of civil works, and project costs. This review introduces the currentmore » achievements on ULH hydroelectric technology to stimulate discussions and participation of stakeholders to develop related technologies for further expanding its utilization as an important form of renewable energy.« less
  • As an alternative electric energy source, low head rivers and other water-power energy sources are receiving growing attention. Harnessing or upgrading these small scale, low head hydroelectric installations is necessary in order to compete with today's energy market. Improvements have come about by using turbines with a different and simplified technology from that developed for classic turbines. Turbine types for use in small scale, low head hydroelectric plants as energy recovery systems are presented and compared from economical and technical viewpoints, and typical installation units are described.
  • The town of Springfield, Vermont, decided to revive its hydropower resource in 1975. Its plan called for the renovation of existing small dams and construction of others. Four years later, it is in the midst of creating a municipal utility, acquiring by condemnation utility company lines in the town, and doing further studies for its FERC license application. After spending $1.5 million, Springfield is still years away from generating its own power. This case study illustrates the problems facing a city trying to use water power to generate electricity. Pending changes in FERC licensing procedures will alleviate some of themore » problems Springfield has encountered, but others remain.« less
  • The Lawrence Hydroelectric Project, located on the Merrimac River in Lawrence, Mass, is one of the first hydro projects completed since the oil crisis and has set an important precedent for the development of other low-head generation systems in New England. The hydroelectric project is built alongside the old 920-ft-long granite dam. The plant uses two bulb-type Kaplan turbine/generator units, each rated at 8.4 MW.
  • The immediate (1-h) turbine-related mortality of juvenile American shad Alosa sapidissima at the Hadley Falls Hydroelectric Station on the Connecticut River, Holyoke, Massachusetts, was estimated to be 0% [+-] 14.5% (95% confidence interval) at the 35% wicket gate opening and 2.7% [+-] 16.2% at the 100% opening. We used the HI-Z Turb'N tag-recapture technique, which helped minimize control mortality and maximize recapture rates. Earlier literature estimates of turbine-related mortality (up to 82%) of juvenile alosids in passage through Kaplan turbines, in our view, were substantially overstated due to either low recapture rate, high control mortality, or both. 5 refs., 1more » fig., 1 tab.« less