Factors which will affect the scheme positioning are diverse and site dependant. Generally, the hydropower designer will always seek to maximise the 'head' available to the turbine whilst diverting sufficient water flow to make the scheme worthwhile. There is a trade off between increasing the 'head' and the cost of doing so. For example, the extra power gained by moving the turbine system a little further downstream may not be justified if this results in a considerable increase in the costs of pipe and/or building work. If possible, the cost per kilowatt of the alternative layout should be compared which the overall cost per kilowatt of the existing layout before the design is finalised.

Factors which may affect the scheme positioning including the following:

  • site topography and conditions (e.g. gradient, ground conditions, vegetation)
  • ownership boundaries
  • existing structures
  • load or grid connection position
  • site access (for installation and future maintenance)
  • maximum flood levels
  • environmental factors (e.g. length of flow depleted river section)

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