Research news

Development of innovative systems for hidden hydropower

Photo by: TOMOKO UJI

Publish Date: 23.11.2022

Category: Interdisciplinary research, Our contribution to sustainable development goals

Sustainable development goals: 7 Affordable and clean energy, 9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure (Indicators)

The EU’s commitment to generating electricity from renewable sources includes new ways for the sustainable use of hydropower.

Researchers from UL’s Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, led by Prof. Marko Hočevar, have been awarded a European research project from the Horizon Europe research and innovation programme, entitled H-HOPE (Hidden Hydro Oscillating Power for Europe), which will address the development of innovative and sustainable power generation systems capable of tapping hidden hydropower from existing pipeline systems, open streams and channels.

The technology is based on the use of piezoelectric materials attached to submerged bodies with deformable walls, as well as electromagnetic devices that absorb the linear motion of the oscillating bodies within the currents. In parallel, numerical and analytical models will be developed to optimise the design and performance of H-HOPE devices. A new power extraction system will be developed that allows the resonant frequency of the coupled fluid-structure-electric generator system to be tuned to steady-state and dynamic operating conditions. Eight different studies will be carried out on actual applications in industry, drinking water supply systems and free-floating water installations. The project will evaluate the relevant environmental and socio-economic impacts to assess the sustainability of the proposed technology.

An open-source DIY platform will be set up to disseminate the knowledge acquired and promote the results of the H-HOPE project, which will be managed by the project team at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the University of Ljubljana, Laboratory for Water and Turbine Machines (LVTS).

The project duration is 4 years, starting at the end of 2022. The project is part of the second pillar of the Horizon Europe research programme, awarded under the call HORIZON-CL5-2021-D3-03-11: Development of hydropower equipment for hidden hydropower. The value of the project is EUR 4.86 million.


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