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ACTUATION OF FOUR SLIDING GATES AND OF A TRASH-RACK RAKE BY MEANS OF A PV PLANT

Objective

THE PRIMARY AIM OF THE ANCIPA PROJECT IS THE SETTING UP OF A PLANT TO SUPPLY THE ELECTRIC POWER NECESSARY TO DRIVE FOUR SLIDING GATES AND A TRASH-RACK RAKE SITED ON THE SPILLWAY OF THE RIVER BRACALLA IN THE NEBRODY MOUNTAIN RANGE IN NE SICILY.
A photovoltaic plant has been constructed to supply the power necessary for activating a trash rack rake and 4 sliding gates belonging to the intake of the Bracalla Torrent, located in the watershed of the Ancipa Dam.

The system has been monitored for the whole of 1990. Activation of the gates for the gravel and sand clarification beds has always worked automatically. The trash rack rake operated automatically during the spring and autumn and was operated manually during the summer. During this first year of operation, the photovoltaic plant was always able to supply the power necessary for the hydraulic equipment. However, this was a year of particularly low precipitation and several times on a typical day the photovoltaic arrays had to be disconnected from the electrical equipment to prevent the voltage corresponding to battery boiling point from being exceeded.

The data acquisition systems also worked efficiently and the most heavily stressed component was the control system which had to continually regulate the flow of powder from the photovoltaic arrays to the batteries.
THIS SPILLWAY IS ONE OF FIVE WHOSE WATERS FLOW INTO ANCIPA RESERVOIR, ONE OF SICILIAN BIGGEST HYDROPOWER PLANTS. ALONG ITS COURSE, THE RIVER BRACALLA ENCOUNTERS A SCREEN LOCATED AT THE INTAKE OF THE TUNNEL CANAL FLOWING INTO ANCIPA RESERVOIR.
A TRASH-RACK RAKE REMOVES LARGE STONES FROM THE SCREEN, WHILE TWO OF THE FOUR SLIDING GATES ARE OPERATED IN SUCH A WAY AS TO PREVENT GRAVEL AND SAND FROM ENTERING THE RESERVOIR. THE OTHER TWO GATES ARE USED, WHEN SAFETY DEMANDS IT, TO PREVENT WATER FROM FLOWING TO THE ANCIPA DAM.
THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF ELECTRIC POWER REQUIRED DAILY BY THE LOAD IS LOW, A 1.5 KWP PV PLANT WITH 500 AH E.C. STORAGE BEING SUFFICIENT TO OPERATE THE HYDRAULIC CONVERTER DRIVING THE RAKE AND THE GATES.
ENEL REGARDS THIS PILOT PLANT AS A PROTOTYPE FOR FUTURE SIMILAR APPLICATIONS IN REMOTE MOUNTAINOUS LOCATIONS.
AS THE END OF THE YEAR 1988 THE FINAL DESIGN OF THE PLANT HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED. THE SUPPLYING OF THE MAIN APPARATUS (BATTERIES, DATA ACQUISITION SYSTEMS ETC.) IS IN PROGRESS.
THE PLANT WILL BE IN OPERATION BY JUNE 1989 AND THE DATA ACQUISITION WILL START SOON AFTER.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

Ente Nazionale per l'Energia Elettrica SpA (ENEL)
Address
Via Alessandro Volta 1
20093 Cologno Monzese
Italy

Participants (1)

CONPHOEBUS SCRL - ISTITUTO DI RICERCHE PER LE ENERGIE RINNOVABILI E IL RISPARMIO ENERGETICO
Italy
Address
Passo Martino Zona Industriale
95030 Catania, Piano D'arci