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Water Turbines

Obermeyer Hydro designs and manufactures patented gates and bulkheads that incorporate arrays of compact submersible turbine generator sets. These systems comprise complete hydropower plants that may be installed in existing water control structures without cofferdam construction, without excavation work nor associated geologic risk, and without expensive new concrete structures. Examples of structures well suited to economical hydropower development using Obermeyer Hydro's technology include flood control reservoir outlet works and navigation locks and dams.

For power generation at flood control outlets, a variable speed operation may be used to obtain state-of-the-art efficiency over seasonally varying head conditions. The lower head limit at flood control structures is only a function of economics. The maximum head limit is a function of equipment (especially generator) weight and is typically around 50 meters or approximately 160 feet. The relative advantage of incorporating T-G sets into gates and bulkheads also diminishes at higher heads due to the already favorable economics of conventional hydropower stations at medium head.

For generation at navigation locks and dams and at other dams with high flow rates the lower head limit is likewise only a function of economics. Technically 1 meter may be exploited. Local power purchase rates may place the lower head limit in the 3 to 5 meter range. Structures providing discharge at or below tailwater elevation with heads in the 4 meter to 12 meter range are ideally suited for this technology. The upper head limit of perhaps 50 meters is a result of generator weight and relative economics compared to conventional hydropower stations at medium head.

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