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Digitalization of hydropower

In most historic hydropower developments in Norway, operation and monitoring have been based on analogue systems.

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Now the industry is undergoing a transformation with a focus on leveraging digital technologies to expand delivery capabilities, increase safety and replace outdated, analog control systems.

The potential for value creation from digitalization lies in increased flexibility and efficiency during operation, increased efficiency in maintenance, reduced costs through better condition control and less unplanned downtime, improved safety, HSE and increased security of supply. The digital elements include sensors, wireless platforms for real-time monitoring of power plants and the river environment, condition monitoring of individual components, systems for predictive maintenance, better decision support for power plant operators, new systems for work orders, measures for data security and automation of processes. This creates new needs for research and innovation that largely focus on interdisciplinary aspects across all the above-mentioned topics. Simultaneously, it opens up opportunities for Norwegian industry to deliver solutions across the traditional industry divides. Research results and products must be facilitated for integration in a digital ecosystem, and for Norway it is important to seize this chance to retain and further develop our position as an important knowledge and technology supplier for the hydropower industry.

We work within these areas

  • Development of digital twins for individual components and systems
  • Dynamic simulation of loads on waterways, turbines and generators
  • Monitoring of the environment in the watercourse
  • Use of artificial intelligence to achieve increased insight into the system state
  • Predictive maintenance of components
  • Visualization of large amounts of data
  • Real-time calculation of live data from power plants

Projects and software

  • TwinLab – Virtual laboratory for the development of digital twins
  • SHOP – Detailed optimization and simulation of hydropower plants
  • HydroCen
  • Smart power – Piloting of new digitalization solutions at hydropower producers