Specialized Power-Electronic Apparatus for Harnessing Electrical Power from Kinetic Hydropower Plants

Farid Mosallat – PhD Dissertation, University of Manitoba, July 2012


This thesis introduces a power electronic interface for a kinetic hydropower generation platform that enables extraction of electric power from a free-flowing water source such as a river or a stream. Water currents are of fluctuating nature and hence, a power interface is required to provide regulated voltage for the load from this resource.

The implemented system transfers power from a high-frequency permanent magnet synchronous generator (PMSG) to a 60-Hz load. Special configurations and control techniques were developed to cater for the long distance between the generator and the power interface; and also to address the wide range of the PMSG frequency and voltage variations. Simulation-based analysis was used for designing the components and validating the devised control strategies prior to construction. The proposed power electronic interface was constructed and tested in the laboratory, as well as in the field. These tests confirmed acceptable performance of the constructed power interface.

The thesis also introduces two feasible methods for controlling a hydrokinetic plant to supply islanded loads or to deliver the maximum power available from the turbine-generator to the utility network. Application of multiple turbines in a kinetic farm was also investigated, and different approaches to controlling hydrokinetic turbines in such a configuration were developed. Analysis was conducted using detailed simulation models on an electromagnetic transients (EMT) simulation program.


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