cod. 1006844

Academic year 2022/23
1° year of course - First semester
Francesca AURELI
Academic discipline
Costruzioni idrauliche e marittime e idrologia (ICAR/02)
Ingegneria civile
Type of training activity
48 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

Knowledge and understanding:
At the end of this course the student will enrich his knowledge in hydraulics and hydrology with that related to hydraulic plant design and will be owner of the overall concepts at the basis of the design of the main hydraulic plants not studied in other courses. The student will have examined in depth the different types of hydraulic machines and their use and will be aware of the main problems related to the realization of hydroelectric power plants, both for high or low head types, for pond or run-of-river schemes.

Applying knowledge and understanding:
At the end of his study the student will be able to design different types of hydroelectric power plants in their peculiar aspects: water supply works definition, choice of the scheme, sizing of penstocks, regulation, art works and special parts, intake structures, sediment traps. The student will be capable of choosing and sizing the hydraulic machines proper for the case of interest and will be able to perform an economic evaluation of the designed plant.

Making judgments:
By the end of the course, the student should own the instruments to identify and solve the main problems related to the design and operation of the hydraulic plants studied, and of those that will be encountered in the future profession, and he will be capable of design and decision making.

Communication skills:
At the end of the course the student will be capable of a correct use of language for what concerns the technical nomenclature proper of the course and will be able to communicate his own knowledge through the adoption of tables, schemes, excel spreadsheets and numerical codes personally developed.

Learning skills:
After the attending of the course the student will be able to deepen his knowledge in the topic of design and realization of traditional, small and micro hydroelectric plants through the study of the field literature represented by books, reports, specialized texts, also outside the teaching topics. The students in possess of the basic knowledge of the discipline will be able in the future to carry on a personal in depth investigation of the topic to efficiently enter the world of work or undertake future training paths.


It is useful to have attended the course of Hydraulics. It is useful to have attended the course of Hydrology. It is useful to possess a basic knowledge of Windows and Excel.

Course unit content

Part 1: Water supply Theoretical issues: main pipelines, gravity and lift schemes, hydraulic transients control, charge and compensation basins, surge tanks.

Part 2: Hydropower Plants Theoretical issues: basic schemes, plants with and without flow regulation, forced pipelines, interception, regulation and security valves, plant project and design.

Part 3: Hydraulic turbines Theoretical issues: definitions, classification and functional features, fundamental equation of hydraulic turbines, similarity and specific speed, characteristic curves, problems in machine operation.

Exercises related to Parts 1-3: Design of a high head hydroelectric plant. Mass oscillation and water hammer computations in hydropower plants through development of Matlab codes, hydraulic, economic and static design of the penstock, design of the Pelton wheel for the installation.

Part 4: Micro and small power plants Theoretical issues: types of plants, subsidy for small hydro projects, Italian rules.

Exercise related to Part 4: feasibility study and business plan for a small run of river hydropower plant.
Generation of the flow duration curve for the river under investigation, design of the intake structure, evaluation of the DMV and of the device for the release, design of the dam with integrated intake, design of the sediment-trap, design of the electromechanical equipment, economic evaluation through static and dynamic methods (Benefit-Cost ratio, Internal Rate of return, Ratio-Profit cost, Net Present Value-NPV).

Full programme

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Recommended books:
G. Evangelisti: Impianti Idroelettrici, Patron, Vol. 2. (Available at Biblioteca di Ingegneria e Architettura)
C. Datei: La protezione delle gallerie e delle condotte nei sistemi in pressione. Libreria Cortina, Pd. (Available at Biblioteca di Ingegneria e Architettura)

Additional books:
M. Tanzini: Impianti Idroelettrici – Progettazione e Costruzione, Dario Flaccovio Editore. ISBN 978-88-579-0192-3.
F. Andreolli: Impianti micro idroelettrici, Dario Flaccovio Editore. ISBN 978-88-579-0135-0.

Additional educational material available on the University web learning site “Web LEArning in Ateneo” (LEA UNIPR): Lecture slides.
Norms and Italian rules.
Text of all the exercises.

Teaching methods

Slides will be used to convey the most important messages of the theory lectures. A series of laboratory exercises at the pc will be developed for the application and personal development of numerical codes devoted to the study of the problems related with hydroelectric plants. Spreadsheets and more complex computing tools such as Matlab will be adopted.
At the end of the course in-depth lessons related to some of the main topics will be developed. Technical visits to some hydroelectric plants will be organized. Every student will develop the design of two different kinds of hydroelectric plants under the supervision of the professor.

Assessment methods and criteria

The examination is based on an oral exam and on the evaluation of the written report presenting the preliminary design of a high head hydroelectric plant and of a Mini-Hydro power plant.
The examination is weighted as follows: 60% oral exam (theory questions, application of theory also to original problems and speaking ability), 40% written report discussion. The grades are on a scale of 30.

Other information

Lecture attendance is highly recommended.