Automating Hydropower Technology with the Perfect Tool

Once again Unitronics® has provided the ideal automation control solution to meet the complex requirements of the Hydropower industry.

In the following case study, you will see how Unitronics® Vision1040 HMI + PLC provides easy-to-use technology and impressive customised control for a hydropower company seeking solutions for hydroelectric turbine automation.

Approved Unitronics® distributors, All Drives and Controls, can supply the Unitronics® HMI PLC controls identified in the following case study for similar projects in the UK.


Control Requirements for Hydropower Technologies

For manufacturers of hydropower renewable energy machines and systems, precision control and automation is vital.

Harnessing the kinetic energy from flowing water often requires that hydropower technologies are custom built to meet a number of client-specific requirements.

In addition to renewable energy generation, clients utilising hydropower technology are also concerned over the reliability and control of such systems. Any control system in place is often required to optimise efficiency, minimise downtime and maximise the system lifespan.

So, when a company that designs and manufactures hydroelectric turbines searched for the ideal tool for automation and control, they selected the Unitronics® Vision 1040 PLC + HMI2 to ensure powerful control and a great user experience.

The Unitronics® Vision 1040 for Hydroelectric Turbine Control

For the manufacturers of bespoke hydroelectric turbines, custom control and ease-of-use is crucial to the success of hydropower projects.

Each hydroelectric turbine system is designed and manufactured to customer specifications, each requiring a powerful, yet customisable control system which operators of hydroelectric turbines can easily use and trust.

To meet this need, a hydroelectric turbine manufacturer opted for the versatile control system of Unitronics® Vision1040 HMI + PLC.


The Vision1040™ is a powerful PLC with a built-in HMI operator touch-screen display. Its rich range of advanced features for data-logging, programming, and additional ladder code application memory make it an ideal tool for running complex automation tasks; such as shown with the following hydroelectric turbine project.


Successful Automation Control for Hydroelectric Turbines

An example of how valuable the Unitronics® Vision1040™ is for control and automation of hydropower systems, is shown with a recent project designed to generate electricity as well as irrigate trees.

The hydropower system was designed to draw water from a dam down a channel, with part of the water diverted to irrigate trees and the rest travelling down to the hydroelectric turbine at a capacity of 250 litres per second.

Careful monitoring and control of this process is necessary to ensure a perfected execution, yet the Vision1040™ PLC + HMI effortlessly controls the entire process. With its extensive connectivity and communication options, the Vision1040™ monitors and controls a variety of sensors and drives, using several protocols such as Modbus RS485, CanOpen and Ethernet.

The features of the Vision1040™ control system, monitor and record key data and trends, such as water levels and the temperature of the bearings so that users can ensure safe and optimised operations.

To complement these extensive control features, the Vision1040™ PLC HMI also communicates with other installed PLCs, including a 7” UniStream, and allows the process to be completely monitored and controlled remotely… from anywhere in the world.


Choosing Unitronics® Vision Range for Hydropower Technology

The manufacturers of hydroelectric turbines explained regarding the Unitronics® Vision1040, “Thanks to the programming software and the technical support… it has been quick and easy to set up the communication between the two systems and integrate the website created for testing and continuous system monitoring.”

For this hydroelectric project, the Unitronics® Vision1040™ proved to be the ideal all-in-one PLC for reliability and usability.

With the Vision1040™ a surprisingly affordable option and requiring minimum effort for set-up, installation and maintenance, you can trust that this all-in-one HMI PLC will be the right choice for your hydropower projects and hydroelectric turbine control.


To learn more about the Unitronics® Vision1040™ PLC + HMI, visit the following link2, or for expert advice on the right PLC solution for your hydropower project, contact All Drives and Controls on 01543 478887.