Inflow forecast for hydropower plants

Inflow forecasting is essential to keep control of your resources. By managing your resources in an optimal way, you are able to plan the power production and maximise revenue from your assets. Inflow forecasting depends on several elements - weather forecasts, snow cover, ground conditions and the landscape. Powel inflow modeling and forecasting takes all these elements into account, to help give you a little insight into the future resource availability.

The Powel inflow model is based on the traditional HBV precipitation/ run-off model. Our model simulates the run-off process in a catchment area. It uses meteorological observations, weather forecasts and measured historical inflow as input. You can order such data from meteorological institutes.

With the Powel inflow model you can forecast discharge in both the short and the long term. The long term forecasts usually run once a week to give input to calculation of water values of individual reservoirs. The model requires the input of meteorological forecast data for the next 1-10 days, and until a maximum of 52 weeks of historical data.

We recommend using several historical years to create different input scenarios. The model gives a range of result scenarios with a spread of expected discharges. During the winter months the state of the snow reservoir constrains the discharge spread. It is important to have an up-to-date state of the snow reservoir in each of the individual models.

The short term forecasts usually run three times a day to provide input to the short term production chain. This updates the inflow models with historical real-time data to get the best estimate of an initial condition. Then the meteorological forecasts are fed into the model. Based on the new inflow forecast, water values are adjusted and you can make new production plans.

Inflow model

Powel's inflow modelsimulates the run-off process in a catchment area on the basis of quantitative temperature and precipitation forecasts, normally 10-14 days ahead. The model is based on the HBVmodel developed in the early 1970's, which has been tested and refined for over 30 years. The HBV model still remains one of the fastest and best-suited models for inflow forecasting for hydropower generation.

Powel's inflow model covers the main hydrological processes, and calculates:

The model features a straight-forward data structure and modest data requirements, and calculates the hydrological processes in a catchment area by using linear tanks. Snow, glacier, lake and soil moisture are distributed within the catchment elevation zones.

Other Powel Smart Generation tools

We recommend combining the Powel inflow model with other Powel smart Generation tools. For example, you can combine it our optimisation tool to optimise your power production. Also, you can simulate and analyse the consequences of different inflow scenarios to an operational plan in a simulation model of the power system.

Long term inflow forecasts are the input to long term production planning and market analysis. Other features are analysis of spring flood, climate development, and profitability of new power plants and cascades.

Inflow forecast and data are probably the most important input data in your hydropower management process. Knowing what the future will most likely bring is the key to keeping control of your system, and to make sure the resources and assets are utilised to their full potential in terms of production and revenue.