MechE Honorary Lecture: Water Turbines, Storage Pumps and Pump-Turbines Key Technology for Hydropower


Event details

Date 01.02.2024
Hour 17:1518:00
Speaker Prof François Avellan,Technology Platform for Hydraulic Machines,Institute of Mechanical Engineering (IGM)School of Engineering (STI)EPFL
Location Online
Category Inaugural lectures - Honorary Lecture
Event Language English

Aiming for a greener future, the tremendous knowledge and technology progress in water turbine, storage pumps and pump-turbines, the so-called hydraulic machines, can unlock a multitude of novel and expanded services for the longstanding hydropower industry, thus paving the way towards a more sustainable future for the electrical energy mix. An exploratory tour among the achieved research results will demonstrate how enhanced knowledge in hydrodynamics, turbulence, cavitation, fluid structure interactions, hydro-acoustics, etc. are beneficial for key technological breakthrough. The interplay of digital techniques, advanced experimental and numerical simulations enabled the development, engineering, manufacturing, installation, and operation of these humongous machines featuring, at the core of the hydroelectric power plants, several hundred-megawatt capacity; in short, contributing, during the last decade, to more than 85 international hydroelectric projects in 25 countries for a total of about 80'000 MW

Professor Avellan earned a degree in Hydraulic Engineering from Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Hydraulique, Grenoble France, in 1977 and an engineering doctoral degree in Mechanics at University of Aix-Marseille II, in 1980. He worked as Research and Teaching Associate at the EPFL Fluid Mechanics Laboratory and then, at the Institute of Hydraulic Machines as Head of the Cavitation Research Group. Appointed Adjunct Professor in 1992, he was designated Director of the EPFL Laboratory for Hydraulic Machines in 1994 and appointed Ordinary Professor in 2003. He retired from EPFL at the end of March 2020 and, since then, he is contracted by EPFL as an independent scientific advisor for the 18 million Euros H2020 XFLEX HYDRO Research Project. His research interests are hydrodynamics of turbine, pump and pump-turbines including cavitation, hydro-acoustics, design, performance, and operation assessments of hydraulic machines. He supervised 42 EPFL doctoral theses and was distinguished by SHF, Société hydrotechnique de France, awarding him the "Grand Prix 2010 de l'hydrotechnique". He has conducted successfully several Swiss and international collaborative research projects, involving key hydropower operators and suppliers Prof. Avellan was Chairman of the IAHR Section on Hydraulic Machinery and Systems from 2002 to 2012. Furthermore, he was involved in scientific expertise and independent contractual experimental validations of turbines and pump turbines performances for the main hydropower plants in the world. In recognition for his work as Convenor of the TC4 working group of experts in editing the IEC 60193 standard, he received the "IEC 1906 Award" from the International Electrotechnical Commission.

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