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Closure of the "etahydro" development phase

In 2019, the start signal was given for the development of "etahydro" by etaeval and Axpo. After three years of development, the two partners are now taking a positive look at the results. The concept of "etahydro" with the core functions of efficiency and suspended matter monitoring has been successfully implemented in the Filisur, Tiefencastel and Mapragg power plants and the technical feasibility (proof of concept) is given. Likewise, the economic viability could be demonstrated for plants with heavy wear and abrasion (suspended solids in the drive water), among other things.

Based on the findings of the development phase, etaeval and Axpo decided to extend the core application of etahydro with the following functionalities and to transfer the current development version into a market-ready product:

  • Economic optimization of maintenance measures
  • Provision of efficiency information for optimized power plant operation
  • Determination of financially optimized shutdown concentration due to suspended solids in the headwater
  • Integration of etahydro into the latest version of Hydro Insights

The aim of the partners is to install the finished product in further power plants within the Axpo Group from autumn 2023 and to offer it on the market to external hydropower operators. Accordingly, the work of etaeval and Axpo in the coming months will focus on the one hand on software development and on the other hand on the overall marketing of etahydro as a product.

An important point in the future marketing is the distribution of roles between the partners. Here etaeval and Axpo could agree on the key points:

  • Axpo is responsible for the management and coordination of the customer projects for the introduction of etahydro
  • etaeval assumes the role of the engineer for the necessary instrumentation in the power plants and advises the customers on technical issues as well as on the interpretation of the data
  • Axpo configures, operates, maintains and supports the application and thus makes the functions of etahydro available to the customers via web browser in the Hydro Insights data platform.

The collaboration will therefore continue with full power and there are already further ideas for extensions of etahydro after the launch of the product in the fall of 2023.