Hydro-Logic® Aquator for Hydropower

Find out how Hydro-Logic® Aquator can help modellers and hydrologists in the energy industry to simulate a wide range of current and future hydropower scenarios to support business decision-making.

The hydropower challenge

Hydropower is a uniquely challenging part of the energy generation sector when it comes to water resources management.

Relying on a critical natural resource that is both seasonally fluctuating and highly sensitive to the effects of climate change, the choice of when, and how much to generate from reservoir storage is complex when taking into account varying energy prices.

Understanding the impacts of outages or asset change in future also needs to take account of the natural hydrological variability over time in order to define the best solutions.

So how can hydropower businesses generate electricity more profitably and reliably in the face of these increasingly challenging market and environmental drivers?

Advanced modelling for hydropower businesses

Hydro-Logic® Aquator is an advanced software platform that enables modellers and hydrologists in the energy industry to simulate a wide range of current and future hydropower scenarios to support business decision-making.

The platform helps hydropower users to understand their water environment in order to make better water management decisions in the immediate, short and long terms. Alternative operating policies can be compared and selected, based on the trade-offs between competing objectives.

Once developed, models can be used to support:

Long-term strategic planning

  • Availability assessment
  • Scenario simulation, e.g. climate change, asset configurations etc.
  • Future options or asset choices
  • Impacts of new environmental constraints

Immediate and short-term operational planning

  • Water resources operational risk
  • Outage scenarios
  • Rule and policy optimisation


Maximise income over time from energy generation

Highly reliable models enable hydropower companies to define optimised operating policies taking account of hydrological variability over time, equipping them with the information and insight that they need to maximise hydroelectric energy generation under current and future conditions.

Identify, model and mitigate risks

The hydropower sector is exposed to risks relating to water resources, drought and climate change.

Hydro-Logic® Aquator provides energy providers with the tools they need to investigate and test critical “what if” scenarios, and then deploy resources accordingly to reduce exposure and minimise potential cost impacts.

Outage assessment

From time-to-time assets need to be taken out of service for repair, maintenance or replacement.

The timing and duration of outages can impact on the revenue from energy generation. Using Hydro-Logic® Aquator models can allow users to assess the impacts of different outage scenarios, and understand the impacts of different outage situations.

Plan or assess the impact of asset upgrades or changes

Over time energy generation assets age, lose efficiency or require upgrades or retrofits.

Understanding the impacts of these on assets enables hydropower businesses to conduct cost-benefit analyses, and plan / budget for asset repair, remediation and replacement.

How does it work?

The application of Hydro-Logic® Aquator to hydropower is site-specific and mainly focuses on storage hydropower systems (as there is a proactive choice as to how much to release from such systems).

Operating rules are optimised typically based on reservoir storage and energy prices. There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to modelling complex systems such as these—in order to be effective all models must be customised to meet specific user needs.

The Hydro International consulting team works with hydropower users to develop a base model that accurately reflects the company’s situation and objectives; that model can then be run and optimised many times with a wide range of conditions and variables to assess operational risk or support asset decision-making.

Typical model development steps

  • Gather input data and conceptualise build
    • Input data might include hydrological or river flow data, reservoir level storage information, turbine efficiency, raw water system parameters, historic spot price series etc.
  • Develop and test base build
  • Apply hydropower coding logic
  • Define optimisation setup
  • Decide best solution on balance and test in model
  • Implement chosen operating policy for final model for use in future (re-optimisation upon material change in model data)

Typical hydropower modelling objectives include income, energy and control curve smoothness, and outputs might include definition of revenue-based release regimes, and exploration of trade-offs with other objectives or planning drivers.

Why Hydro-Logic® Aquator?

No other modelling platform can provide hydropower businesses with the accuracy and fidelity that they need to make effective planning, resource management and risk mitigation decisions—profitably and cost-effectively.

Further, the Hydro-Logic® Services team has the highest levels of experience and expertise with the Hydro-Logic® Aquator platform to be able to deliver the kinds of outputs that support meaningful decision making.

From simple models with a few components to large, complex stochastic models with over a thousand elements, the Hydro-Logic® Aquator software platform provides modellers and hydrologists with reliable, actionable insight into complex water resources systems, enabling them to assess critical supply, demand and environmental factors and analyse a range of scenarios.

Designed to originally to inform, support and deliver robust water supply plans in the heavily regulated UK public water sector, the platform has proven itself in the most demanding of markets, and with a wide range of customisation features, capabilities and support options it can flex to meet the challenges of even the most demanding strategic or operational planning project.

As part of the Hydro-Logic® solution set, Hydro-Logic® Aquator has been developed by, for and with expert water industry professionals.

Why is the UK relevant to others?

The UK is a highly regulated water sector, which drives the need for a uniquely accurate and reliable modelling capability.

Five-year statutory water resources and drought plan cycles drive modelling demands and planning method innovation (e.g. stochastic hydrology, risk-based planning), and the sector incorporates high numbers of complex, conjunctive use water resources systems.

The private sector utility environment also means that companies demand high trust and confidence in their model outputs.


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