72786 - Special Hydraulic Systems M

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Cristiana Bragalli

  • Learning modules Cristiana Bragalli (Modulo 1)
    Elena Toth (Modulo 2)

  • Credits 9

  • SSD ICAR/02

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Civil Engineering (cod. 0930)

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

With the achievement of the credits, the student obtains a thorough knowledge of the hydraulic structures for multiple water uses (civil, irrigation and hydropower) and protection , in terms of quality and quantity, and is able to develop designs of hydraulic works aimed at water resources management for water supply and hydropower generation.

Course contents

Requirements/Prior knowledge

Robust knowledge of Hydraulics and Hydrology, and in particular of under-pressure pipe flow and open-channel flow, meteo-hydrological measures and the statistical analysis of extreme events is required to attend with profit this course. Students should also be able to use spread-sheets and/or programming macrolanguages (Matlab or R).


Course Contents

The course deals with the fundamental elements underlying the design and operation of hydraulic structures, aimed to the multiple use of water resources and to the production of hydroelectric energy , with particular attention to the derivation by natural rivers, dams, hydropower plants and mini-hydro.

Water uses and requirements. Assessment of water demands. Multiple-use water systems.

Assessment of water availability: acquisition, processing and validation of water resources data; hydrological analyses; flow-duration curves; estimation of environmental flow; estimates of evaporation from lakes.

Water intakes by natural rivers: (i)intake works: (ii) inline weirs with and without gates; (iii) silt-intercepting works.

Types of dams: (i) concrete gravity dams; (ii) arch dams; (iii) earth dams. Gates and spillways in hydraulic installations. Reference regulations for the design, construction and operation of dams. Analysis of the seepage flow in earth dam.

Water Resources Systems Analysis: mathematical modelling of water resources systems: simulation and optimization methods. Reservoir planning and management (sizing, operation, estimation and control of sedimentation).

Hydro Electric Power Generation and mini-hydro: (i) general scheme; (ii) water penstock; (iii) types and design of surge tanks; (iv) main characteristics of hydraulic turbines; (v) unsteady transient: water hammer and mass oscillation; (vii) hydro pumped storage power plants; (viii) assessment of the production of energy in hydroelectric dam and run-of-the-river plants; (ix) operational issues in hydroelectric power systems.


Allen, R. G., Pereira, L. S., Raes, D., and Smith, M.: Crop evapotranspiration Guidelines for computing crop water requirements, FAO Irrigation and Drainage Paper 56, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 1998-

Evangelisti G., Impianti idroelettrici, vol. I, Patron

Evangelisti G., Impianti idroelettrici, vol. II, Patron

Kondolf, G. M. et al. (2014), Sustainable sediment management in reservoirs and regulated rivers: Experiences from five continents, Earth’s Future, 2, 256–280, doi:10.1002/2013EF000184.

Loucks, D. P. and Ellco Van Beek (2005) Water Resources Systems Planning and Management: An Introduction to Methods, Models and Applications., UNESCO, Netherlands.

Jain, S.K., and Singh, V.P. (2003). Water Resources Systems Planning and Management. Elsevier, Amsterdam.

Teaching methods

Frontal lectures. Seminars with experts and technical visits. In-class exercises and home assignments, including spreadsheets/computer programming and use of specific software

Assessment methods

Student achievement is assessed through: i) a written exam where the student is asked to reply to questions focusing on the topics covered during the lectures (students should attend all lectures or obtain the notes from their colleagues when absent) without the aid of notes or books; ii) an oral colloquium where the student presents a report of the home assignments and discusses the outcome of the written exam.

Teaching tools

Lecture slides, assignments and exercises and their draft solutions are published in the collection “Insegnamenti On Line” - University of Bologna (iol.unibo.it) for registered students.

Office hours

See the website of Cristiana Bragalli

See the website of Elena Toth