Design of an Improved Flood Detection System in the operation of Cascaded Power Dams
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Flood waves caused by the failure of dams due to numerous phenomena such as seepages, earthquakes, hydraulic failure, bomb terrorism, among others, are a great concern in the operation of hydroelectric power dams. Currently, Bujagali HPP has installed a flood detection system, powered by a solar system at 12V, comprising of a GRD-3G device for remote monitoring and control of the immersed piezoelectric sensors. This device sends/receives messages using GSM to monitor the system battery status and Nalubaale downstream water level. However, the 5 minutes before the next water level update and the manual operation of spillway gates results in more delays during catastrophic waves response, the higher system voltage and poor charge control in the solar system leads to system energy efficiency problems and the use of immersible piezoelectric sensors with high maintenance costs. Project accomplishment was through site visits, obtaining the system components parameters to estimate the power efficiency of the system. Also developing the automation prototype involved using various electronic components, which include; the ESP8266 WeMos_D1_R1 microcontroller, Relays, Brushless 3Vdc Motor, Micro-USB, and 22650 3.2V 2100mAh Lithium-Ion Phosphate battery. The flood detection system prototype consists of the TTGO T-call v1.3 ESP32 microcontroller, Solar PV Panel, MTTP Solar Charge Monitor, IFR26650 6.4V 3000mAh Lithium-Ion Phosphate battery, HC-SR04 Ultrasonic sensor, LM2596 Buck Converter Module, 4 pin SPST Mini Rocker Switch, Sim Card, and both microcontrollers’ applications developed in C++ programming language coded in Arduino IDE. We recommend the integration of the automation into the current manual system to reduce human errors, and delays during the flood wave scenario. Employment of energy management techniques to improve energy efficiency and a real-time display during flood monitoring. And also, integration of clamped ultrasonic sensors to reduce maintenance costs and improve system performance.