Alstom and INP, the Grenoble partnership foundation, recently inaugurated a new industrial endowed chair. Called Hydro’like, it will allow the company, already strongly established in Isere to develop hydraulic machines compatible with the growing demand for renewable energies.
« So far, the turbines operated like an electrical switch : on or off » explains Maryse François-Xausa, Senior Vice President of Alstom Renewable, the division dedicated to renewable energies. « From now on, they will resemble a voltage variator, able to adapt to various power levels. »
The stakes are high for Hydro’like, the new industrial chair inaugurated this Thursday, october 9th on the Grenoble site of Alstom Hydro. The goal is clear : improve the regulation system of hydraulic plants production, integrating the irregularities of renewable energies in the network.
One million euros will be allocated to the chair over five years. This is a major innovation in the french hydro electric industry and it will benefit both the industrial and the INP Institute of Grenoble, its engineer schools and research laboratories.
Hydro’like aims to promote the hydraulic industry
« We’re dealing with multi-disciplinary research, covering a large spectrum », comments Brigitte Plateau, Chairman of the INP Grenoble.
« Hydraulic energy is nothing new but we must further educate our students on its potential and its strong implications in the development of renewable energies. »
Several programs will be initiated in partnership with students in order to raise the number of applications and ultimately, the amount of skilled professionals.
Another step forward for Alstom who had inaugurated in Grenoble, on Feb 2013, the global headquarter of the technology center dedicated to hydro electricity. In the long run, the center should acquire another turbine test bench, matching the level of equipment of public and private actors in the sector.
By Paul Turenne
Translation by Cecile Boussier