To meet the growing global hydroelectric power demand, in many cases it would be prudent to raise the height of existing dams rather than constructing new ones. In raising a dam the size and shape of the new section will depend, primarily, on the height to which the dam is raised, loading on the raised dam, and the interaction between the existing and new sections of the dam. In this paper, a simple genetic algorithm (GA) is adopted to optimise the shape of the new section in a raised gravity dam. The optimisation objective function is to minimize the area of the new section. A parametric study is first undertaken to determine the most suitable GA parameters affecting this process. The effects of other problem variables, such as the state of the connection between the existing and new sections, as well as the condition of the underlying soil on the results, are also explored. The GA optimisation process is then applied to two practical cases of raised gravity dams. The results indicate marked improvements in the shape of the raised sections when compared to the shapes used in practice to raise the dams.

Author Info:

Mahmoud R Maheri & M Ranjbarzadeh