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CACOH, expert laboratory in physical modeling and hydraulic structures

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CNR’s measurement and expertise center integrating two specialized testing laboratories, the Hydraulic Structure Behaviour Analysis Centre (CACOH) contributes to the control of hydraulic risks and relies on its experience capitalized on the Rhône to export its know-how around the world.

CACOH: a measurement and analysis centre backed by 80 years’ experience

The creation in 1936 of the CACOH hydraulics laboratory was decided to study and validate the hydraulic design of hydroelectricity and navigation structures on the Rhone using physical scale models. This laboratory then gathered a wealth of new competences in the fields of measures, monitoring and control. The purpose? That of guaranteeing the safe, efficient and optimised operation of the hydraulic installations on the River Rhone.

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CACOH: the focal point of multidisciplinary competences

A unique engineering centre, CACOH brings together around 50 engineers, technicians and project managers. It concentrates the essential competences that support the operational teams. Its expertise is regularly called upon for the international projects performed by CNR Engineering on behalf of external clients:

  • Metrology,
  • Hydrometry,
  • Hydrography,
  • Topography,
  • Hydraulic engineering,
  • Sedimentology,
  • Civil engineering,
  • Geotechnical engineering,
  • Hydro-electromechanical engineering.

CACOH: activities contributing to controlling CNR’s technical and industrial risks

Its activity is distributed according to seven structural directions:

  • Designing complex hydraulic projects using physical scale models,
  • Measuring discharges and inflows of sediments,
  • Monitoring the morphological evolutions of the Rhone and its tributaries,
  • Managing the sedimentary dynamics of the river and reservoirs,
  • Evaluating the quality and ageing of the materials used to build the structures,
  • Controlling the behaviour of hydraulic structures,
  • Innovating in the service of projects, operation and safety.

CACOH: a hydraulic laboratory expert in physical scale models

Within CACOH, the physical scale model laboratory pursues a highly precise mission: that of designing, optimising and validating technical solutions responding to complex hydraulic problems. How? By building physical hydraulic models that simulate confined flows and free surface flows by using large and small scale mock-ups. When the needs of a particular study so require, this analysis and pedagogical communication tool can also be used to perform studies on morphological evolutions due to sediment transport in rivers, torrents and reservoirs.

CACOH’s engineers are also expert in hybrid models that combine the respective advantages of hydraulic and numerical models in total synergy. This incomparable experience in the hydraulic design and hydrodynamic analysis of civil engineering structures (dams, spillways, hydropower plants, locks, pumping stations, etc.) is also put to use by our external clients to design efficient and optimised solutions in terms of construction and operating costs.

CACOH: commitment to the quality of the materials used to build structures

For needs specific to CNR, CACOH has developed specialised tests aimed at evaluating the quality and durability of the materials used to build structures (earth, concrete and rock-fill). How? By measuring their resistance to impact, abrasion and the freezing/thawing cycles. Some of these tests performed in-situ and in the laboratory have become references for many owners. This knowhow has led our materials engineering specialists to intervene on behalf of external clients wishing to validate the choice of a material before putting it to use.

CACOH: an approach of constant innovation

Indispensable for guaranteeing safety and optimising CNR’s industrial facilities, innovation lies at the heart of CACOH’s activities. How do these innovations emerge? Through the creativity of the operational teams and long-term collaborations with clusters and specific bodies set up with our different partners. At present, 50 RID projects have been launched by CNR, of which half are driven by CACOH.

CACOH: sharing of experience in France and at international

CACOH shares the experience acquired by CNR in design, operation and maintenance of Rhone facilities by participating in the main national and international groups at the cutting edge in the field of measurement, control, modeling of flows and hydraulic structures:

  • French Committee on Dams and Reservoirs (CFBR)
  • International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD)
  • International Association for Hydraulic Research (IAHR)
  • European Working Group on Internal Erosion (EWGIE)
  • World Association for Water Transport Infrastructure (PIANC)
  • Francophone Hydrographic Association (AFHy)
  • French Association for Standardization (AFNOR): hydrometry, hydraulic turbines, riprap…
  • Hydrotechnical Society of France (SHF)

Contact the CACOH

Reception and information: 04 78 61 60 00

Commercial contact: 04 72 00 68 15

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