Hydropower Research & Development Centre

As the representative of the Royal Government of Bhutan, DGPC plays a key role in accelerating Bhutan’s hydropower development, along with the operation and maintenance of the existing hydropower plants.

One of DGPC’s important mandate is to build capacity in the water-to-wire business in hydropower sector. In pursuit of fulfilling the mandate, DGPC initiated the establishment of the four Centres of Excellence (CoEs) between 2010 and 2013. This would satisfy the shortage of experts, who can responsibly build highly specialised skills and undertake specialised works, which otherwise are dependent on external expertise.

To provide impetus to the existing CoEs and focus on the research-oriented services, the hydropower research and development centre (HRDC) was established by merging the existing CoEs in 2015. Considering the growth and expansion of its services, HRDC base was shifted from Chhukha to Rinchentshe in early 2018 and established as an independent profit centre.

Currently, HRDC has a trained and experienced professionals certified by reputed institutions to undertake special testing and diagnostic jobs using state-of-the-art testing equipment in all hydropower plants under DGPC. It also offers professional services to Bhutanese industries and neighbouring places in India. Further, HRDC shares its experiences and competencies through trainings, and publishing papers and professional engagement in international events.


“To be a multidisciplinary hub with highly specialized engineering and cutting – edge research that provides smart and sustainable solutions to hydropower sector”


  1. Support DGPC mandates as a responsible developer of sustainable hydropower resources
  2. Reduce dependency on external expertise by building in-house competency
  3. Provide better, reliable and affordable specialized services, particularly to the hydropower sector
  4. Engage in research and development activities for improvement of efficiency in the hydropower sector
  5. Help transform the standards of engineering expertise, practices and safety by engaging in knowledge sharing activities with educational institutes and related industries.

CoE Condition Based Monitoring (CoECBM)

  • Testing of transformer oil
  • Condition assessment and monitoring of power transformer
  • Lubricant and hydraulic oil testing
  • Sediment analysis of river water
  • Machinery vibration analysis
  • Non-destructive test
  • Rotor alignment and levelling
  • Ground vibration measurement and analysis
  • Remote vehicle inspection system
  • EOT crane and load testing
  • Calibration of measuring instruments

CoE Automation, Control and Protection (CoEACaP)

  • Energy meter tests
  • Primary injection tests (generators, transformers, CT, PT, etc)
  • Secondary injection tests (protection system, transducers, etc)
  • Cable and transmission line diagnosis
  • Ground system analysis
  • Insulation diagnosis
  • Battery diagnosis
  • Circuit breaker diagnosis
  • Data acquisition
  • Software modelling and simulation

CoE Civil and Geotechnical Engineering (CoECGE)

  • Geophysical and geotechnical services
  • Geotechnical instrumentation monitoring
  • Underwater diving and inspection
  • Rectification of hydromechanical gates
  • Bathymetry survey
  • Grouting services


  • Root cause failure analysis
  • Engineering related services
  • Research activities in the related fields