Increased Hydrogeneration while Improving Environmental Conditions (2)
Project ID: 9650
Principal Investigator: Merlynn Bender
Research Topic: Improved Power Generation
Priority Area Assignments: 2012 (Climate Change Adaptation Research)
Funded Fiscal Years: 2012 and 2013
Keywords: low-impact hydropower, tdg, renewable energy
The primary product of this research is contribution to a white paper that provides a simplified approach for the development of a total dissolved gas (TDG) assessment and prediction tool at hydropower dams. Currently, the TDG environmental soft constraint is causing lost power generation at existing dams. A comparison between a dam where TDG is a concern and a dam where TDG is not a concern will be compared to identify the range of criteria needed for the assessment tool.
Based on TDG criteria, this renewable-energy research will further prioritize additional low-impact hydrogeneration Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) projects that could potentially reduce global climate change impacts. Emphasis will be placed on renewable energy from pumped storage/wind integration and conversion of nonhydropower dams to generation facilities.
For example, large dams with shallow downstream tailwater results in TDG concerns due to fish residing at shallow depths. Gas bubble disease (GBD) increases in fish when fish are in shallow water (depth compensation). Ten percent compensation roughly occurs with each meter of depth. So, if 120 percent TDG exists, 110 percent would be the biological equivalent at 1 meter deep, 100 percent at 2 meters, etc. Therefore, tailwater depth at various tailwater flows is one important factor in selecting or ranking dam sites for hydropower addition while minimizing TDG concerns.
This research will identify which soft and hard constraints (variables) are most important for predicting TDG concerns and ranking dam sites for additional hydropower generation.
Need and Benefit
The economy needs stimulation from infrastructure projects including additional hydropower projects. Impacts of global climate change needs to be reduced and environmental conditions for aquatic biota need to be improved. There is a need to explore additional hydrogeneration capabilities as a way of improving riverine environmental conditions.
There is a research need to integrate the electrical, mechanical, fishery bypass, environmental, and operational constraints to achieve acceptable operational and structural changes to the system at existing and proposed hydropower facilities.
Often TDG is a major limiting factor at hydrogeneration facilities. Currently, no simple method exists for quantifying the TDG effects between hydrogeneration facilities due to varying conditions. This research will develop a method to quantify the TDG soft constraint. This methodology should allow further prioritization of low-impact hydropower improvements at existing dams.
The primary benefit of this research will be development for a tool for predicting, ranking, and targeting increased hydrogeneration at existing dams.
Phase I scoping document recommending two Reclamation projects for future low-impact hydrogeneration deployment and identifying both soft (environmental, social, etc.) and hard (electric grid limitations, electrical hardware issues, etc.) constraints. A list of important potential variables affecting the TDG soft constraint at hydropower facilities will be included.
This information was last updated on May 18, 2013
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