Hydraulic Impacts from Hydrokintic Installations

Project ID: 1707
Principal Investigator: Josh Mortensen
Research Topic: Condition Assessment
Funded Fiscal Years: 2017 and 2018
Keywords: None

Research Question

What are the hydraulic impacts caused by hydrokinetic installations in Reclamation canals and waterways? Can we further develop and refine our predictive tools and resources by collecting data from ongoing and new field tests?
This research will add to a previous study (S&T project 7317) which included field testing and numerical modeling of hydraulic impacts from an HK installation on Roza Canal in the Pacific Northwest Region. Additional test opportunities have become available both at the existing site at Roza Canal as well as a new site on a canal operated by Denver Water near Golden, CO. Both sites provide opportunities to test impacts from different HK designs as well as units placed in series (arrays) which have never been tested in a
full-scale field situation. Data from these tests will add significant value to our ongoing numerical modeling efforts to develop tools and resources to predict hydraulic impacts from this new technololgy.

Need and Benefit

Need - With thousands of miles of canals in our inventory, Reclamation has continued to receive requests from the private sector to install and test hydrokinetic technologies on federal projects. Resources and tools are needed to more accurately predict the impacts these installations may have on our canal safety and operations. This not only helps protect the public and infrastructure but will save Reclamation money by ensuring efficient water delivery and avoiding decreased power efficiencies of existing hydropower facilities on canal systems.
Benefit - The full-scale HK installations in the field (completed by private developers costing more that 1 million dollars) make this a unique testing opportunity that is valuable for Reclamation. The predictive modeling tool and guidelines already being developed by Reclamation can be further developed and calibrated using data from full-scale field testing adding great value to the end product. With a reliable predictive tool Reclamation can address these requests and questions more quickly and with greater confidence in the results, greatly improving this decision making process.
Urgency - Hydrokinetic Power Generation is an emerging industry that is beginning to expand from coastal marine applications to in-land water ways making Reclamation projects attractive installation sites. Without further development of tools to predict hydrokinetic impacts Reclamation is unable to protect project operations, make decisions regarding HK installations, or understand how or if we fit into this newly developing industry.

Contributing Partners

Contact the Principal Investigator for information about partners.

Research Products

Please contact research@usbr.gov about research products related to this project.


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Last Updated: 4/4/17