Performance Testing Multiple Units of Similar Hydraulic Design

Project ID: 300
Principal Investigator: Shanna Durham
Research Topic: Improved Power Generation
Funded Fiscal Years: 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022
Keywords: None

Research Question

Do hydraulically similar hydroelectric units have identical performance characteristics? Can high accuracy ASME PTC 18 performance testing on each unit identify performance differences? Can detailed analysis of archival unit data and turbine manufacturer's predicted performance give enough information on specific unit performance characteristics? Can we use this data to optimize operations at multiple unit powerplants?

Need and Benefit

As the demand for clean energy and water increases, optimizing a hydropower plant's energy production and water usage is becoming increasingly important. This can be a challenging problem so solve, even in hydropower plants with identical units. Unit specific hydraulic performance can depend on operational wear or differing tolerances of turbine components. In addition, operational constraints can limit hydropower plant optimization due to wildlife, water delivery, power demands, and water quality.

The Western United States has experienced an enormous increase in demand for water conservation and improved hydropower generation. The desired outcome of this study is to optimize multiple unit powerplants to provide a larger benefit to power and water customers, and stakeholders.

Contributing Partners

Contact the Principal Investigator for information about partners.

Research Products

Bureau of Reclamation Review

The following documents were reviewed by experts in fields relating to this project's study and findings. The results were determined to be achieved using valid means.

Performance Testing Multiple Units of Similar Hydraulic Design (final, PDF, 11.6MB)
By Shanna Durham
Report completed on September 30, 2022

This research product summarizes the research results and potential application to Reclamation's mission.

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Last Updated: 6/22/20