The primary goal of the Department of Energy’s Water Power Program is to efficiently develop and utilize the country’s marine hydrokinetic (MHK) and conventional hydropower (CH) resources. The program has recently identified the need to better understand the potential for hydrokinetic energy development within existing canal systems that may already have integrated CH plants. Hydrokinetic (HK) turbine operation can alter water surface elevations and modify the flow in a canal. Significant water level alterations and hydrodynamic energy losses are generally undesirable not only for CH plan operations, but also for irrigation and flood management operations.
The goal of this study is to better understand the effect of operating individual and arrays of devices on local water operations through field measurements and numerical modeling. A methodology to study the effect of hydrokinetic turbine deployment in a test site in Roza Canal, Yakima, WA, is presented. The methodology comprises detailed water level and velocity measurements to characterize energy gradeline and inflow and wakeflow fields. Results from a preliminary testing are also discussed.