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 overarching 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. This study is conducted at Roza Canal, Yakima, WA, where a developer has been testing its vertical axis hydrokinetic turbine for nearly two years. Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) has been working together with Instream Energy Systems (IES) and US Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) to conduct comprehensive field measurements at the site, which include hydrodynamic and turbine performance measurements. These measurements are currently being used to develop hydro dynamic models for simulating the effects of one or more turbines in the canal. The work presented here focuses on the analysis of preliminary measurement results for studying the effects of turbine deployment on the site’s hydrodynamics.