Uncertainty exists regarding the effects on local water operations of deploying a current energy converter (CEC) turbine in an irrigation canal for the purposes of producing electricity via the canal’s flowing water. Budi Gunawan and Guild Copeland (in Sandia’s Water Power Technologies Dept.) and Derek Belka (a Water Power Technologies Dept. summer intern student) joined a team from the US Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) and Instream Energy Systems (IES), to directly measure the effects of deploying a CEC turbine in Roza Canal, Yakima, Washington. The team synchronously measured water level, velocity, power, torque, and thrust for two CEC turbine RPM cases.

Left: Synchronized 2-acoustic Doppler velocimeter measurements at the wake centerline of the turbine; Right: Velocity contours at 3.3 and 10 turbine diameter, downstream of the turbine.

Left: Synchronized 2-acoustic Doppler velocimeter measurements at the wake centerline of the turbine; Right: Velocity contours at 3.3 and 10 turbine diameter, downstream of the turbine.

This measurement campaign is the last in a set of field campaigns conducted by the three entities during the summer of 2014. In FY15, Sandia will process the measurements and use the data to develop numerical modeling tools to assess the impact of deploying multiple turbines in the canal.

IES may deploy another turbine at the same site in FY15 to get a better understanding of turbine–turbine interaction and its effect on turbine performance, water level and velocity distribution, and effects to water operations. If/when this opportunity arises, Sandia will again team up with USBR and IES to take more measurements.