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Title: Development of a project on North Unit Irrigation District’s Main Canal at the Monroe Drop, using a novel low-head hydropower technology called the SLH100

Abstract

Natel Energy is a low­-head, distributed hydropower company based out of Alameda, CA. Natel manufactures and sells proprietary hydroelectric turbines called hydroEngines® that are suitable for low-­head, high-­flow settings, and range from 30kW to 1 MW of capacity per unit. Natel’s hydroEngine is a state­-of­the-­art two stage impulse turbine, using blades mounted symmetrically on two belts perpendicular to the axis of travel, and using linearly­-moving foils, rather than a rotor, to enable efficient conversion of kinetic energy of large volumes of water at low head with no risk of cavitation. In addition, the hydroEngine can be installed at or above tailwater level, reducing the excavation necessary to build the powerhouse and thus reducing total installed cost and project footprint. Thus, the hydroEngine technology enables a new generation of small hydro installations with low cost of project development, fish-­friendly operations, and small project footprint. In September of 2015, Natel Energy formally commissioned its first project installation in Madras, Oregon, installing 1 SLH100 turbine at an existing drop structure on the North Unit Irrigation District (NUID) Main Canal. The water falls between 13.5 feet to 16.5 feet at this structure, depending on flow. The plant has an installed capacity of 250 kWmore » and an expected annual generation of approximately 873 MWh. The plant operates at an annual capacity factor of 40%, and a capacity factor over the irrigation season, or period of available flow, of 80%. Annual capacity factor is calculated as a percentage of plant operating hours relative to a total of 8,760 hours in a year; because the irrigation canal in which the Project is located only runs water from April to October, the available flow capacity factor is higher. Net greenhouse gas reductions from the Monroe Project are estimated to be 602 tCO2/year. The purpose of this report is to provide an overview of the specifications for Natel’s first commissioned project, the project development process, the plant’s performance, project costs, and the construction, installation, and commissioning process. We hope that this report will provide useful context for assessment of the hydroEngine as a viable technology choice for future distributed, low-­head hydropower projects, as well as assessment of the bankability, performance, reliability, and cost of the hydroEngine.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Natel Energy, Inc., Alameda, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Natel Energy, Inc., Alameda, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Wind and Water Technologies Office (EE-4W); Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
1346739
Report Number(s):
DE-EE0005420
DOE Contract Number:
EE0005420
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
13 HYDRO ENERGY; hydropower; Monroe project; low-head hydropower; distributed hydropower

Citation Formats

Schneider, Abraham, Schneider, Gia, McKinstry, Katherine, and Harwood, Meghan. Development of a project on North Unit Irrigation District’s Main Canal at the Monroe Drop, using a novel low-head hydropower technology called the SLH100. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1346739.
Schneider, Abraham, Schneider, Gia, McKinstry, Katherine, & Harwood, Meghan. Development of a project on North Unit Irrigation District’s Main Canal at the Monroe Drop, using a novel low-head hydropower technology called the SLH100. United States. doi:10.2172/1346739.
Schneider, Abraham, Schneider, Gia, McKinstry, Katherine, and Harwood, Meghan. Tue . "Development of a project on North Unit Irrigation District’s Main Canal at the Monroe Drop, using a novel low-head hydropower technology called the SLH100". United States. doi:10.2172/1346739. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1346739.
@article{osti_1346739,
title = {Development of a project on North Unit Irrigation District’s Main Canal at the Monroe Drop, using a novel low-head hydropower technology called the SLH100},
author = {Schneider, Abraham and Schneider, Gia and McKinstry, Katherine and Harwood, Meghan},
abstractNote = {Natel Energy is a low­-head, distributed hydropower company based out of Alameda, CA. Natel manufactures and sells proprietary hydroelectric turbines called hydroEngines® that are suitable for low-­head, high-­flow settings, and range from 30kW to 1 MW of capacity per unit. Natel’s hydroEngine is a state­-of­the-­art two stage impulse turbine, using blades mounted symmetrically on two belts perpendicular to the axis of travel, and using linearly­-moving foils, rather than a rotor, to enable efficient conversion of kinetic energy of large volumes of water at low head with no risk of cavitation. In addition, the hydroEngine can be installed at or above tailwater level, reducing the excavation necessary to build the powerhouse and thus reducing total installed cost and project footprint. Thus, the hydroEngine technology enables a new generation of small hydro installations with low cost of project development, fish-­friendly operations, and small project footprint. In September of 2015, Natel Energy formally commissioned its first project installation in Madras, Oregon, installing 1 SLH100 turbine at an existing drop structure on the North Unit Irrigation District (NUID) Main Canal. The water falls between 13.5 feet to 16.5 feet at this structure, depending on flow. The plant has an installed capacity of 250 kW and an expected annual generation of approximately 873 MWh. The plant operates at an annual capacity factor of 40%, and a capacity factor over the irrigation season, or period of available flow, of 80%. Annual capacity factor is calculated as a percentage of plant operating hours relative to a total of 8,760 hours in a year; because the irrigation canal in which the Project is located only runs water from April to October, the available flow capacity factor is higher. Net greenhouse gas reductions from the Monroe Project are estimated to be 602 tCO2/year. The purpose of this report is to provide an overview of the specifications for Natel’s first commissioned project, the project development process, the plant’s performance, project costs, and the construction, installation, and commissioning process. We hope that this report will provide useful context for assessment of the hydroEngine as a viable technology choice for future distributed, low-­head hydropower projects, as well as assessment of the bankability, performance, reliability, and cost of the hydroEngine.},
doi = {10.2172/1346739},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Mar 14 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Tue Mar 14 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

Technical Report:

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  • The overall objectives of this project were to: assess the feasibility of a hydropower facility at High Falls State Park in Georgia from technical, environmental, and economic viewpoints; assess the economic, environmental, social, institutional, and marketing constraints and impacts that affect the development of a hydropower facility; prepare a set of conceptual design drawings and specifications concerning the facility, distribution system, location, equipment size, duty cycle, and other performance parameters; develop a construction schedule with estimated costs; and prepare a report that provides the basis for a design proposal for the facility implementation. The three sites that were considered aremore » technically and economically feasible; but only the proposed site at the dam is environmentally feasible. Therefore, this site would normally be recommended for implementation. However, several institutional issues exist that must be addressed in more detail and resolved before a final recommendation can be made. For the proposed site, the following major conclusions are listed: the site is technically feasible; hydroelectric equipment is available to satisfy the design requirement; construction will not present a major problem; a feasible arrangement is possible for the consumption of all produced power; operation of other park activities will be minimally disrupted; both visual and operational constraints are within the state guidelines; and the benefits are greater than the costs and, thus, the facility is economically feasible.« less
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  • The main research thrust of this period was devoted to development, construction and preparation to laboratory testing of two new power converters of higher than the old converter capacity. These converters should develop substantially larger air flow rate to test the authors new air helical turbines, combined with air chambers. Major tasks of this part of the project are completion of the gate control mechanism; continuation of the assessment of air turbine options including construction and testing a helical delta shape turbine for hydro-pneumatic power converters; completion of construction of larger power converters including gates and control systems; development ofmore » test plan; procure test equipment; preparation to the tests; and development and construction of a new converter with louvre-type gate system. During this period the gate control system was tested in various mechanical combinations. The tests validated reliability and integrity of the developed mechanism. The design of the control system can be recommended for practical applications. Phases of operation of the control system are shown.« less
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