Ongoing Projects

  • Flow characterization at the CHTTC

      Flow characterization at the CHTTC
    • In order to offer the best service to hydrokinetic turbine developers, the flow at the CHTTC must be fully characterized. In 2015, a procedure was developed to perform the measurements that would create a fully characterized site. In this procedure, the ADV, ADCP and shear probe are utilized. A three day campaign was performed in the same year, to test the characterization measurement procedure. The three days of measurements resulted in data that showed that the developed procedure could use multiple instruments to measure velocity and turbulence characteristics at any point in the river and at any depth. The procedure was then used in 2016 during a measurement campaign spanning a total of three weeks. During these three weeks, 20 points were measured and the data is currently being processed. During the collection of the data, it became apparent that the ADV would not descend past 75% of the way down the water column. At the end of the 2016 season, the researchers set out to diagnose this issue. Using the ARIS sonar camera, it was found that the blocks holding the ADV guide wire to the river bed were lifting up when the ADV reached about mid way through the water column. Then, using the winch on the measurement platform, the weights were lowered to the river bed and the ADV was able to reach the bottom of the water column. With this new found information, researchers will set out in 2017 to characterize the boundary layer at the CHTTC, which is information that is missing from previously collected data.

  • Flow characterization at 8-Foot Falls

      8-Foot Falls flow characterization
    • Before the CHTTC was located at Seven Sisters, there was a brief period of time where CHTTC work was carried out in Pointe du Bois. Near Pointe du Bois, there are rapids called Eight Foot Falls. During the Ice Openings experiments, researchers from the CHTTC took measurements here, partially because of the open ice location and partially because of the previous history with the CHTTC. Due to the high velocities found and the convenient geometry of the channel, it was decided that the characterization procedure developed at the CHTTC would be tested here, to determine the validity of the procedure outside of a semi-controlled environment. Two profile measurements were performed here and the data is currently being analyzed by CHTTC researchers. The profile measurements were carried out on the narrow portion of the falls; however, the CHTTC has developed a way to extend the characterization procedure to wide channels. In the future, the wide section of Eight Foot Falls will be used as the test site for the wide channel extension of the characterization procedure.

  • Test deployment of the Apex Global Power Corporation Davidson-Hill Venturi Turbine

      Test deployment of the Apex Global Power Corporation turbine
    • Apex Global is a company who has recently come to the CHTTC, in partnership with Tidal Energy Systems Ltd. to test their patented Davidson-Hill Venturi turbine. This turbine uses a venturi–style design which allows it to increase the flow velocity seen by the turbine. This allows the turbine to rotate faster than it normally would in a given flow environment, which gives the turbine the ability to produce energy in flows that many other designs cannot. Their testing campaign began late in 2017, at the end of the CHTTC season and will resume testing in 2018, as soon as the centre re-opens.

  • Error analysis and compensation in riverine measurements

      Error analysis
    • In developing multiple methods of resource characterization for hydrokinetic turbines, the CHTTC has been able to break ground in resource assessment for the technology. With that said, there is a degree of uncertainty in the measurement procedures developed. To completely understand these methods, a project is undertaken to identify and verify points of uncertainty in the characterization procedures. Currently, a motion compensation code is being developed for ADVs with IMUs installed on board. This allows for a complete time series of the motion of the ADV device, and thus this motion can be removed from the raw data, providing results which contain only the motion of the fluid.

  • Examination of mooring lines and anchor blocks on hydrokinetic turbine performance

      Effect of mooring lines and anchor blocks
    • The mooring of hydrokinetic turbines is a difficult part of developing a hydrokinetic turbine. One such method is to deploy heavy anchor blocks to the bottom of the river, which ropes attached to buoys. A turbine can then be moored to these buoys, relying on the friction between the anchor blocks and the river bed. In doing so, however, this means that there are underwater blocks and lines upstream of the turbine. Currently, the effects of mooring lines and anchor blocks on the flow incoming to the turbine are unknown. The CHTTC is currently studying this, and are developing several different anchor and mooring designs, to determine how these anchors could affect flow coming in to a turbine.

  • Examination of the actuator plates for modeling hydrokinetic turbines

    • Hydrokinetic turbine wakes are often modelled using porous plates, also known as actuator plates. By substituting the turbine with a porous plate that matches the turbine’s swept area and thrust coefficient, the large-scale wake structures of the turbine can be approximated allowing for the simplification of experiments and numerical models. Although porous plates have been used in both scales experiments and numerical models, their limitations are still unclear and this method has not been field tested in an actual river. The CHTTC will be conducting wake characterizations for both scale and fill sized vertical axis hydrokinetic turbines, and the coresponding actuator plates. Turbine and plate wakes will be compared in terms of expansion, decay rate, and maximum velocity defect. The experiments will be compared to numerical simulations. Through this testing, the reliability of the actuator plate method will be evaluated.

  • Development of a Gabion Anchor

    • An anchor which can be easily produced and deployed with local materials is in high-demand in the hydrokinetic industry. This idea has been called the “Gabion Anchor”. By leveraging local materials, the anchors can be easily transported to deployment locations at a fraction of the price of conventional anchors. The CHTTC will be field testing several designs for durability, anchoring capacity in high flows and practicality. Deploying of these anchors may pose a challenge if the weight of local materials exceeds a certain limit. For this reason, the CHTTC will also be testing deployment methods of the Gabion design and developing a procedure to deploy one.

  • Deployment of 25kW New Energy Corporation at Sagkeeng First Nations

      Sagkeeng Deployment
    • The CHTTC is working with New Energy Corporation to deploy a 25 kW turbine unit to supply power to the Sagkeeng First Nation community. This is a joint effort between the CHTTC, New Energy Corporation and Sagkeeng to diversify the community’s energy portfolio, and reduce their reliance on the local grid. The project is currently in the installment phase. The turbine has been manufactured and is being tested before deployment. Multiple bathymetric and flow characterization studies have been performed at the deployment location by the CHTTC. The data has been shared with the project partners to identify the resource and forecast the future output of the turbine. A route has been traced for the underwater power cable, which was made possible by bathymetric analysis performed by the CHTTC. The turbine will be deployed in 2017 and monitored in the years to come.

  • Renewable energy in South America

      Renewable Energy in South America
    • South America has a growing population and has a corresponding growth in energy demand. Additionally, high energy prices or frequent blackouts are experienced in some regions, while other regions do not have access to electricity at all. Some regions are reliant on diesel fuel to meet their energy demands. CHTTC researchers are using the resource assessment procedures, developed at the CHTTC, to study the hydrokinetic resource in South America, while also looking for industry and academic partners. Our members can also speak various languages, which helps us connect and create relationships with locals, as well as find the best areas in the region for the placement of a hydrokinetic turbine. In future, renewable technology which is cheaper than the current paradigm can be implemented with local and foreign partners, to increase the renewable energy ratio of these countries and bring energy to those who may not have it.

  • Satelite imagery of open ice locations

      Satelite imagery of open ice locations
    • There have been studies in the past that have suggested that surface ice formation in moving water is impeded at high velocities. This could be an indicator of suitable areas for the placement of hydrokinetic turbines. To test this, the CHTTC chartered a small aircraft to fly over the Winnipeg River system and photograph all openings in surface ice on the river. These photos are compared to publicly available satellite images to determine GPS location and confirm the appearance of the opening. The CHTTC has performed two measurement campaigns travelling up the Winnipeg River system, measuring flow velocities at the ice-open locations. It has been found that these locations have a significantly higher velocity, on average, than ice-covered locations. In future, the CHTTC looks to extend this methodology to other rivers in Canada and create a database of ice openings, to quickly and cheaply identify potential hydrokinetic turbine placement locations. Identified locations can then be marked and a detailed flow analysis can be performed if the ice opening is conveniently located.

  • Deployment of Mavi turbine at Blind Channel

      Deployment of Mavi turbine at Blind Channel
    • The CHTTC is working with Mavi Innovations on the deployment of a hydrokinetic turbine in Blind Channel off of the coast of British Columbia. The location is an isolated resort who hosts vacationers and provides service to transport companies bringing ships in and out of the coast. There is a tidal channel in the area, which is known to provide high velocities that are suitable for the placement of a hydrokinetic turbine. Currently the resort generates electricity by purchasing and shipping in diesel fuel. The CHTTC has sent out a researcher to assist Mavi by performing bathymetric analysis and flow characterization of the area. Through this project, the CHTTC has garnered new experience outside of the riverine environment. Currently, the turbine has been manufactured and the mooring design is being finalized. The CHTTC is performing numerical simulations of the turbine and mooring system and will assist in the installment of the turbine.

  • New Energy Corporation Forks demonstration project

      New Energy Corporation Forks demonstration project
    • Partnering with New Energy Corporation, the CHTTC is working with The Forks to perform a demonstration project. This project involves the deployment of a hydrokinetic turbine at The Forks cultural centre in downtown Winnipeg. This project is aimed at showing the usefulness and creativity of hydrokinetic turbines. A turbine will be deployed in the river nearby and produce electricity which passing viewers can interact with in some way. This will allow them to see the technology first hand, and actually use the results of it.

  • Numerical Modelling of the CHTTC Site

    • In order to create and validate numerical models, the CHTTC has been working on developing a numerical model of the Seven Sisters Channel. Using the vast wealth of field data collected at the CHTTC, it is possible to use field data to validate numerical models for flow prediction. These models can be then be used to predict flows outside of the CHTTC by changing the geometry to match other channels. Models such as these could be of use to turbine manufacturers who want a quick method of analyzing flow in a desired turbine installation location.

  • Testing turbine interactions in a riverine setting

    • Currently the CHTTC is partnered with New Energy Corporation to test the efficiency of turbine farms, multiple turbines working in proximity to produce larger amounts of energy, and the interaction between multiple turbines in close vicinity. This will shed much needed light on how turbines interact with one another and the power or efficiency losses associated with wake interaction.

  • DSA analysis of turbine mooring structures

    • The CHTTC has partned up with Dynamic Systems Analysis (DSA), a software developer who has created a software which is able to handle dynamic systems and simulate how a dynamic loading impacts structures. The CHTTC is using this program to model turbines and mooring systems to be able to predict how a turbine will react in a marine environment. This is a powerful tool which will allow for advanced prediction of mooring loads, dynamic loads and dynamic changes in the system. The CHTTC has been using the software for multiple projects and has developed a knowledge base about the software. Any turbine manufacturers may request this as a service, but must supply a model of their turbine.