Hydrokinetic Assessment of the Kvichak River near Igiugig, Alaska, Using a Two-Dimensional Hydrodynamic Model

DOI: 10.4236/epe.2012.46056   PDF   HTML     4,038 Downloads   6,111 Views   Citations


Two-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations were performed on a monthly basis along 2.5 km of the Kvichak River near Igiugig in southwest Alaska, USA, to estimate flow conditions and to assess the hydrokinetic potential of the river reach. Instantaneous power density function along the computational domain was calculated. Study results indicate that two areas may be suitable for deploying turbines. The best option is located near the town, where the channel is relatively straight. A second possible site is located near the end of the study reach (approximately 2.3 km, along the river, from Lake Illiamna). Monthly-averaged velocities along the thalweg ranged from 1.7 to 2.7 m/s; and from 1.1 to 2 m/s at the upstream and downstream sites, respectively. Similarly, averaged values for the instantaneous power density, reduced by an extraction coefficient, were approximately 1500 and 5500 W/m2 during April and September, respectively, at the upstream site, as well as 400 and 2500 W/m2 for the same months at the downstream site. It was found that a previous resource assessment, which considered cross-sectionally averaged velocities, substantially underestimated the available power density along the river reach. Finally, the importance of having adequate bathymetric data is demonstrated by comparing field measurements with model simulations.

Share and Cite:

H. Toniolo, "Hydrokinetic Assessment of the Kvichak River near Igiugig, Alaska, Using a Two-Dimensional Hydrodynamic Model," Energy and Power Engineering, Vol. 4 No. 6, 2012, pp. 422-431. doi: 10.4236/epe.2012.46056.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] M. Previsic, A. Moreno, R. Bedard, B. Polagye, C. Collar, D. Lockard, W. Toman, S. Skemp, S. Thornton, R. Paasch, R. Rocheleau, W. Musial and G. Hagerman, “Hydrokinetic Energy in the United States—Resources, Challenges and Opportunities,” Proceedings of the 8th European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference, Uppsala, 7-10 September 2009, pp. 76-84.
[2] R. E. Taylor, “Non-Conventional Energy Sources,” International Journal of Earth Sciences and Engineering, Vol. 3, 2010, pp. 125-141.
[3] Z. Defne, K. Hass, H. Fritz, L. Jiang, S. French, X. Shi, B. Smith, V. Neary and K. Sterwart, “National Geodatabase of Tidal Stream Power Resource in USA,” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Vol. 16, No. 5, 2012, pp. 3326-3338. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2012.02.061
[4] A. Botto, P. Claps, D. Ganora and F. Laio, “Regional-Scale Assessment of Energy Potential from Hydrokinetic Turbines Used in Irrigation Channels,” SEEP 2010 Conference Proceedings, Bari, June 29-July 2 2010, 7 p.
[5] V. Miller, E. Ramde, R. Gradoville and L. Schaefer, “Hydrokinetic Power for Energy Access in Rural Ghana,” Renewable Energy, Vol. 36, No. 2, 2011, pp. 671-675. doi:10.1016/j.renene.2010.08.014
[6] M. Previsic and R. Bedard, “River In-Stream Energy Conversion (RISEC): Characterization of Alaska Sites,” February 29 2008, EPRI PP-003-AK.
[7] M. El-Hawary, “Marine Energy Activities in Nova Scotia: A Status Update,” IEEE Meeting on Power and Energy Society General, San Diego, 24-29 July 2011, 4 p.
[8] I. Bryden, S. Couch, A. Owen and G. Melville, “Tidal Current Resource Assessment,” Journal of Power and Energy, Vol. 221, No. 2, 2007, pp. 125-135. doi:10.1243/09576509JPE238
[9] B. Polagye, M. Kawase and P. Malte, “In-Stream Tidal Energy Potential of Puget Sound, Washington,” Journal of Power and Energy, Vol. 223, No. 5, 2009, pp. 571-587. doi:10.1243/09576509JPE748
[10] H. Toniolo, P. Duvoy, S. Vanlesberg and J. Johnson, “Modeling and Field Measurements in Support of the Hydrokinetic Resource Assessment for the Tanana River at Nenana, Alaska,” Journal of Power and Energy, Vol. 224, No. 8, 2010, pp. 1127-1139. doi:10.1243/09576509JPE1017
[11] S. Ortega-Achury, W. McAnally, T. Davis and J. Martin, “Hydrokinetic Power Review,” Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, 2010.
[12] M. Guney and K. Kaygusuz, “Hydrokinetic Energy Conversion Systems: A Technology Status Review,” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Vol. 14, No. 9, 2010, pp. 2996-3004. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2010.06.016
[13] M. Guney, “Evaluation and Measures to Increase Performance Coefficient of Hydrokinetic Turbines,” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Vol. 15, No. 8, 2011, pp. 3669-3675. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2011.07.009
[14] E. Lalander and M. Leijon, “In-Stream Energy Converters in a River—Effects on Upstream Hydropower Station,” Renewable Energy, Vol. 36, No. 1, 2011, pp. 399-404. doi:10.1016/j.renene.2010.05.019
[15] B. Polagye and P. Malte, “Far-Field Dynamics of Tidal Energy Extraction in Channel Networks,” Renewable Energy, Vol. 36, No. 1, 2011, pp. 222-234. doi:10.1016/j.renene.2010.06.025
[16] A. Seitz, K. Moerlein, M. Evans and A. Rosenberger, “Ecology of Fishes in a High-latitude, Turbid River with Implications for the Impacts of Hydrokinetic Devices,” Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, Vol. 21, No. 3, 2011, pp. 481-496. doi:10.1007/s11160-011-9200-3
[17] P. Schweizer, G. Cada and M. Bevelhimer, “Estimation of the Risks of Collision or Strike to Freshwater Aquatic Organisms Resulting from Operation of In-stream Hydrokinetic Turbines,” Oak Ridge National Laboratory Report, Vol. 133, 2011, 69 p.
[18] M. Previsic, R. Bedard and B. Polagye, “System Level Design, Performance, Cost and Economic Assessment— Alaska River In-Stream Power Plants,” Oct 31 2008, EPRI RP-006-AK.
[19] I. Bryden, T. Grinstead and G. Melville, “Assessing the Potential of a Simple Tidal Channel to Deliver Useful Energy,” Applied Ocean Research, Vol. 26, No. 5, 2004, pp. 198-204. doi:10.1016/j.apor.2005.04.001
[20] E. Lalander, “Modeling Hydrokinetic Energy Resource for In-Stream Energy Converters,” Ph.D. Dissertation. University of Uppsala, Uppsala, 2010.
[21] S. James, S. Lefantzi, J. Barco, E. Johnson and J. Roberts, “Verifying Marine-Hydro-Kinetic Energy Generation Simulations Using SNL-EFDC,” Oceans 2011 Conference Proceedings, Kona, 19-22 September 2011, pp. 1432-1440.
[22] Terrasond Ltd., “Kvichak River RISEC Project: Resource Reconnaissance and Physical Characterization—Final Report,” December 9 2011, 90 p.
[23] Y. Zhang, “CCHE-GUI—Graphical Users Interface for NCCHE Model User’s Manual—Version 3.0,” National Center for Computational Hydroscience and Engineering, Technical Report No. NCCHE-TR-2006-2, October 2006.
[24] Y. Jia and S. Wang, “CCHE2D Verification and Validation Tests Documentation,” National Center for Computational Hydroscience and Engineering, Technical Report No. NCCHE-TR-2001-2, August 2001.
[25] Y. Jia, S. Wang and Y. Xu, “Validation and Application of a 2D Model to Channels with Complex Geometry,” International Journal of Computational Engineering Science, Vol. 3, No. 1, 2002, pp. 57-71. doi:10.1142/S146587630200054X
[26] H. Toniolo, J. Derry, K. Irving and W. Schnabel, “Hydraulic and Sedimentological Characterizations of a Reach on the Anaktuvuk River, Alaska,” Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, Vol. 136, No. 11, 2010, pp. 935-939. doi:10.1061/(ASCE)HY.1943-7900.0000265
[27] P. Duvoy and H. Toniolo, “HYDROKAL: A Module for In-Stream Resource Assessment,” Computers & Geosciences, Vol. 39, 2012, pp. 171-181. doi:10.1017/S0022112007007781
[28] A. Betz, “Windenergie und ihre Ausnutzung durch Windmühlen. G?ttingen,” Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1926.
[29] C. Garrett and P. Cummins, “The Efficiency of a Turbine in a Tidal Channel,” Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Vol. 588, 2007, pp. 243-251. doi:10.1017/S0022112007007781

comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2020 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.