AHERC at Work: Tanana River Hydrokinetic Test Site Update

AHERC at Work:  Tanana River Hydrokinetic Test Site Update

Project Description:

AHERC’s Tanana River Hydrokinetic Test Site just outside of Nenana, Alaska, is playing host to a dramatic build out in the summer season of 2014.  The site is being upgraded with office facilities in the form of ATCO trailer units, power has been run to the location and a pontoon barge will be onsite to give hydrokinetic devices a platform on which to be tested in the river.  This effort is all taking place to support a busy testing season which will feature AHERC’s prototype debris diversion system and a hydrokinetic device owned by Oceana Energy Company being deployed into the Tanana River in mid-August.

Project Update:


On Monday August 18th the truss system for the barge was delivered to the test site. The truss will be the connection point for the turbine to the barge. The truss pivots up and down so the OCEANA turbine can be lowered into and out of the river.

Tuesday August 19th, installation of the truss onto the barge began with the help of Tim Manning from Jon’s Machine Shop.

Wednesday August 20th, installation of the truss on the barge was finished. With the installation, the barge is now ready to launch and prep work for the launch was done.

Thursday August 21st, the first attempt at launching the barge was made. Inflatable rollers were positioned under the barge and the barge was pushed from the rear with the help of a forklift. Due to the landscape of the river bank at the launch site, the forklift was not able to push the barge into the river successfully. A second attempt at launching the barge will be made on Monday, August 25th, with the assistance of a front end loader.

Friday, August 22nd, the 5kW turbine that was originally used for the Eagle hydrokinetic project was delivered to AHERC’s bay in the Energy Technology Facility on the UAF campus. The turbine will be prepared for delivery to the Tanana River Test Site for deployment in early fall.

Photo: The final piece of decking is shown being lowered into place on the barge last week.  Photo courtesy of NKonefal, ACEP/UAF.