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.

Project Update:

Monday September 8th: The team from Oceana Energy Company arrived at the test site to begin installation and testing of their turbine. With the help of Inland Barge of Nenana, the turbine was transferred from the shore to the barge, and mounted to the truss.

Tuesday September 9th, Installation of the Oceana turbine continued. The generator components and interior turbine blades were installed. Additional work consisted of preparing the turbine electronics for installation by the Oceana team. While the Oceana team was installing the turbine, the AHERC team was preparing to test final components on the barge.

Wednesday September 10th, Installation of the Oceana turbine continued for the third day. The installation of the hardware components were finished with the installation of the cowling and exterior turbine blades. Work began to install the turbine electronics and measurement equipment. Measurement equipment was installed on the barge and the RDDP. An Acoustic Doppler Velocimeter was installed on the front of the barge to measure turbulence of the water entering the turbine and an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler was installed on the RDDP to measure current velocities.

Thursday September 11th, Installation of the Oceana turbine electronics were finished, completing the turbine installation. With the turbine installed the barge was positioned in the river for testing. The turbine ran successfully for the first time in a river for two hours. The first test was used as a test of the measurement devices to ensure proper functioning.

Friday September 12th, The Oceana turbine was deployed again in the Tanana River and ran for five hours while the Oceana team collected data. Once testing was completed, the barge was moved back to shore. Testing will continue through the 19th of September.

Photo: Research debris diversion platform with test barge behind. Test barge with instrument shelter and Oceana turbine in the horizontal position on the rear of the barge.  Photo courtesy P. Duvoy, ACEP/UAF.