Low-Head, Short-Intake Flow Measurement Research

Lead Lab

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is working to solve a key outstanding issue: accurate and cost-effective flow measurement in short converging turbine intakes. Demonstration of a successful flow measurement system will provide better opportunities for industry to optimize powerhouse operations on a unit-by-unit basis that will enable more efficient use of available water, optimal unit dispatch, and better capabilities to integrate other renewables into the grid through optimal response to variations in system load. Widespread deployment of new FM technology to be developed and demonstrated by this project could yield a 4 percent increase in annual generation for half of U.S. hydropower capacity (roughly $220M annually at 40% capacity factor and $0.04 per kilowatt-hour).