January 2, 2016
Journal Article

Effects of non-homogenous flow on ADCP data processing in a hydroturbine forebay


Observations of the flow conditions in the forebay of a hydroelectric power station indicate significant regions of non-homogeneous velocities near the intakes and shoreline. The effect of these non-homogeneous regions on the velocity measurement of an acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) is investigated. By using a numerical model of an ADCP operating in a velocity field calculated using computational fluid dynamics (CFD), the errors due to the spatial variation of the flow velocity are identified. The numerical model of the ADCP is referred to herein as a Virtual ADCP (VADCP). Two scenarios are modeled in the numerical analyses presented. Firstly the measurement error of the VADCP is calculated for a single instrument adjacent to the short converging intake of the powerhouse. Secondly, the flow discharge through the forebay is estimated from a transect of VADCP instruments at dif- ferent distances from the powerhouse. The influence of instrument location and orientation are investigated for both cases. A velocity error of over up to 94% of the reference velocity is calculated for a VADCP modeled adjacent to an operating intake. Qualitative agreement is observed between the calculated VADCP velocities and reference velocities by an offset of one intake height upstream of the powerhouse.

Revised: February 20, 2020 | Published: January 2, 2016


Harding S.F., M.C. Richmond, P. Romero Gomez, and J.A. Serkowski. 2016. Effects of non-homogenous flow on ADCP data processing in a hydroturbine forebay. Flow Measurement and Instrumentation 52. PNNL-SA-107602. doi:10.1016/j.flowmeasinst.2015.12.010