Although hydrokinetic turbines offer many benefits their installation and operation also present challenges. Similar to other riverine structures, a key issue facing the hydrokinetic structures is the trapping of sediment and debris (organic and non-organic). This issue impacts the financial feasibility of projects as well as posing environmental concerns. The trapping of sediment and debris from hydrokinetic turbine platforms have the potential to shorten the life of hydrokinetic projects. Impact loading from debris can also damage the turbine structure. These events can cause outage, disrupt power generation and reduce energy production, further reducing returns on investment. Prediction of the encountering debris and the type of debris encountered is key to the determination of debris mitigation approach and optimization of power production of HK turbines. Even within the same watershed, debris amount and type can vary based on stream order and watershed location.
The project reviews current knowledge and practices debris classification, detection, and mitigation that can be considered by developers when designing their technology and projects. Considering this information is expected to help reduce the cost of hydrokinetic energy and improve the safety of human operators working in the field through better understanding of debris risks and mitigation strategies.
Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-mission laboratory managed and operated by National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia, LLC., a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell International, Inc., for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-NA0003525.