Tech Briefs

NHA offers manual on tax incentives for hydro development

The National Hydropower Association (NHA) partnered with Ernst and Young to create the Hydropower Tax Manual.

Many incentives and new mechanisms are available to support upgrades, modernization, and project development. However, it is not easy to decipher what these mean and how to utilize the programs, NHA says. This 40-page manual provides guidance on ten programs and topics related to federal incentives and hydro development:

  • Production tax credits;
  • Investment tax credits
  • Section 1603 grants;
  • Depreciation;
  • Project finance considerations;
  • Clean renewable energy bonds;
  • Other incentives, such as renewable energy certificates and state tax credits;
  • DOE loan guarantee program;
  • Section 48C investment tax program; and
  • Applying credits to your tax return.
To order the manual for $75 for NHA members or $585 for non-members, contact Diane Lear, E-mail:

UN endorses certification system for explosive areas

Through its Economic Commission for Europe, the United Nations (UN) has formally endorsed the use of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) System for Certification to Standards Relating to Equipment for use in Explosive Atmospheres (IECEx).

The IECEx system covers equipment, systems, services, and competence of personnel in industries where the risk of fire and/or explosions exists. This system verifies compliance with international safety standards related to the use of equipment in areas where flammable gases and liquids and combustible dusts may be present. This system is designed to provide assurance that equipment is manufactured to meet dedicated explosive safety standards and that services such as installation, repair, and overhaul also comply with IEC standards.

The IECEx system comprises three core certification schemes:

  • IECEx Certified Equipment, which provides assurance that products listed on the IECEx certificate of conformity conform to the international standards;
  • IECEx Certified Service Facilities, which assesses and certifies that organizations and workshops that provide repair and overhaul services do so respecting the requirements of IEC International Standard 60079-19, Explosive atmospheres – Part 19: Equipment repair, overhaul and reclamation; and
  • IECEx Certification of Personnel Competencies, which provides companies with independent proof that a person holding an IECEx certificate of personal competency has the qualifications, experience, and competency necessary to implement the international explosive industries standards.
IEC’s standards cover a range of technologies, including power generation, transmission, and distribution; office and medical equipment; information technology; and more.

For more information, visit the Internet:

EdgeTech offers combined bathymetry and sonar system

EdgeTech offers a 4600 Combined Swatch Bathymetry and Side Scan Sonar System.

This equipment combines the high-resolution capabilities of a side scan sonar with the three-dimensional (3D) imagery of a multi-beam echosounder. The result is a tool that produces a real-time, high-resolution 3D map of the floor of a reservoir, EdgeTech says.

The 4600 uses EdgeTech’s multi-pulse technology, which transmits up to 60 pings a second, providing either twice the speed or twice the bathymetric data density of conventional systems, the company says.

The sonar electronics and arrays for this system are mounted onto a tow body that is deployed over the side of a survey vessel via a pole. Alternatively, the sonar can be used as a towed system. Data is transferred from the transceiver to the processing unit on the vessel via an Ethernet network interface.

Reclamation releases invasive species manual

The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation offers Inspection and Cleaning Manual for Equipment and Vehicles to Prevent the Spread of Invasive Species.

This 217-page manual provides recommendations for inspection and cleaning of vehicles and equipment to limit the spread of invasive species, says co-author Joe DiVittorio, invasive species program coordinator for Reclamation. The manual is intended to help equipment operators gain a better understanding of how invasive plants and animals are spread by contaminated equipment into new locations. The types of equipment described in the manual are rubber-tired land vehicles, tracked land vehicles, personal use equipment, construction and facility equipment, and watercraft.

Invasive species that are of potentially high consequence to Reclamation include quagga and zebra mussels, purple loosestrife, giant salvinia, Eurasian watermilfoil, and hydrilla. The manual presents equipment inspection techniques and cleaning methods.

Reclamation operates water management facilities to deliver water to more than 31 million people and to generate about 44,000 gigawatt-hours annually.

The manual is available on the Internet at

GE Energy introduces hydro condition monitoring system

GE Energy offers its hydro Stator End Winding Accelerometer (SEW Accel) system, the latest addition to the Bently Nevada line of condition monitoring for hydroelectric turbine-generators.

The sensor detects vibrations that can result from insulation deterioration due to prolonged exposure to electrical tracking and ozone, thereby helping to avoid catastrophic failure and aiding in the determination of proper maintenance cycles, a press release states.

Developed and tested with the assistance of an electric utility in North America, the SEW Accel is a single unit that provides dual-axis measurements. The sensor is affixed directly to selected end windings and is designed to resist electrical tracking, corona damage, partial discharge, and magnetic and electric field interferences, GE says.

When used with the Bently Nevada 3500/46M Hydro Monitor, the SEW Accel provides pole passing frequency (forcing frequency) amplitudes and resultant acceleration measurements for the combined x and y axes, thus providing a complete vibration overview, GE reports.

Bradley named engineer of the year by ASCE in Oregon

The Oregon Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) presented Dr. Jeffrey B. Bradley, P.E., with its Engineer of the Year Award.

Bradley is president of WEST Consultants Inc., a water resources engineering firm he founded in 1988. He was the first president of ASCE’s American Academy of Water Resources Engineers and assisted in the creation of the diplomate, water resources engineer certification program. In addition, Bradley is a past president of ASCE’s Environmental and Water Resources Institute.

For this award, consideration is given to professional achievement, service to ASCE, encouragement to potential or new engineers, contribution to technology, and community service, the association says.

The award was presented in September 2010.

ASCE, founded in 1852, represents more than 144,000 civil engineers worldwide. The Oregon Section of ASCE was established in 1913 and has more than 2,000 members.

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