Tech Briefs

IEEE releases standards for hydroelectric power

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE) announces availability of its Hydroelectric Power Standards. The standards cover hydro generation, operation, maintenance, and testing. The Hydroelectric Power Subcommittee of the IEEE Power Engineering Society’s Energy Development and Power Generation Committee developed the standards.

The standards, in pdf file format on a CD-Rom, are a collection of ten active standards, guides, and recommended practices. Users of the CD-Rom can search the full text of a single standard or search all standards at the same time.

The enhanced edition, called VuSpec, contains the complete collection of active standards, but also provides access to two related standards and four archived standards. This CD-Rom contains both pdf and html files. Other bonus features include:

    – A browser interface with links and navigation;
    – An electronic glossary of terms with official definitions;
    – Multiple search modes for quick finds or complete searches through all the content at once; and
    – A hyperlinked foreword by the IEEE Hydroelectric Power Subcommittee, describing the intent and application of the standards.
    – The active standards (STDVU128) are available for $215 for IEEE members and affiliates and $240 for non-members. The VuSpec edition (STDVU129) is available for $330 for members and affiliates and $365 for non-members. To order, contact (1) 800-678-4333; or visit the Internet:

Puget to install improved surface collector at Upper Baker

A new floating surface collector is being installed at Puget Sound Energy’s (PSE) 91-MW Upper Baker project. The collector – a new version of the original installed in 1959 – is designed to better collect fish, despite regular 50-foot-fluctuations in lake level at the project.

To fulfill Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) licensing requirements for the project, the new collector has an attraction flow capacity several times higher than the original.

In 2004, PSE modified the design of the original collector at Upper Baker to include a guidance net and transition structure. (See “Tech Briefs,” September 2004.) This modification was intended to improve fish collection with the existing structures, until the new collector could be installed.

The new collector initially will operate with an attraction flow of 500 cubic feet per second (cfs). If the rates of fish capture or survival do not meet expectations, the collector will be modified in one or more of the following ways:

    – Increase attraction flow to 1,000 cfs;
    – Reduce the maximum velocity gradient to 0.1 foot per second per foot of channel length (from 0.2 foot per second); or
    – Increase the channel width at the capture point to 3 feet (from 1.5 feet).

The new collector is designed in modules. For example, the 6-foot-deep belly tank (below the lower deck) is built in 13 modules. Each module is 10 feet wide by 60 feet long and can be transported by truck. The superstructure atop the belly tank also is built in modules.

This modular arrangement makes it possible to modify the collector to incorporate the changes mentioned above, if needed. For example, operating at 1,000 cfs would require the addition of five modules, reducing the velocity gradient would require adding three modules, and increasing channel width would require one additional module.

The collector is scheduled to begin operating in March 2008.

HydroVision 2008 offers technical plant tours

Attendees of the HydroVision 2008 conference in Sacramento, Calif., July 14-18, 2008, can take part in two technical tours of hydroelectric facilities.

The pre-conference tour on Sunday, July 13, starts with a visit to the Joint Operations Control Center, the control center for the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation’s Central Valley and for the California Department of Water Resources.

Delegates will then visit the 224-MW White Rock facility, part of the seven-powerhouse 688-MW Upper American River project. The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) is upgrading governors and turbine shut-off valve controls for ten units in the Upper American project, including one unit at the White Rock powerhouse.

The pre-conference tour concludes with a visit to the Folsom Powerhouse State Historic Park. This park features the historic Folsom Powerhouse, built in 1895 and now a museum.

The post-conference technical tour begins the afternoon of Friday, July 18, and ends at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, July 20. This tour includes visits to two hydro projects in California.

Participants first will visit the 762-MW Oroville Facilities project on Saturday morning. This project includes Oroville Dam, Lake Oroville, three power plants (645-MW Edward Hyatt pumped-storage, 114-MW Thermalito pumped-storage, and 3-MW Thermalito Diversion), the Feather River Fish Hatchery, the Oroville Wildlife Area, and the Lake Oroville State Recreation Area. The California Department of Water Resources recently completed Federal Energy Regulatory Commission relicensing of the Oroville Facilities project.

After touring the Oroville Facilities and the visitors center, the group travels to the 315-MW Colgate facility and New Bullards Bar Dam on the Yuba River. Yuba County Water Agency plans to undertake rehabilitation work on the facility, which began operating in 1899.

– To register for a tour, go to: www. To request a conference brochure, which includes details on the tours and registration information, telephone: (1) 816-931-1311, extension 129, or E-mail: hydrovision@hcipub. com. Tour participation is limited; pre-registration by June 1, 2008, is required.

Hydropower Generation Report Click here to enlarge image


Manual released on remotely operated vehicles

Butterworth Heinemann, a division of Elsevier, announces availability of The ROV Manual: A User Guide for Observation Class Remotely Operated Vehicles, written by Robert D. Christ and Robert L. Wernli, Sr. Christ is president of SeaTrepid LLC in Hammond, La., and Wernli is an engineering consultant.

The book will be useful to individuals who use small, “observation class” remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) for making underwater observations or performing inspections. In recent years, quite a few such small ROVs have become available, and they are proving applicable to a wide range of tasks. Use of ROVs reduces risk (versus using divers), saves time, and lowers costs.

The authors describe The ROV Manual as “a manufacturer non-specific document for ROV deployment that also contains standard operating procedures, training materials, and qualification standards for qualifying personnel to operate ROVs.” They also state that their goal is “to introduce the basic technologies required, how they relate to specific requirements, and to help identify the equipment necessary for a cost-effective and successful operation.”

– To order the book for $89.95, visit the Internet: and search for “ROV manual.”

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