In-Stream Turbines for N'dulee Crossing Ferry Camp

Regions: Dehcho Region

Tags: renewable energy, engineering, hydro-electric

Principal Investigator: May, Glenn (1)
Licence Number: 14727
Organization: NWT Department of Transportation
Licenced Year(s): 2010
Issued: May 29, 2010
Project Team: Sharon Katz (Researcher, ARI), Bob Moll (Researcher, New Energy Corp., Calgary), Gregg Whitlock (Researcher, NWT Dept. Transportation)

Objective(s): 1. To evaluate the use of hydrokinetic power generation in the Northwest Territories for use in off-grid applications.
2. To demonstrate cost-savings and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions power for a ferry camp (N'dulee Crossing, about 80 km WNW of Fort Simpson on the way to Wrigley)
3. Based on the results of the N'dulee crossing operation in 2010, evaluate the use of this technology for other ferry operations.

Project Description: The objectives of this study are:
1. To evaluate the use of hydrokinetic power generation in the Northwest Territories for use in off-grid applications,
2. To demonstrate cost-savings and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions power for a ferry camp (N'dulee Crossing, about 80 km WNW of Fort Simpson on the way to Wrigley),
3. Based on the results of the N'dulee crossing operation in 2010, evaluate the use of this technology for other ferry operations.

A small turbine, mounted on a boat, is rotated by the river current. A power generator atop of the turbines converts the mechanical energy of the rotation to an electrical current. A 5 kW turbine, of diameter 1.5 m and height 1.5 m, captures between 35% and 40% of the energy in moving water. The turbine rotates at a very slow speed, about 2 to 2.5 times the speed of the water flowing through, translating to approximately 90 RPM. The turbine will be mounted on a pontoon boat. A boom deflector will be inserted into the river and anchored to the river bottom by means of a cement block. The boom deflector will carry a large buoy, a safety beacon, chain rails and warning signs. The pontoon boat will be maneuvered downstream and just behind the boom by a second boat. The pontoon and the turbine will then be anchored to the boom. A slack safety cable would also be attached to the floating structure and run to shore. This ensures that it the anchor or anchor cables fail that the floating structure will float to shore downstream.

The electrical wires that connect the turbine generator to an on-shore inverter are attached to the safety cable. Once the electrical connections will be completed, the turbine will be rotated into the water and allowed to spin and generate electricity.

Ferry camp employees will be involved with set-up, operation, monitoring and dismantling the turbine and its components, and provide feedback and recommendation to the team members and their organizations. This involvement also gives these employees the satisfaction of contributing to the switch from diesel to clean energy in their region.

A plain language report will be prepared and sent to the following organizations:
Lidlii Kue, Fort Simpson; Pehdzeh Ki First Nation, Wrigley; Nogah Enterprises, Fort Simpson; Town of Fort Simpson (Address to Mayor); Fort Simpson Metis Nations, local 52; Deh Cho first Nations, Fort Simpson; Dene Nations, Yellowknife. Local media will be asked to cover the launching and follow up (possibly together with reporting on a similar project in Fort Simpson by NTPC). These media sources will be CBC north, and News/North and the Deh-Cho drum.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from June 1, 2010 to December 31, 2010.