Corps explores flow rates in short-intake Kaplans

The Corps of Engineers has issued a notice of interest in studies of measuring flow rates in short-intake Kaplan turbines.

Saying the notice is not a request for proposals or quotes, the Corps’ Hydroelectric Design Center in Portland said it is interested in obtaining methods to accurately measure absolute water flow rates in its short-intake Kaplan turbines.

Traditionally, it has been sufficient to measure just relative flows in order to optimize the performance of individual generating units, it said. However, computer programs recently have been developed that calculate the optimum manner to share load among individual generating units in a powerhouse.

To fully utilize such computer programs, the amount of actual flow passing through the turbines must be known, the agency said.

The cross sectional dimensions of the areas accessible for flow measurements are on the order of 20 by 40 feet. Flow velocities are in the range 2 to 10 feet per second, with varying degrees of turbulence. Measurement accuracies of +2 percent or better are required.

Those having an interest in participating in developing such new methods are invited to contact Lee H. Sheldon, (1) 503-808-4298; E-mail:

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