Canadian Ingenuity Reduces Risk of Powerhouse Flooding

In Canada, we are proud to contribute to reducing the global carbon footprint by exploiting renewable energy sources that are readily available, like hydropower. However, it is important to manage this resource responsibly and cost effectively by reducing risk of failure and increasing efficiency. Using fluid dynamics, structural mechanics and thermal analysis, Kawa Engineering Ltd. delivers a broad range of services to the hydropower industry (as well as others) to allow customers to design and test many parts of these facilities before they are built. As part of celebrating Canadian Engineering Month, here’s a recent interesting project that developed a location for a powerhouse.


3-D geometry used for flood analysis. Elevations are relative to sea level.

We used engineering simulation to help locate the powerhouse close to a waterfall but in a spot with minimal flood risk. If flooding occurred in the powerhouse, it would be extremely costly. Finding a proper location also means that there is decreased need for additional components to protect electrical equipment (generator, turbine, switch box, etc.) if flooding occurs; it determines the cut and fill required for construction; and lessens construction resources. Continue reading