Home Services R&D People Contact
GIS-based Hydropower Potential Reconnaissance:
This research involves novel GIS techniques using Digital Elevation Models (DEMs), PRISM precipitation mapping, and provincial road and transmission lines data layers to determine hydropower potential over large areas in an automated manner. This method has the advantage of performing an optimization on each watershed of interest in a consistent, cost-effective, and expedient process. Recent improvement to the model allows assessment for storage potential.
HydroRecon uses GIS and Digital Elevation Models(DEMs) to quickly scan large areas and determine potential hydropower sites based on
potential head and runoff (available power)
potential storage using natural water-bodies.
available infrstructure (distance to roads and transmission lines)
economic viability.
Every catchment is scanned to determine optimal intake location.
PRISM precipitation and Obedkoff regional runoff models used to determine volume runoff.
Drainage area determined automatically at optimal intake location. MAD and capacity factor at intake determined by average unit-runoff and capacity factor over drainage area.
Tables show each catchment's intake elevation, and expected energy generation.
As a measure of a project's economic viability, the annual energy is divided by the penstock length, which is highly correlated to a project's economic viability.

Candidate sites can be analyzed further using a detailed hydrological model (UBC Watershed Model) and an economic sensitivity analysis with user specified parameters (i.e. cost of steel, civil works, etc.). The sensitivity analysis is used to determine the optimal design flow and intake location.
Measures of economic viability calculated are IRR, NPV, and cost per MWh.

Candidate sites which meet economic targets could then be passed on to the environmental assessment module. This module would identify potential permitting obstacles to allow early mitigation.
All methods and results are fully documented in a final report.
Visual aids such as 3D images and fly-over can be generated on request.
Copyright 2009 Aquarius Research & Development Inc., All Rights Reserved
Home | Contact