Professor James Li (of the Department of Civil Engineering and Ryerson Urban Water) has combined forces with Cole Engineering Ltd and colleagues from Queen’s University to solve Ontario Power Generation challenges. OPG is proposing an expansion at the Ranney Falls Generation Station (located near Trent River of Cambellford, Ontario) to double its hydroelectric capacity as part of the OPG Renewable Energy Initiative.
The study focuses on hydraulic issues associated with the entrances/exits of the powerhouse and tailrace channel, and structural vibrations to the turbine and housing structure caused by tailrace channel gate operation. James Li and Shelley Kuan from Cole Engineering have teamed up and Prof. Ana Maria da Silva from Queen’s University who enabled the use of Queen’s University’s hydraulic research facility and associated technical support. A physical model (1:25 scale) has been constructed and is being tested to various operational modes (water levels, velocities, and structural vibrations) of the powerhouse and tailrace tunnel. This research involves one of the largest physical model studies of hydroelectric power generation in Ontario and demonstrates the excellent collaboration among universities, consulting engineering companies, and OPG.