Hydropower continues to serve as an important source of renewable energy. SAFL has a long legacy of hydropower research, with SAFL's original director, Lorenz Straub, serving to test and inform the design of hydroelectric projects around the globe. Today, SAFL hydropower research looks to not only inform more environmentally friendly hydropower practices, including both traditional dam designs and the testing and incorporation of hydrokinetic turbines, but also has worked on assessing the impacts of dam removal projects.
Read about SAFL research projects with this topic (filter "Hydropower Projects" if needed):
MINUHET software tool available for practitioners to better assess temperature impacts of stormwater runoff in trout streams
MINUHET is a stand-alone software tool use to simulate the flow of stormwater surface runoff and its associated heat content through a small watershed. Interested practitioners can download the software on this page.
Hydrokinetic turbines are an emerging hydropower technology that take advantage of moving water currents to generate power.
Researchers studied the effect of waves breaking on the airflow above the waves. Research like this regarding wind and wave interactions can be used to improve ocean-atmosphere interaction models.
Barrier islands act as natural barriers between the ocean and the mainland by blocking waves and resisting storm winds, giving protection to inland areas which are ecologically rich as well as economic hubs. As sea levels continue to rise with climate change, there is much concern about how rising seas will impact the ongoing evolution of barrier islands and the level of protection they afford inland coastlines.
The purpose of this project was to evaluate the effectiveness of different pretreatment devices in Minnesota. The objective was to gather quantitative data using a common method that will allow for comparisons across devices.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation tasked SAFL researchers with evaluating the use of unsalted permeable pavement in comparison to traditional impermeable salted pavement. Permeable pavement refers to a surface where water can infiltrate into pavement and ultimately become groundwater, rather than running off pavement into the stormwater system.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) tasked SAFL researchers with the design of a race-track style flume, with the geometry and hydraulic conditions for early life stages of pallid sturgeon, an ancient but endangered fish species which historically inhabited the Missouri and lower Mississippi rivers
Channel belts are wide corridors created by the movement of a river over time, as shown by geologic indicators such as abandoned channels and eroded valley margins. The purpose of this study was to evaluate how channel migration causes individual braided channel belts to grow using SAFL's main channel.
After a 2011 flood caused extensive damage in Minot, North Dakota, MWH Americas, Inc. was hired to design a pumping station as part of the Mouse River Enhanced Flood Protection Plan, to pump stormwater over the river levee during flood events. The applied engineering team at the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory was then tasked to build a physical model of the proposed pumping station to identify and mitigate unanticipated/unacceptable flow patterns prior to construction.