A simplified methodology for the analysis of the establishment of hydrokinetic parks downstream from hydroelectric plants

Abstract The exploitation of surplus energy through the setup of hydrokinetic parks in reservoirs downstream from hydroelectric plants is on the increase worldwide. Costly measurements in loco are required in order to estimate the amount of energy that may be extracted from a river. However, river modeling provides river velocities and depths whereby the power of hydrokinetic parks may be estimated. Velocities and depths were simulated with a Saint-Venant 2-D model applied to a downstream reservoir of the Tucuruí hydroelectric dam. Velocities were extrapolated in the vertical direction by means of a logarithmic function to determine the vertical velocity profile, which transfers energy to the turbines. The turbine diameters were defined according to the depths of the studied section and information available in the literature. In the analyzed section, 73 turbines with approximately 3 MW may be installed. Power may be greater if other sections are evaluated. However, studies on environmental impacts and production reduction due to decrease of water level downstream the hydroelectric plant should be taken into account prior to the installation of hydrokinetic plants.