Automatic data acquisition and inflow forecasting
Scheduled dam construction at reduced cost
Improved worker safety at dam site
- During the construction of the Lower Churchill hydroelectric project in Labrador, Canada, Nalcor Energy needed to properly manage scheduling at the site.
- The Churchill Falls Generating Station has plant outflows ranging from 1000 m3/s overnight to 3000 m3/s during the day, so accurate inflow forecasts were also needed.
- The outflows significantly impact water volume at the Muskrat Falls dam site and the lower river, where peak spring flows can be as high as 6500 m3/s.
- A software tool that could both manage the construction schedule and provide accurate forecasts of inflow volumes, especially during the spring runoff, was needed.
- The inflow Vista module of Vista DSS™ was set up and calibrated for the lower Churchill River.
- The setup included six subwatersheds.
- Flow releases from the upstream Churchill Falls hydroelectric generation station on the Churchill River, which constitute a large portion of the river flow at Muskrat Falls, are represented in the model.
- Vista produces continuous inflow forecasts that are updated daily, and route flows down the Churchill River to the Muskrat Falls project.
- Vista also projects outflows and water levels at the Muskrat Falls dam site.
- For short-term inflow forecasts, Vista features automatic access of real-time hydrometric and weather data, snow course data, and pertinent meteorological forecast data.
- To assess the risk of the river flow flooding the construction site, extended streamflow prediction forecasts are generated periodically using observed and historical temperature and precipitation data.