Dissolved Oxygen Monitoring

Because aquatic life depends on dissolved oxygen in water, dissolved oxygen monitoring systems are essential to keep a careful watch on water quality—especially in stratified water bodies, in troubled aquatic ecosystems and near hydropower plants.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and other agencies have established dissolved oxygen limits for hydropower facility operations to minimize dam impacts on the local aquatic habitats. NexSens dissolved oxygen monitoring systems offer a flexible sensor, data logging, and communications platform to monitor these levels in near real-time.

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NexSens MAST Aluminum Mounting Pole

The MAST is designed for quick deployment of remote data logging and telemetry systems. The X2 data logger and solar panel/battery pack can all be mounted to the MAST prior to deployment. These systems can be installed on the dam or along bridges, piers or other structures in the river or along the bank.

SP-Series Solar Power Packs

The SP-Series Solar Power Packs feature a solar panel, regulator, and battery housed in a weather tight enclosure. Solar Power Packs are used to provide continuous power for X2 and V2 systems. All components are weather tight and designed to withstand harsh conditions.

NexSens X2 Environmental Data Loggers

The X2 is an all-in-one environmental data logger with a large plug-and-play sensor library and ultra-low power consumption that can be controlled from any internet browser using a smartphone, tablet, or PC. It automatically recognizes sensors and sends data to the web via Wi-Fi, cellular, radio, or satellite telemetry.

NexSens Sonde Deployment Pipe Assemblies

PVC or metal deployment pipes are installed to protect the dissolved oxygen sensors in the water. The pipe is perforated near the sensor to allow adequate water flow for a representative measurement. In addition to shielding the sensors from debris, the pipe helps secure the equipment in a fixed position for quality data and offers easy removal for calibration.

YSI EXO3 Multi-Parameter Water Quality Sonde

YSI EXO3 is a purpose-built sonde for monitoring major water quality parameters, including pH, conductivity, temperature, dissolved oxygen, ORP, TAL-chlorophyll, phycocyanin or phycoerythrin and turbidity.

Case Studies

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Baseline Dissolved Oxygen Levels

Willow Island, West Virginia is a small community along the Ohio River. In 1978, it was probably best known as the location of a large, coal-burning power plant. But nowadays, the town has a future in hydropower. American Municipal Power (AMP) Ohio, an electric utility company, has been financing the construction of a new hydroelectric facility that will use the Ohio River’s water to provide clean energy to the region. The company is retrofitting an existing structure owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Willow Island Locks and Dam.

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Measuring Dissolved Oxygen For Hydropower

In southwest Kentucky, the town of Smithland isn’t home to many people. Its population as of 2010 barely broke 300, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. But nevertheless, it is the namesake of a prominent dam operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers along the Ohio River: Smithland Locks and Dam. This dam has for decades been used by the Army Corps as a portal for barge and shipping traffic up and down the Ohio River. In 2010, the Corps helped to support a new purpose for the locks and dam proposed by American Municipal Power (AMP) Ohio. The energy company broke ground on a new hydropower installation at Smithland in that year, and construction has continued through 2015.

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Mahoning Creek Hydroelectric Plant

In 1938, as part of an effort to develop flood controls in the Allegheny River basin in Western Pennsylvania, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers broke ground on the Mahoning Creek Dam. By 1941, the project was complete. Although initial plans to equip the dam for hydropower were scrapped due to steel shortages associated with the nation’s accelerating war mobilization efforts, project engineers included a hydropower conduit in the final design so the dam could later be retrofitted for energy production.

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