Dissolved Oxygen Monitoring at Hydroelectric Facilities
Hydroelectric power generation may alter levels of dissolved gases in waters downstream from the dam, which can cause negative impacts on the ecosystem. For this reason, monitoring of dissolved oxygen (DO) is often required by regulatory agencies such as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Automated monitoring systems can ensure that regulatory requirements are met and harmful effects on the environment are avoided.
Potential Impacts of a Hydroelectric Dam on DO
Typical Dissolved Oxygen Monitoring System
An effective DO monitoring system should provide real-time DO measurement data with alarms for early warning when threshold values are approached or exceeded. Multiple sensor placements upstream, at the intake, tailrace and downstream are often established to provide background data, comparative measurements and redundancy.
While sensors may be placed on buoys in some situations, hydropower dams generally lend themselves to structure-mounted installations where the sensor is placed into a perforated deployment pipe that allows flow to the sensor for accurate measurement. The sensor may be secured at a fixed position within the pipe and easily removed from the water for maintenance and calibration.
For data logging, a mast-mounted NexSens X2 data logger can transmit data wirelessly in real-time via radio, cellular or satellite communications to the WQData LIVE web datacenter, where data can be viewed and exported and alarms configured. The X2 logger is compatible with most industry-standard DO sensors including those from YSI and includes multiple sensor ports to accommodate situations where sensors are at multiple depths.
Other sensors that the system can easily be expanded to accommodate include total dissolved gas (TDG) in cases where supersaturation is a concern, multiparameter sondes for advanced water quality data, and weather sensors.
Contact a NexSens Applications Engineer today to discuss your DO monitoring application.
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