Vernon Hydro

Net Head: 52ft
Rated Output: 26kW

The Vernon project began with the possibility that power could be generated by using pressure reduced water at an existing Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV) vault located within the City of Portland, OR. Rather than reducing the head at one of the existing PRV valves, the City thought about installing a micro-hydro turbine which would generate power while still effectively reducing the head at this tank fill PRV site. SOAR gathered flow and head data from the City’s SCADA system and analyzed it in a feasibility report to determine the economics of the project.

SOAR performed civil and mechanical design of the piping and thrust restraints within the modified vault. SOAR also performed electrical design along with equipment selection throughout the design phase of the project. SOAR worked closely with the City to develop a control system that would meet their operational needs.

The hydroelectric turbine was plumbed in parallel with a PRV bypass line which can effectively reduce system pressure and deliver water to the City’s customers if the hydro turbine is out of commission for any reason. This means the hydro turbine does not interfere with water delivery and the PRV vault’s original function has not been compromised.