River water surface velocity measurement using large-scale particle image velocimetry

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Sy, Erwin
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It is proposed to use advancements in Large Scale Particle Image Velocimetry (LSPIV), such as improved charge-coupled device in cameras, unmanned aerial vehicles, and faster algorithms, for a non-invasive river water surface velocity measurement to assess potential hydrokinetic turbine sites. The approach will compare results to an Acoustic Doppler Velocimeter (ADV). Being able to measure the water surface velocity using the proposed method allows the use of a low-cost and simple approach to determine hydrokinetic sites suitable for turbine deployment for electrification of remote communities. The research tests were conducted in a water tunnel and at the Canadian Hydrokinetic Turbine Testing Center located in Winnipeg River using cameras and a drone with results compared to an ADV. Two LSPIV simulation software’s PIVlab and OpenPIV were used to analyze the water surface velocity captured in a water tunnel and at the Canadian Hydrokinetic Turbine Testing Center. The results of the LSPIV software analysis with optimized average velocity data results from PIVlab are within ±0.1 m/s from the average ADV velocity results. In addition, optimized velocity data from PIVlab show vector results moved closer to the ADV measured water surface velocity and resulted with fewer fluctuations after the erroneous data was removed. Thus, a non-invasive way of analyzing water surface velocity by flying a drone overhead capturing the water surface and using LSPIV software such as PIVlab and OpenPIV to extract data from the captured images could replace conventional invasive methods of water surface velocity measurements for site assessments so long as these are done in good weather, minimal wind and water surface ripples are clear, detailed and defined.
STIV, PIV, LSPIV, velocimetry, flow measurement, Image analysis