University of Alaska Fairbanks logo bear University of Alaska Fairbanks

News

  • Monday, February 03, 2014
  • M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust Awards Grant to Alaska Center for Energy and Power to Support Hydrokinetic Research

The M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust Engineering Research Program has awarded a grant to the Alaska Center for Energy and Power’s Alaska Hydrokinetic Energy Research Center (AHERC).  The award facilitates hydrokinetic research through the purchase of a research vessel, field instruments, and specialized equipment to determine the interactions between hydrokinetic power generating devices (HKD), and river and tidal environments, including fish stocks.

Alaska’s expansive coastline and extensive river systems make the potential for hydrokinetic energy very exciting for many of Alaska’s rural communities because HKDs generate electricity directly from the currents of rivers and tides.  AHERC currently has several ongoing research projects at locations including Yakutat and Nenana.  The new equipment will enhance  AHERC’s current research capabilities for  assessing the feasibility of hydrokinetic power generating devices for Alaska’s many river and coastal communities.

“UAF is taking a leading role in conducting the research needed to understand how HKDs are affected by currents, turbulence, debris, and sediment as well as turbine effects on fish, erosion, and river and tidal currents and waves (for wave HKD devices),” reported AHERC Associate Director, Jeremy Kasper.

Photo Caption:  AHERC Team launches the in-river debris diversion device on the Tanana River.
Photo courtesy of Todd Paris/UAF.