University of Alaska Fairbanks logo bear University of Alaska Fairbanks


  • Sunday, August 14, 2016
  • AHERC Wraps up Field Work in Nenana

The AHERC team has finished their summer field work at the Tanana River Test Site in Nenana, Alaska. Field testing took place from May through June and involved two major tests at the site, both deemed successes. One test involved a new method of fish collection in which the entire water column below a specially designed fishing trawl was sampled. This test allowed valuable data to be collected on where in the river certain species of migrating salmon travel. This was the first time this type of data has been collected on the Tanana River and it will be very useful for understanding fish migration as well as help researchers better determine where turbines can be deployed in a river with minimal impact to the salmon populations.

The other test at the Tanana River Test Site over the summer was of a New Energy 2.5kW in-river turbine. The turbine was deployed in the middle of the river off of a floating pontoon barge where it was analyzed for operation in Alaskan river conditions. As part of the test a power electronics system, designed and built by AHERC and Remote Power, was also tested for its ability to convert the river current into useable electricity.

Future work for AHERC includes a multibeam sonar survey in Yakutat, a deployment of a shallow water ice profiler in Igiugig, and rapid sea level deployment projects in Shishmaref, Shaktoolik, and Kivalina to monitor coastal storm surges.

New Energy turbine.  Photo credit N. Konefal, ACE/UAF.