International Conference on Applications of Statistics and Probability in Civil Engineering (ICASP) (12th : 2015)

Systems reliability of flow control in dam safety Komey, Adiel; Deng, Qianli; Baecher, Gregory B.; Zielinski, P. Andy; Atkinson, Tyler


The reliable performance of a spillway system depends on the many environmental and operational demand functions placed upon it by basin hydrology, the hydraulic conditions at reservoirs and dams, operating rules for the cascade of reservoirs in the basin, and the vagaries of human and natural factors such as operator interventions or natural disturbances such as ice and floating debris. These systems interact to control floods, condition flows, and filter high frequencies in the river discharge. Their function is to retain water volumes and to pass flows in a controlled way. A systems simulation approach is presented for grappling with these varied influences on flow-control systems in hydropower installations. The river system studied is a series of four power stations in northern Ontario. At the head of the cascade is a seasonally-varying inflow. The remaining three dams downstream have little storage capacity. Each has two vertical lift gates and all four structures have approximately the same spillway capacity. The problem is to conceptualize a systems engineering model for the operation of the dams, spillways, and other components; then to employ the model through stochastic simulation to investigate protocols for the safe operation of the spillway and flow control system.

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