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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The value of inflow forecasting in the operation of a hydroelectric reservoir Barnard, Joanna Mary


The present study examines the value of conceptual hydrologic forecasting in the operation of a hydroelectric generating project. The conceptual forecasting method used is the UBC Watershed Model. The value of the conceptual forecast is determined by comparing results obtained by use of the forecast to those obtained by use of a forecast based purely on the historic record. The effect of the size of the reservoir on the value of the forecast is also considered. The operation of a hypothetical project is modelled using dynamic programming. The operation of the project is optimized using the conceptual and historic forecasts to generate a variety of operating policies. The operation of the project is then simulated using the derived operating policies and several test years of real data, to determine the potential energy generation for each scenario. The analysis is performed for several reservoir sizes and for deterministic and two stochastic representations of the data. The analysis concludes that conceptual forecasting is most useful when the annual flow is significantly different from the average annual flow of the basin. If an historic forecast is used, a deterministic representation of the data is most valuable. If a conceptual forecast is used stochastic analysis gives the most efficient operation. Forecasting of either kind is valuable for reservoir sizes greater than 25% of the mean annual flow, but the value decreases as the volume approaches 100% of the mean annual flow.

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