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Hydropower—A river of data

  • The ORNL-developed site assessment tool, dubbed SMH Explorer, provides a platform to develop small modular hydropower technologies by identifying common physical and environmental characteristics in stream segments across the nation. Credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

  • The U.S. stream classification tool allows users to select streams that share similar properties and functions to serve as reference sites or ecological case studies. Credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

  • The ORNL-developed site assessment tool, dubbed SMH Explorer, provides a platform to develop small modular hydropower technologies by identifying common physical and environmental characteristics in stream segments across the nation. Credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

  • The U.S. stream classification tool allows users to select streams that share similar properties and functions to serve as reference sites or ecological case studies. Credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Topic: Clean Energy

August 1, 2018 – Oak Ridge National Laboratory has created new tools to better understand the nation’s waterways and identify potential sites to generate hydropower—a domestic renewable energy resource. The tools allow users such as scientists, resource agencies and industry to access information about the natural features and ecological characteristics of streams and to assess potential sites to install low-cost, small-footprint hydropower technologies. “The stream classification tool gives stakeholders shared insights into the essential nature of millions of American streams,” said Brennan Smith, manager of ORNL’s water power technologies program. “The siting tool simplifies and clarifies site evaluation by matching advanced standardized modular hydropower technology to this essential nature of streams.” Analytics from the stream classification and siting capabilities build on the rich hydropower data generated by the laboratory.