These are the slides from a PowerPoint presentation by USACE Hydro Design Center (HDC) to Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) Hydro Optimization Team (HOT) on 3 March, 2006 reporting on the field testing of my Index Test Box (ITB) at McNary and Ice harbor Dams.  This first slide reports on the testing at McNary Dam on 14-16 December, 2005. This initial “proof of concept” test showed that the ITB performed as designed, but also found a few software bugs that needed to be fixed before a completely satisfactory outcome was achieved:


This second slide reports on the testing at Ice Harbor Dam in February, 2006. This second “proof of concept” test showed that the ITB performed as advertised again, and this time the software bugs had been corrected. It went on to state that the test “Results [were] virtually identical to those obtained using COE data acq system” and that my ITB was ‘Ready for “unattended, automated” data collection’. Applicability for use with Francis type hydroelectric turbines was also indicated.


This third slide tells of upcoming plans to acquire additional ITBs for testing at Dworshak dam and provides detail about the planned testing.


This fourth slide speaks of the Winter Kennedy tap pressure transducer cart with automatic flushing system and foretells of planned testing in the Walla Wall District and the Portland & Seattle Districts.


HDC engineers also asked Actuation Test Equipment Company design and built this pressure transducer cart to work with the ITB. They were offered USACE for $13,000 each. It has been said that instead of buying these ITB accessories from ATECo  USACE reverse-engineered this design and hired a local contractor in Portland, Oregon to mass produce these pressure transducer carts for a much higher price.


When a salesman for a hydro efficiency measurement company saw this picture during a sales meeting, he said there were many carts like this in USACE powerplants, and asked how many I had sold to the Corps. The answer was, "None."

This report by USACE presented to Southwest Power Administration (SWPA) explains how their Gate Blade Optimizer (which is is a renamed Index Test Box) is planned to fit into an overall powerplant optimization scheme.

2011-06-16_Hydro_Optimization_on_the Columbia (Allen)