AFT Blog

Welcome to the Applied Flow Technology Blog where you will find the latest news and training on how to use AFT Fathom, AFT Arrow, AFT Impulse, AFT xStream and other AFT software products.

Hydropower Big and Small: My Recent Visit to a 5 MW Plant

Pikes Peak in Colorado, USA is often called "America's Mountain" and is the most visited mountain in North America and second most visited in the world. Barr Trail is the 13 mile (20 km) hiking trail that leads from Manitou Springs to the top of Pikes Peak. And right next to the Barr Trail trailhead is the famous 100+ year-old Manitou Hydro Plant.

Famous? Why is this tiny 5.5 MW hydroelectric power plant famous?

And how would a fluid systems engineer like myself compare it to other famous dams like the 14,000 MW Itaipu Dam and the 2,000 MW Hoover Dam?

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The Itaipu Dam vs. the Hoover Dam is No Contest: Itaipu Wins By a Landslide

Unknown to me, a few weeks ago I was sitting across from a Brazilian hydroelectric engineer on an airplane flying across Brazil. His name was Roberto and he did not speak English. I myself was learning the basic Portuguese phrases but that was the extent of my language skills. I was traveling with my son (an engineering student himself) who was spending the southern winter (i.e., northern summer) working in São Paulo, Brazil. My son had learned to speak Portuguese amazingly well and struck up a conversation with Roberto. That was when he found out Roberto was a civil engineer who used to work in hydroelectric power.

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