Detailed Field-Test History of ITB 

The prototype ITB was successfully demonstrated in field tests conducted in conjunction with a USACE index test on a 33 MW vertical Kaplan turbine in 1985 at the Clarence Cannon Dam near Monroe, City Missouri. Lee Sheldon P.E., a hydropower specialist at Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) in Portland, Oregon, analyzed these test results.  As a result, Lee initiated a project in 1986 to purchase an ITB from Woodward to demonstrate it at Bonneville Dam, with the hope of persuading USACE to deploy ITBs to every USACE powerplant with Kaplan turbines (113 units) in the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS).  USACE declined this offer, so the demonstration was moved to the vertical Kaplan unit at the Portland General Electric PGE-PHP-2 powerplant in 1987.


In an April 16, 1986 memo Lee Sheldon reported on his evaluation of the ITB’s performance in the 1985 Clarence Cannon test. The analysis and report were undertaken in 1986 while Lee was working at BPA. His conclusion from this analysis was:


Excerpt from Lee Sheldon's 1986 memo reporting on his analysis of ITB performance.

Based on this evaluation, BPA purchased an ITB in 1986 with intent to demonstrate it at the Bonneville Dam. This plan included giving the ITB to USACE after the testing was concluded.  The Corps declined this offer, preferring instead to build their own automatic index-testing instrument. Data from USACE’s automatic index testing instrument was given to Lee Sheldon for analysis in 1990. A copy of Lee’s evaluation memo is as this link. (No further information is available about this instrument, so it is assumed that the effort failed and was abandoned.)


The ITB was taken to Portland General Electric’s (PGE) Portland Hydro Plant (PHP) #2 (or “PGE-PHP-2”) for a demonstration. According to Lee Sheldon (BPA hydropower engineer), Terry Bauman (Woodward Governor controls engineer) and Gary Hackett (Plant engineer at PGE-PHP-2) the Index Test Box worked perfectly at index testing this turbine with good correlation between ITB data results and classical index testing method data results, with greatly reduced manpower requirements.


An excerpt from Lee’s report shows the purpose of the manual index test that was run using the classical methods:


Excerpt from Lee Sheldon's test report of Classic Method index test of PGE-PHP-2

Though possibly biased, Terry Bauman’s conclusion to his ITB test report was very positive:


Excerpt from Terry Bauman's test report of ITB test of PGE-PHP-2.

Gary Hackett’s report conclusion for the ITB demonstration test was more cut-and-dried:

Excerpt from Gary Hackett's test report of ITB test of PGE-PHP-2.