Bristol Harbor Group, Inc. completes tailrace buoy design

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Tail race buoy design

With the fast water warning buoys at the Moses-Saunders Power Dam in Massena, N.Y., reaching the end of their life cycle, the New York Power Authority (NYPA) contracted Bristol Harbor Group, Inc. (BHGI) to provide naval architecture and marine engineering review and analysis of a Canadian Coast Guard buoy design as a possible replacement. This involved looking at whether the internal ballast and mooring would secure the buoy moorings in tailrace waters. buoys had reached the end of their life cycle.

BHGI conducted a site visit at the dam. The purpose was to inspect the tailrace buoys currently installed downstream of the dam and to discuss possible new designs developments, With NYPA’s engineers. BHGI, assisted by NYPA personnel, inspected all of the buoys currently installed while gathering data on field conditions and buoy performance.

BHGI produced a new tailrace buoy design, incorporating details of the Canadian buoy. The new buoy also includes reoriented battery boxes for ease of maintenance; ballast compartments for adjustable trim; a taller tower to fit a larger, more visible warning sign and light; and an enhanced mooring system to assure secure placement and allow the buoy to self-deploy with only existing NYPA small boat support. Computational Fluid Dynamics analyses was conducted on the new design to confirm the desired performance once deployed.

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