I am trying to determine the sites for small hydropower. I have a elevation dem, rainfall data, Curve number data (from soil and landuse shapefiles). I have already used the DEM to fill sinks, find flow direction and accumulation...up to the creation of catchment polygons and slope. I am stuck here. Is there a way to use this to generate points for potential sites?

  • 2
    You might need to define criteria for such sites first? – Martin Mar 8 '14 at 21:43
  • I think your Question could benefit from providing more details of the precise steps that you have performed, and details about what goes astray when you reach "creation of catchment polygons and slope". – PolyGeo Mar 8 '14 at 23:26

This sounds like a fairly routine site suitability analysis. You can generate best suited locations anywhere, provided you establish criteria. Things like "must be in an area of less than 10% slope," "must achieve x level of flow accumulation," "must be within x distance of a highway," etc., can enrich the analysis and help you arrive at a final answer that you can defend. If this is a project for a client, I recommend talking to them and/or the engineer to figure out what works best for them.

Using other tools such as reclassify, zonal statistics, euclidean distance/cost distance, etc., you can establish what is a "good" location and what is a "bad" location. You can use raster calculator to weight variables, giving higher priority to what is considered more important. Ultimately, you'll want to establish a way of combining these variables together in a single scale (usually from 1-10, with 10 being the best). From there, you could select locations from the areas of highest suitability.

Take a look at some of these site suitability discussions and overviews:

http://web.mit.edu/11.520/www/recitation/rec3_site_suitability.pdf http://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/2011/07/01/locating-a-park-through-suitability-analysis/ http://resources.arcgis.com/en/help/main/10.1/index.html#//00nt00000008000000 http://www4.ncsu.edu/~wray2/Siteselection.html

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