Physical hydraulic modelling is a hands-on, practical approach to developing effective engineering designs and conducting applied hydraulic research. Physical models can be applied to all types of hydraulic analysis but are often key tools for assessing unique and hydraulically complex facilities or settings that stretch the boundaries of empirical and numerical analysis techniques. Through an interactive and collaborative physical modelling approach, our clients actively participate in the design process, which gives them confidence in the future performance of their projects. This up-front collaboration often results in significant construction and operation cost savings, as well as expedited project schedules.

NHC’s physical modelling professionals have assisted clients around the world in developing innovative solutions to complex hydraulic problems. We have earned a reputation for excellence through our work on a broad range of project types throughout North America and around the world, including dams and reservoirs, power generation, water supply and water treatment, municipal infrastructure, river processes, fish passage, natural hazards, and coastal developments.

Our laboratories include fully equipped workshops for model fabrication, electronics and instrumentation shops for development of model control and data acquisition systems, and facilities for velocity probe calibration. Instrumentation includes 1D, 2D, and 3D velocity probes, video-imaging systems for detailed characterization of flow fields, capacitance water-level probes, point gages, laser-scan bed profilers, accelerometers, total dissolved gas (TDG) meters, fluorometers, anemometers, and computer-based data acquisition systems.

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