Mechatronics students visit historic Stave Falls Powerhouse

March 25, 2014

Earlier this month 60 undergraduate Mechatronic Systems Engineering students took a trip to one of Canada’s National Historic Sites, the Stave Falls Dam and Powerhouse in Stave Falls, B.C. Majid Bahrami’s MSE 223 (Introduction to Fluid Mechanics) class spent the day exploring the former Fraser Valley hydro power plant, which was once British Columbia’s largest hydroelectric power source.

The visitors’ centre features interactive games and historic displays relaying the story of how hydroelectric development has shaped B.C. Construction of the power plant began in 1909 and was completed in 1912, followed by the addition of the Alouette and Ruskin components in the late 1920s. The Stave Falls Powerhouse, along with the Alouette and Ruskin powerhouses, still function today to provide hydroelectricity for the Lower Mainland, using water from Alouette Lake.

On the field trip, students covered course topics such as hydrostatics, hydroelectric turbines and fundamental concepts in fluid mechanics. The field trip also provided an opportunity for students to learn about renewable and non-renewable resources, hydroelectric generation, human and natural heritage, and conservation.