Ecohydraulics Competition

Competition Date:
March 13, 2020

Competition Location:
Hydraulics Lab

Competition Schedule:
Ecohydraulics Schedule

Technical Paper – February 22, 2020
Technical Paper Submission Form

Ecohydraulics Competition Rules
*Revised 1/27/20* Ecohydraulic Competition Rules


Q: May the anchor be made in any shape I want as long as it does not exceed a volume of 30cmx30cmx5cm?
A: The anchor may be any design or material of your choosing, however (per section 4.c of the competition rules) it should rest on the bed of the flume, therefore a suction or adhesive device would not meet the design qualifications. The submerged weight of the anchor would represent the resisting forces that would have been provided by roots.

Q: Can the “anchor” have any shape we want?
A: The anchor may be any shape/design your team decides.

Q: How many seedlings do we need to make?
A: Each team may only use one seedling for competition use.

Q: Do we have to get real seedlings or do we construct them with any material that we desire?
A: Seedlings must be constructed from any material.

Q: Can the seedlings also have any shape we desire?
A: The seedlings may also be any shape/design your team decides. We encourage teams to use inspiration from aquatic plants in their designs for both the anchor and seedlings.

Q: Do we just make a bunch of seedlings attached to the same anchor or does every seedling have its own anchor? 
A: As outlined in section 4 of the rules, the seedling used for the competition will consist of a stem connected to an anchor (representing flow resistance by plant roots) and connected to no fewer than 12 leaves.

Q: For the Ecohydraulics Competition, I am wondering about the difference in the testing environment versus the natural environment that the anchor is supposed to be useful in.  The glass flume and a natural environment with substrate could call for different design properties for anchoring the system.  I assume other schools would not just create an anchor with a suction on the bottom that would stick to the glass.  However, there may be other things, less obvious, that will not slide across the glass, but will do nothing to anchor the plant in a realistic situation.  I’m interested in creating something that could actually be applied to the situation, so if the discrepancy in the testing and actual environments could be made clearer I’d greatly appreciate it.
A: You are correct, the morphology of the anchoring system one would find in the natural environment (e.g. roots) will be very different from what this competition asks for, which is simply a weight that rests on the bottom of the flume. You will have to use the submerged weight to represent the resisting forces that would have been provided by roots. A suction or adhesive device would not meet qualifications, as this would not rest on the bottom. However, you are correct, different materials that rest on the bottom may provide variable friction components that would resist translational motion, albeit differently than a real plant would. You can perhaps look to other portions of the plant’s morphology to apply nature-based design.

Q: When testing the seedling, will there be any objects in the flume? For example, gravels, plants, logs..etc.
A: No.

Q: Will we be given a practice round of the seedling? 
A: Teams will not be given a practice round.

Q: Where will the water be flowing from? The bottom of the flume, middle, top, on the right side?
A: The water flows from one side of the flume (at the starting line side) to the other.

Q: Will there be water already in the flume? If so, how high is the starting water level?
A: As stated in Section 5 of the rules, the flume will be filled to a depth of 25 cm.

Q: If the total wet mass is over 35 grams, what will happen? 

A: The total mass of the seedling should not exceed 35 grams. Teams will weigh their seedling before the testing begins to ensure it meets this requirement.

Q: If the design breaks during testing, will the team be DQ?
A: If a part of the seedling breaks off during testing and is transported 5 cm from the starting line, the official transport flow will be recorded. 

Q: Is the bottom of the flume completely smooth or is it somewhat rough?
A: The bottom of the flume will be smooth.

Q: Are the only two calculations to be done the minimum flow and mean velocity?
A: Yes.

Q: Will those two calculations be done exclusively by the competition teams?
A: Yes, teams will be responsible for completing the result statement from Section 5.4. The statement will be confirmed for accuracy by the judges. 

Q: Will the water be held at a constant 30 cm, or will it increase with the increasing flow rate?  
A: The flow rate will increase at 30 second intervals. It can be assumed that the height of the water will rise as more water flows through the flume. 

Q: Do petals count as leaves?
A: Yes.

Q: Are any materials allowed?
A: Yes.

Q: Does the plant need to be identical to the inspiring plant or can we change the colors, shapes, etc. of leaves/petals?
A: Creativity in material selection and configuration is encouraged, though evidence of nature-based design is also considered. 
Q: What is the beginning rate of flow in the flume?
A: 0 cm/s. The flow will start after the team places their seedling at the starting point.

Q: What are the intervals of flow? 5m^3/s every 30 seconds? 10m^3/s?
A: TBD. The flow will slowly increase every 30 seconds.

Q: Does the plant need to start in the centerline of the anchor?
A: The stem of the seedling will be attached to the anchor. The configuration is decided by your team.

Q: Can there be multiple stems attached to the anchor, or just one?
A: There should be one stem connected to the anchor. 

Q: Will the flume diameter be provided to us before the competition, or will we have to measure it the day of the testing?
A: The flume dimensions will be provided at the time of the competition to make the necessary calculations.