skip to main content


Title: Assessing hydraulic conditions through Francis turbines using an autonomous sensor device

Downstream migratory fish, including some endangered species, can be injured or killed during turbine passage. In this study an autonomous Sensor Fish device was deployed at Arrowrock Dam, Cougar Dam, and Detroit Dam to evaluate the hydraulic conditions and physical stresses that fish experienced when passing through these Francis turbines. Pressure data was used to identify the location of the Sensor Fish and to calculate the nadir pressure and the magnitude and the rate of change in pressure during turbine passage. Acceleration data was used to identify events (collisions or shear) Sensor Fish experienced and to categorize the severity level (severe, medium, and slight) of each event. The results showed that Sensor Fish experienced severe events mostly in the stay vane/wicket gate region and the runner region. In the stay vane/wicket gate region, almost all severe events were collisions. In the runner region, Sensor fish experienced both severe collisions and severe shear events. Sensor Fish data at three wicket gate opening treatments at Cougar Dam indicated that the wicket gate opening of the Francis turbine can affect the hydraulic conditions in the turbine runner region. Fewer Sensor Fish experienced severe collisions in the turbine runner region at the peak efficiencymore » than at the minimum opening and the maximum opening treatments. Comparisons between the Francis turbines at the three dams and the AHT Kaplan turbine at Wanapum Dam showed that higher percentage of Sensor Fish experienced severe events in the runner region when passing through Francis turbines than the AHT Kaplan turbine. The nadir pressures of the Francis turbines were lower than those of the AHT Kaplan turbine at Wanapum Dam. Both the magnitude and the rate of change in pressure were higher in Francis turbines than in the AHT Kaplan turbine at Wanapum Dam in the runner region. This study can be used to guide future laboratory studies of fish passing through Francis turbine and help the design of more fish-friendly turbines for new hydroelectric dams or the rehabilitations of existing dams.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0960-1481; WC0102000
Grant/Contract Number:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Renewable Energy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 99; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0960-1481
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
33 ADVANCED PROPULSION SYSTEMS; 47 OTHER INSTRUMENTATION; Francis turbine; sensor fish; turbine evaluation; fish-friendly turbine; turbine passage; turbine operations
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1314408