Analysis of Fish Passage and Fish Screen Technology

Fish Screen
Velocity Measurements
Retaining
Drain
Water Flushing
Open Gutter
Fish Screen
Velocity Measurements
Retaining
Drain
Water Flushing
Open Gutter
Project Info: 

Run-of-river hydroelectric projects continue to be a renewable energy alternative to the major impoundment hydroelectric projects.  However there are still great challenges permitting and designing these systems.  One of the most challenging components of the run of river project is the bulk water intake system.  These systems need to be able to perform under a wide range of hydraulic loadings, continuously protect and exclude aquatic species,  and manage large quantities of debris and sediment. Throughout the years many different systems have been developed, some successful, and others not so successful. 

What We Did:

Our engineering staff set out to answer the question; What is the best fish exclusion system for a run-of-river hydroelectric project?  To accomplish this we spent countless hours researching literature, interviewing operators, attending seminars, interviewing peers, developing hydraulic models, and visiting dozens of existing screen sites.  Screen technology evaluated included Vertical Traveling Screens, Horizontal Traveling Screens, Overshot Horizontal Flat Plate Fish Screens, Drum Screens, and Paddle Wheel Screens.  

Primary Issues:

  • Safe Fish Passage
  • State & Federal Compliance
  • Capital Costs
  • Operation and Maintenance Costs
  • Site Constraints
  • Flow Management
  • Debris Management

After evaluating these technologies we determined there is not one system that works for every situation.  Some systems are preferable over others depending on factors such as water availability, available head, available space, quantity & type of debris, aquatic species, etc.  

What We Do:

  • Consult with the owner to develop the scope of work necessary to complete the project 
  • Develop the civil and structural engineering construction documents
  • Select the appropriate screen technology
  • Collaborate with expert product vendors 
  • Work directly with environmental restoration experts 
  • Design consultation through the permitting process