Natel hydraulic test facility.

Work with our experienced engineers to design and test FishSafe hydropower plants.

What we offer

We conduct hydraulic performance and fish passage modeling and testing using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations and physical scale models in our closed loop test facility. We leverage these tools and our expert analysis to create new FishSafe designs and to improve performance and fish safety at existing hydro plants.

We deliver FishSafe™ engineering services for your project needs.

Our engineers are experts in FishSafe™ turbine design, modeling, and testing and in the operation of unique experimental facilities for assessment of hydraulic performance and fish passage. We have a decade of experience designing, building and testing scale model turbines, and we operate a world-class hydraulic test facility, which can be used for IEC 60193 performance testing and for passage testing of various species of fish through specially-designed turbine runners. Our fish holding facility supports multiple species for long-duration observation before and after testing within a Recirculating Aquaculture System.

CFD modeling of RHT runnerAlex fits an RHT runner onto the turbine shaft.
Restoration Hydro Turbine

FishSafe™️ Runner Upgrade Feasibility Study

We work with clients to evaluate the feasibility of retrofitting dams and upgrading existing hydro plants with FishSafe™️ Restoration Hydro Turbine (RHT) runner designs. Working within parameters dictated by the project needs, including turbine performance and fish survival targets, this service includes the development and analysis of preliminary RHT designs, meetings with clients to discuss results, and a short report summarizing results. Our goal is to make high-performance, FishSafe™ refurbishments and upgrades as simple as possible.

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Abe Schneider designs and analyzes RHTsNatel's closed loop hydraulic test facility
Restoration Hydro Turbine

Complete Site-Specific FishSafe™️ Hydraulic Design

Beyond the runner feasibility studies, we can also construct a model of your existing water passageway(s) in order to analyze the hydraulic performance and fish safety of your whole hydroelectric site. As part of this service, would also analyze performance of your specific site with a suitable FishSafe™ RHT runner design installed.

Hydraulic performance analysis includes assessing for cavitation as well as for hydraulic efficiency at rated and part flow. Assessing fish passage safety involves using proprietary survival models which link CFD results to real-world laboratory dose-response data of fish survival.

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Natel's closed loop hydraulic test facility with parts labeledNatel's closed loop hydraulic test facility
Restoration Hydro Turbine

Scale Model Performance Testing

We offer scale model performance and fish passage testing to compliment our CFD modeling and analysis. We conduct testing at our headquarters in Alameda, California, where our unique test laboratory consists of a 20,000 gallon closed loop system that continuously delivers up to 35 cfs of flow and simulates up to 40 meters (130 feet) of net head.

Using this system we can conduct homologous scale model performance, loads, and cavitation testing to the IEC 60193 standard as well as fish passage testing of species of interest at representative relative size, runner characteristics, and strike speed.

We combine physical results from scale model testing with analytical and CFD strike survival estimation tools to extrapolate full-scale design performance.

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Miles enjoying fish testing.
Simone and Sterling inspecting fish
Willa laughing near fish injector
Miguel and Sterling fish nets