The goal of this test was to gather data on how higher tip speeds affect eels passing through an RHT. In this test, we spun the 0.55 m (1.8 ft) diameter test turbine at 980 rpm to produce a tip speed of 63.1 mph.
As established in tests conducted by Alden Lab, there is a direct relationship between the length of a fish that can survive a turbine blade strike and the thickness of the blade that struck the fish. When fish length is similar to blade thickness, fish are slowed (up to 30%), and their bodies conform to the blade shape, pushing them away from the leading edge before impact.
In this test, we used small (106 to 270 mm / 4.2 to 10.6 in) eels with our scale-model test turbine to match the fish length to blade thickness ratio that would be present at a full-scale hydropower site through which full-grown (400-800 mm / 15.7-31.5 in) eel were migrating downstream.