From the beginning, collecting information about how real fish interact with the Restoration Hydro Turbine has been an integral part of our design process. We’ve performed controlled laboratory and field studies with biologists and engineering partners from Alden Research Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Kleinschmidt Associates to understand the effects of the RHT on migratory fish species across a range of operating conditions.
Read our peer-reviewed study in the Journal of Ecohydraulics examining how turbine blade angle and thickness affect survival rates in rainbow trout:
"Improving Survival: Injury and Mortality of Fish Struck by Blades with Slanted, Blunt Leading Edges."
Read our peer-reviewed study in Transactions of the American Fisheries Society documenting a 100% survival rate for American eel passing through the RHT:
"Safe Passage of American Eel Through A Novel Hydropower Turbine."
Natel’s commitment to design and build the most fish-safe, high-performance, compact turbines in the world places fish and their health at the center of all we do. To learn how to protect fish best, the use of fish in scientific research remains critical to the engineering and development of safe and responsible hydropower.
We take our responsibility for the ethical treatment of fish in our research very seriously and abide by all rules and regulations dictated by the American Fisheries Society’s Guideline for Use of Fishes in Research. Furthermore, we ensure compliance with the National Institutes of Health Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare and their Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care on Use of Laboratory Animals.
At Natel Energy, the humane treatment of all fish used for hydropower turbine testing is vital, both ethically and scientifically. If the fish are not treated well, the research results are not useful since they cannot be replicated, a critical hallmark of the scientific method.
Our researchers are strong advocates of animal welfare and view their work with fish and fish testing as a privilege. All researchers are obligated to ensure the well-being of fish in their care, in strict adherence to the highest standards, and in accordance with federal and state laws, regulatory guidelines and humane principles.