Downstream migrating fish want to go with the flow, but the conventional approach to fish protection at hydropower plants relies on screening to route fish around turbines through low-flow fishways. This can delay migrations and expose fish to predators. Additionally, many fish still enter turbines where they are subject to traumatic injuries or death. Screened turbines are less effective at protecting fish than fish-safe turbines.
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."
Read our peer-reviewed study in North American Journal of Fisheries Management demonstrating that the RHT, which is designed for fish safety, is an effective way to pass juvenile alosines downstream at hydropower facilities:
"Juvenile Alewife Passage through a Compact Hydropower Turbine Designed for Fish Safety."