New solutions for Fish Migration

Published: 1 October 2014

In a research project led by Luleå University of Technology fish migration straight across a hydroelectric turbine is going to be studied. Skellefteå Kraft is about to install a new type of turbine in Rickleån in Robertsfors and that's where the researchers is going to study fish migration. It's a brand new way in which the fish headed downstream will pass straight over the turbine.

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- The turbine Skellefteå Kraft has chosen to install, invites us to do this in a new way. This is done by simply letting smolt (juvenile salmon) that migrate downstream pass over the turbines insted of  passing through, said Professor Staffan Lundström at Luleå University of Technology who leads the research.

The project as a whole is to find a good solution for the hydroelectric power plant that is financially sustainable and acceptable to the environment and fish migration is the main focus for the researchers. Skellefteå Kraft and several other power companies as well as Luleå University of Technology in collaboration with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences are included in the project. By the choice of turbine-generator, a compact solution that does not require oils and fats, fish migration is made possible in a new way. By a new type of hatch that is kept open during the fish migration the juvenile salmon is spared since they do not need to pass through the turbine as in conventional solutions.

More types of fish and more energy

- We also plan to look at the same solution for eels, but it will be a theoretical study since there are no eels in Rickleån says Staffan Lundström.

Bruksfors is the name of the current power station in Robertsfors. The scientists have found a working simulation model of the flow conditions in the power station, which they also hope to use for eels. The idea in a real test situation is to implement a ground mounted structure to divert eels past the inlet of a turbine-generator at locations in the country with small hydropower where eels occur. By that you can optimize the solution with the turbine-generator under study in Bruksfors.

The research will last for five years and are funded by the The Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, the Swedish Energy Agency and through the project StandUp for Energy. It is supposed to perform studies with real fish in real enviroment and if the solution works well, there is much to gain from it.

- Then you can in a different way improve the small-scale hydroelectric power that exist and develop it. You get a better passage of different types of fish and you can take out more energy, says Staffan Lundström.

Staffan Lundström

Staffan Lundström, Professor and Head of Subject, Chaired Professor

Phone: +46 (0)920 492392
Organisation: Fluid Mechanics, Fluid and Experimental Mechanics, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics