Hydropower provides over 6% of the United States’ electricity, mostly from large hydroelectric dams. Most of these large dams will soon need to be relicensed. This includes evaluating and often reducing a dam’s environmental impact.
One of the evaluations examines how well fish are able to withstand passage through the dam. ATS now offers a solution for dam owner/operators to help provide data needed to make that evaluation: the Sensor Fish.
The Sensor Fish is a small autonomous device that analyzes the physical conditions fish experience as they pass through dams and other hydro structures. This synthetic “fish” is helping existing hydroelectric dams, and new, smaller hydro facilities become more fish-friendly. The measurements derived from Sensor Fish can improve the environmental performance of hydropower.
The Sensor Fish was designed at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and it's design has been licensed to ATS, Inc. A paper authored by PNNL researchers provides complete details of the Sensor Fish and its
- Hydro turbines such as Kaplan, Francis, and gravitation water vortex turbines
- Small hydropower, pumped storage hydroelectric facilities
- Spillways, irrigation structures, and pumping stations
- Gyroscope, to measure stresses place on small fish
Length: 90 mm (3.5 in.)
Diameter: 25 mm (1.0 in.)
Weight: 43 gr (1.5 oz.)
Example of the pressure, acceleration, and rotational velocity data collected by the Sensor Fish device during passage through a Kaplan turbine.
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