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PNNL helping make hydropower cheaper, more fish-friendly

Lab to evaluate Whooshh Fish Transport System, a.k.a. Salmon Cannon™

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August 18, 2016 Share This!

  • A pink salmon swims into the Whooshh Fish Transportation System on the White River in Washington state.
    Courtesy of Whooshh Innovations

  • The Whooshh Fish Transportation System is demonstrated at Priest Rapids Dam in Washington state.
    Courtesy of Whooshh Innovations

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RICHLAND, Wash. — Enabling fish to migrate past dams could cost a fraction of conventional fish ladders with the help of a new study of the so-called Salmon Cannon, which transports fish through a flexible tube that works by creating a small difference in pressure across fish. The pressure difference helps gently move fish through the tube.

The Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will evaluate Seattle-based Whooshh Innovations' technology, officially known as the Whooshh Fish Transport System, with a $300,000 grant from DOE's Small Business Vouchers Pilot. The company will provide PNNL an additional $60,000 in in-kind support for the study.

PNNL fisheries biologist Alison Colotelo and her colleagues will compare the performance of the Whooshh system and fish ladders to move Pacific Coast salmon around barriers in the Columbia River. The results could help the technology obtain federal approval to transport Endangered Species Act-listed Pacific salmon around dams.

This is the fourth project PNNL has been awarded under Small Business Vouchers, which enables small clean energy firms receive technology assistance from DOE's national laboratory system. PNNL is among five national labs leading the pilot and is specifically supporting small businesses in three areas: bioenergy, water power and buildings.

See today's DOE announcement for more information on the Small Business Vouchers program. The full list of all 43 of the winning projects announced today is available on the Small Business Vouchers Pilot website.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will build on earlier research to evaluate the performance of Whooshh Innovation's so-called Salmon Cannon, which transports fish through a flexible, pressurized tube.

Tags: Energy, Environment, Fundamental Science, Hydropower, Green Energy, Biology, Fish

PNNL LogoInterdisciplinary teams at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory address many of America's most pressing issues in energy, the environment and national security through advances in basic and applied science. Founded in 1965, PNNL employs 4,400 staff and has an annual budget of nearly $1 billion. It is managed by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. As the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information on PNNL, visit the PNNL News Center, or follow PNNL on Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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