March 3, 2017
Journal Article

Movement and Collision of Lagrangian Particles in Hydro-turbine Intakes: A Case Study


Studies of the stress/survival of migratory fish during downstream passage through operating hydro-turbines are normally conducted to determine the fish-friendliness of units. One field approach consisting of recording extreme hydraulics with autonomous sensors is largely sensitive to the conditions of sensor release and the initial trajectories at the turbine intake. This study applies a modelling strategy based on flow simulations using computational fluid dynamics and Lagrangian particle tracking to represent the travel of live fish and autonomous sensor devices through hydro-turbine intakes. For the flow field calculation, the simulations were conducted with both a time-averaging turbulence model and an eddy-resolving technique. For the particle tracking calculation, different modelling assumptions for turbulence forcing, mass formulation, buoyancy, and release condition were tested. The modelling assumptions are evaluated with respect to data sets collected using a laboratory physical model and an autonomous sensor device deployed at Ice Harbor Dam (Snake River, State of Washington, U.S.A.) at the same discharge and release point as in the present computer simulations. We found an acceptable agreement between the simulated results and observed data and discuss relevant features of Lagrangian particle movement that are critical in turbine design and in the experimental design of field studies.

Revised: February 22, 2020 | Published: March 3, 2017


Romero Gomez P., and M.C. Richmond. 2017. Movement and Collision of Lagrangian Particles in Hydro-turbine Intakes: A Case Study. Journal of Hydraulic Research 55, no. 5:706-720. PNNL-SA-113576. doi:10.1080/00221686.2017.1289258