US Army Corps of Engineers
Walla Walla District Website

News Releases by Month

September 2020 (5)
August 2020 (5)
July 2020 (9)
June 2020 (5)
May 2020 (6)
April 2020 (3)
March 2020 (9)
February 2020 (7)
January 2020 (2)
December 2019 (4)
November 2019 (5)
October 2019 (2)
September 2019 (5)
August 2019 (8)
July 2019 (13)
June 2019 (12)
May 2019 (21)
April 2019 (18)
March 2019 (8)
February 2019 (13)
January 2019 (6)
December 2018 (4)
November 2018 (5)
October 2018 (7)
September 2018 (15)
August 2018 (18)
July 2018 (15)
June 2018 (13)
May 2018 (14)
April 2018 (10)
March 2018 (10)
February 2018 (14)
January 2018 (4)
December 2017 (4)
November 2017 (8)
October 2017 (4)
September 2017 (10)
August 2017 (14)
July 2017 (5)
June 2017 (9)
May 2017 (15)
April 2017 (12)
March 2017 (26)
February 2017 (6)
January 2017 (12)
December 2016 (12)
November 2016 (6)
October 2016 (6)
September 2016 (8)
August 2016 (9)
July 2016 (8)
June 2016 (16)
May 2016 (10)
April 2016 (8)
March 2016 (7)
February 2016 (6)
January 2016 (1)
December 2015 (1)
November 2015 (5)
October 2015 (5)
September 2015 (12)
August 2015 (8)
July 2015 (6)
June 2015 (8)
May 2015 (5)
April 2015 (4)
March 2015 (9)
February 2015 (8)
January 2015 (7)
December 2014 (4)
November 2014 (11)
October 2014 (5)
September 2014 (12)
August 2014 (10)
July 2014 (9)
June 2014 (6)
May 2014 (12)
April 2014 (6)
March 2014 (10)
February 2014 (9)
January 2014 (3)
December 2013 (3)
November 2013 (4)
October 2013 (6)
September 2013 (7)
August 2013 (5)
July 2013 (8)
June 2013 (4)
May 2013 (13)
April 2013 (5)
March 2013 (8)
February 2013 (9)
January 2013 (5)
December 2012 (6)
November 2012 (8)
October 2012 (7)
September 2012 (8)
August 2012 (6)
July 2012 (8)
June 2012 (14)
May 2012 (16)
April 2012 (13)
March 2012 (12)
February 2012 (8)
January 2012 (3)
December 2011 (6)
November 2011 (7)
October 2011 (13)
September 2011 (14)
August 2011 (11)
July 2011 (11)
June 2011 (35)
May 2011 (21)
April 2011 (11)
March 2011 (9)
February 2011 (20)
January 2011 (7)

20-002 Carbon free hydropower turbines surpasses power expectations and biological tests show improved fish passage

Published Jan. 24, 2020
turbine

Burbank, WA. Ice Harbor Dam personnel installed an advanced technology turbine, the first of its kind, on June 8, 2018. This fixed blade turbine runner was designed by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers personnel and Voith for power efficiency and to optimize the safety of fish navigating through Snake River dams.

turbine

Burbank, WA. Ice Harbor Dam personnel installed an advanced technology turbine, the first of its kind, on June 8, 2018. This fixed blade turbine runner was designed by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers personnel and Voith for power efficiency and to optimize the safety of fish navigating through Snake River dams.

turbine

Burbank, WA. Ice Harbor Dam personnel installed an advanced technology turbine, the first of its kind, on June 8, 2018. This fixed blade turbine runner was designed by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers personnel and Voith for power efficiency and to optimize the safety of fish navigating through Snake River dams.

BURBANK, Wash. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Walla Walla District’s (Corps) new fixed blade hydroelectric turbine increases energy efficiency and recently concluded fish survival testing shows improved fish passage survival. 

The Corps’ newly designed turbine at Ice Harbor Lock and Dam, in southeast Washington on the Snake River is the first of its kind specifically designed for safer fish passage. It also increases turbine efficiency by 4%, which will benefit electricity distributors and consumers.

Survival tests were conducted on the new hydroelectric turbine resulting in high direct survival of juvenile salmonids migrating downstream through Unit 2.  Corps Biologist Brad Trumbo said “the survival of balloon tagged juvenile Chinook salmon across the turbine unit operating range was 98.25%.” 

In addition to biological testing, the independent lab Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) developed “sensor fish” packed with miniature data collection and released through the turbine to measure pressure and acceleration data, which indicated significant improvement in flow conditions through the turbine passage route, meeting the key design criteria for improved fish passage survival. 

The Walla Walla District in collaboration with the Hydroelectric Design Center and the Engineering Research and Design Center, developed a revolutionary new turbine design process.  This design process combined the Corps’ fish passage design and modeling expertise with Voith Hydro Inc.’s prowess in hydroelectric turbine manufacturing. This collaboration resulted in significant design innovations that streamlined flow conditions through the turbines improving the environment for fish passage.

“Significant reductions in strike, exposure to shear, turbulence and low pressure zones, coupled with the high direct survival numbers put the turbine passage route at the same level or better than spillway passage” said Corps Hydraulic Engineer, Martin Ahmann, the project Technical Lead.

“The direct survival results and efficiency improvements of this unit exceed expectations and open the door for further testing and potential rebalancing of operations at the project, improving total project survival and maximizing the stewardship of this precious resource in the Pacific Northwest,” said Corps Hydraulics and Hydrology Branch Chief, Shawn Nelson.

The Unit 3 turbine installation is currently underway and scheduled to be completed in 2021, followed by Unit 1 turbine installation scheduled to be completed in late 2023. Last year the Corps awarded a contract and efforts are underway for a similar turbine design and replacement process for all 14 turbines at McNary Lock and Dam on the Columbia River.

 


Contact
CENWW-PA
509-527-7020
cenww-pa@usace.army.mil

Release no. 20-002