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Selected research projects and programs

Client:

European Commission

Partner:

Link to partner institutions

Background:

The European Training Network RIBES, funded by the European Commission under the EU Horizon 2020 programme Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Network, offers 15 positions for Early Stage Researchers giving the opportunity of being awarded a Doctoral Degree at various European institutes. In the interdisciplinary field of ecohydraulics, the phD students research and develop innovative solutions for the protection of freshwater fish and river continuity restoration in anthropologically modified streams. A European consortium of universities, research institutions and companies in Italy, Sweden, Germany, UK, Estonia and Belgium in an excellent scientific environment with state-of-the-art technologies is going to host the students. They will have access to a number of laboratory and field facilities, modelling techniques, experimental practices and instrumental technologies, to expand current understanding of fish bio-mechanical, behavioural and physiological processes, and to promote development of novel tools and management solutions in the area of freshwater fish protection, ameliorating passage of migratory fish species in regulated rivers.
Here you'll find a link to the program.
Recruitment is open until 31.05.2020

Description:

Within the RIBES program sje Ecohydraulic engineering will focus on the data analysis and the evaluation of fish migratory paths. The project will focus on new methodologies for the analysis of fish tracking data. The main objectives are to evaluate standardized fish telemetry data, to improve spatial and temporal analysis of fish migration and to analyze fish behavior in the environment of fish barriers.

Services:

RIBES logo

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Client:

Federal Ministry of Education and Research Germany (BMBF)

Partner:

Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg, IGF Jena, TU Dresden

Background:

Hydropower, the oldest renewable source of energy is still continuously expanded worldwide and covers approx. 17% of global power production. Due to the historical development there are countless locations of small to large run-of-river power plants, which negatively affect the migration corridors of fish. To develop new, fish-friendly technologies and to prove that official, regulatory damage rates are not exceeded, animal experiments with live fish are unavoidable. Main objective of the project is to reduce fish experiments for the evaluation of fish injuries during turbine passage and downstream corridors and supplement or, as far as possible, replace them by semi-autonomous robot systems and numerical modeling. These robot fish systems are equipped with pressure and inertial sensors to determine threshold values and physical factors for injuries and mortality due to downstream passage. For this purpose, a research association was founded, which combines all necessary competences in the fields of biology, ethohydraulics, hydraulic engineering, fluid mechanics, microelectronics and information technology. Within the project a new replacement method will be developed, tested and validated, which will reduce animal experiments with live fish in turbines. The long-term goal is to completely abandon experiments with live fish.
Here you'll find a link to the project.

Description:

Sje Ecohydraulic Engineering GmbH is developing a prognosis model using an ethohydraulic analysis of the obtained measurement and simulation data. This model should allow to prognose fish injury rates during turbine passage and should be used in future studies to investigate turbine passability. It is designed to evaluate existing plants as well as to develop ecologically optimized operation methods or to present suitable measures for reduced fish injury rates.

Services:

During turbine passage injured eel









Documentary about RETERO from German TV-Channel 3sat.

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Client:

European Union

Partner:

Link to all partner institutions

Background:

Hydropower is one of the main pillars of power generation with renewable energies. However, the construction and operation of hydropower plants (HPP) have a significant impact on the ecology of our flowing waters. With FIThydro the provision of decision support tools are developed, that grant commissioning and operation of environmental friendly HPP. In an interdisciplinary approach, which integrates all disciplines related to hydropower, the following objectives are pursued. - Assessment of response and resilience of fish populations in HPP affected rivers - Environmental impact assessment and species protection - Improving fish and fisheries impact mitigation strategies using conventional and innovative cost-efficient measures - Enhancing methods, models and tools to cope EU obligation - Identify bottlenecks of HPP and derivation of cost-effective mitigation strategies - Development of a risk-based decision support system for planning, commissioning and operation of HPP - Strengthening problem awareness and objectivity of politics, NGOs and public
Here you'll find a link to the program.

Description:

Within the FIThydro project Sje Ecohydraulic Engineering is researching the endangerment of fish due to hydropeaking operation of HPP, the upstream migration of fish and in particular the findability of fishways as well as fish injuries during turbine passage. Downstream of an HPP at the river Iller (GER) a fish telemetry system was installed and fish were tagged with sensors. With the telemetry system it is possible to track, record and analyze individual fish paths in the study area. With the fish data evaluation, hydrodynamic-numerical modeling, habitat modeling, laboratory and field investigations upstream migration in fishways is researched. Additionally, our partner Tallinn University of Technology developed a fish sensor device, which measures and records the main forces fish are exposed to in fishways. After first laboratory tests, the measurement device was tested by SJE in two HPP. Furthermore, field campaigns using dummy fish with pressure and acceleration sensors were carried out in various HPP to investigate the stresses and strains fish are exposed to. SJE was especially involved in the data evaluation.

Services:

Tagging of fish



Study area and setup of the fish telemetry system



Field measurements with the developed fish probe

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Client:

German Federal Environmental Foundation

Partner:

TU Darmstadt, HYDRA, TTU Tallinn

Background:

The river continuity is an essential characteristic for a good ecological status of our running waters. Technical specifications for upstream migration facilities already exist. To evaluate and design fish protection and fish downstream migration facilities, these kind of technical specifications are still largely missing. At present, this means, that fish are often injured when they are migrating downstream. Within the project MEMO a measuring probe, suitable for field campaigns, should be developed, that allows to evaluate and optimize fish protection and bypass facilities. Based on this, the habitat model CASiMiR should be developed to simulate the guiding effect of flow in front of inlet racks in the direction of the bypass channel.
Here you'll find information about the project at TU Darmstadt.

Description:

The habitat model CASiMiR is extended for a fish-ecological assessment of existing or planned hydropower plants (HPP). For this purpose, on the one hand, the signatures measured with the probe in existing HPP are to be evaluated and the functionality of bypass systems derived. On the other hand, the input variables (hydraulic calculations) used so far at existing and planned HPP shall be supplemented by further parameters. With this information preferred fish movement paths shall be derived. The resulting prognosis tool for expected fish reaction is based on a combination of hydraulic calculations and ethohydraulic signatures, which intersect flow and pressure parameters and are partly modelled and partly derived from probe measurements. In both cases it is planned, to model fish reactions with an agent-based model. The fish agents decide where to move based on their environment (flow, pressure, spatial constellations), taking probabilities and random factors into account.

Services:

Concept of the new fish sensor

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Client:

TIWAG-Tiroler Wasserkraft AG, Innsbruck, Austria

Background:

Fishes possess a lateral line system consisting of body-oriented neuromasts, which are sensitive to fluctuating spatial gradients of the velocity and pressure fields. Current studies of fish behaviour and hydrodynamics rely on point measurements of the flow field, and as such cannot account for the fluid-body interactions experience by the aquatic organism. In order to provide a closer look at these interactions, a bioinspired, fish-shaped lateral line probe has been developed, calibrated and tested under laboratory conditions. Vertical slot fishways represent the most common class of hydraulic fish pass structures. The objective of this project was to test the developed probe in vertical slot fishways.

Descripton:

The goal of this project was to apply the mentioned fish-shaped probe for the first time in three fish migration facilities, i.e. vertical slot fishways, to capture innatura hydrodynamic signatures in the slots and across the pools. It could be determined that standard signatures in the slots could be found, characterizing the pools of the fishways. Those signatures could be compared to individual slot measurements to determine if the flow conditions were uniform and to detect outliers, in reference to the guidelines from the Austrian Water and Waste Management Association.
A publication about the project can be found here.

Services:





Developed robofish and measured hydrodynamic signature (bottom)=

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Client:

TIWAG-Tiroler Wasserkraft AG, Innsbruck, Austria

Background:

In the context of connectivity of rivers, upstream and downstream migration of fish are fundamental aspects. Transverse structures could interrupt downstream migration by allowing only a small proportion of aquatic species to pass. The scientific knowledge and appropriate technical facilities for downstream migration are not as developed as the ones for upstream migration. It is state of the art to install physical barriers in front of the power plant inlet, to prevent the entering of debris and fishes into the turbines. Therefore it is important to study the hydraulic conditions in front of the grills to analyze the behavior of the approaching fishes and the dependence on the hydraulic flow.

Descripton:

Although it is well-known, that turbulence of flow influences the swimming behaviour and the hydraulic preferences of fish, there is no device to measure turbulence adequately in the field. This is one of the first projects to develop and apply a hydraulic measuring device, inspired by biology, oriented at the pressure sensitive lateral line. The combination of explicit locally, temporally averaged flow velocities measured by ADCP and the pressure variations measured by a pressure box provides a way to describe the complex, dynamic hydraulic conditions experienced by fish, at the inlet of hydropower plants.

Services:





Developed sensor (top), measured signature (middle) and probed hydropower plant Kirchbichl (bottom)

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Client:

Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT), Karlsruhe, Germany

Background:

Within the scope of a research project the impacts of climate change on the floodplain Rastatter Rheinaue were investigated and aimed at an interdisciplinary development of adaption strategies to its long-term preservation. Based on a hydrodynamic-numerical model, the floodplain succession model CASiMiR-Vegetation was used, investigating the initial situation as well as different potential scenarios. Those scenarios vary in their discharge development during the next decades and the resultant calculated discharges. On the other hand the geometry of the floodplain topography and the management of flood culverts had to be implemented into the different scenarios.

Descripton:

In this project SJE set up a hydrodynamic-numerical model of the river reach. In order to reproduce the geometry of the river bed, the riparian forelands and particularly the dike correctly, break lines were set manually, while setting up the mesh. Further topographic features were identified during location inspection and implemented into the model. The hydrodynamic-numerical model was calibrated for 6 different flood events (HQ 1 – HQ 100).The following figure (bottom) shows the flowchart of the module CASiMiR-Vegetation.

Services:

Overview of the reach and modeling grid

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