Improving the understanding of eel passage through turbines



Elena-Maria Klopries

Senior scientific staff


+49 241 80 25271




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Biological assessment of a hydropower turbine

When fish swim through the turbines of hydropower plants, injuries may occur due to collisions, large pressure differences, turbulence or shear forces. This can have a negative impact on the population development of fish. Therefore, there are different approaches for protective measures such as rake and bypass systems to protect the fish. The protective effect of these measures is often checked with the help of live animal examinations. For ethical and animal welfare reasons, it is desirable to reduce the number and scope of such live animal tests as much as possible.

Use innovative approaches

In the publication "Improving process understanding of power plant passage of eels through novel approaches", two approaches are presented that can be used to make statements on the biological effects of turbines and protective measures without additional live animal studies. Using the results from various field and laboratory studies on the behaviour of eels at trashracks, it was possible to derive a determination equation for determining the filter effect of trashracks. By means of a hydronumerical 3-D model and the intersection of the results with so-called dose-effect relationships, an approach for calculating the mortality of eels in turbines could be derived. These and other approaches can be continuously developed to further improve their applicability and reduce the need for live animal studies.

Published in:

WasserWirtschaft, Technik - Forschung – Praxis, Ausgabe 12/2020

„Verbesserung des Prozessverständnisses der Kraftwerkspassage von Aalen durch neuartige Ansätze“ by Elena-Maria Klopries and Holger Schüttrumpf, Dezember 2020,