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PhD Studentship: Development of integrated horizontal fish screen / bypass / fish pass system

Engineering & the Environment

Location:  Highfield Campus
Closing Date:  Friday 09 March 2018
Reference:  849017F2

Project Reference: CDT-SIS-142

Hydropower with low head differences between 0.5 and 2.5 m is a significant but unused source of renewable energy. Current turbine technology is mostly uneconomical and ecologically questionable under these conditions. Recently, new types of low-head hydropower machinery – improved water wheels and hydrostatic pressure machines – were developed which may allow to redevelop the existing but abandoned hydropower stations, and to develop new hydropower sites.

In order to prevent fish from entering hydropower stations, and to avoid damage to fish, protective screens are installed at the inlets.  These screens are mostly vertical or inclined racks with vertical bars. Such screens have several disadvantages: they must be very narrow to limit the size of fish passing the screen, they accumulate debris and they do not provide larger fish with an alternative route. Recently, a screen arrangement with horizontal bars which is set with an oblique angle to the flow, and which leads into a bypass channel, was suggested as an alternative to vertical bar screens. This screen reduces the size of fish which can pass, and provides an alternative route. In addition, floating debris is also deflected into the bypass channel. Very little is known about the hydraulic characteristics, and optimum geometry of the screen. An arrangement with a bypass channel also suggests, that a fish pass for upstream migration could be integrated. This would create a compact solution for retrofit on existing hydropower stations, where space is often very limited (inner city situations), and where subsequently the provision of a fish pass is very difficult.

In this project, the hydraulic characteristics of horizontal fish screens will be investigated and optimised. The integrated solution, with fish pass will be developed to create an ecologically effective and economic solution for the retrofit of existing (possibly abandoned) hydropower stations. This will allow to redevelop these sites with cost effective, and ecologically acceptable designs.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr Gerald Muller, Water and Environmental Engineering Group. Email: Telephone: 023 8059 2465.

This project is being run in participation with the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Infrastructure Systems:

To apply, please use the following website:

The closing date for this job opportunity has now passed, and applications are no longer being accepted for this position

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