Laser Based Flow Measurements to Evaluate Hydraulic Conditions for Migrating Fish and Benthic Fauna

University dissertation from Luleå : Luleå University of Technology

Abstract: Hydropower is one of the main sources for Sweden’s energy, which is clean and renewable. It is a clean energy source because no fuels are burned which does not pollute the air and it is a renewable energy source as it only uses natural water cycle for generating energy. However, hydropower has some consequences in nature, such as creating dams in rivers and changing water flow directions, which alters the natural behaviour of the river. These problems are mostly studied from a biological point of view but more detailed studies are required from a fundamental fluid mechanics point of view. For instance, fish migrates when an ecological imbalance is created and one of the reasons for this imbalance is having dams for hydropower that alter the natural flow of the river. This flow alteration of the river flow has other environmental effects such as flow alteration changes benthic (bottom) structure of the riverbed or stream that affects the fish and invertebrates. Fishes, as well as invertebrates, are adapted for different flows and habitats but flow alteration affects their life cycles. Therefore, flow measurements when the flow is altered due to the hydropower are one of the important issues concerning environmental problems. These flow measurements in the lab scale can increase the understanding of what happens in a river when the flow is altered.            Flow characteristic measurements can provide quantitative information on the velocity distribution in the altered flow. Recent studies suggest that turbulence created due to flow alteration has a major effect on fish migration, for example, attracting fishes to enter fishway. This is why obtaining flow information from well-defined turbulent flows, such as flow past cylindrical objects is one of the prime objectives of work. However, flow alteration due to the dam for hydropower production has a significant environmental effect on the river ecosystem. Lotic species often adapt to prevailing flow conditions; and as a crude example, two species of caddis larvae: Hydropsyche instabilis and Plectrocnemia conspersa respectively are found to thrive on fast and slow-moving water flows. For some instances, changes in river velocity may merely mean the relocation of one species whilst the flourishing of another. Therefore, flow measurement in stones embedded riverbed in lab scale is another important objective of this work.            Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) and Laser Doppler Velocimetry (LDV) have become the most popular and promising techniques for these types of non-contact flow measurements. PIV techniques are used to visualize and measure the flow characteristic in a selected area while LDV techniques are suited for point-based measurement.  The works included in this thesis are reviewing PIV techniques previously used in fish movement related studies, LDV measurements both at upstream (bow wake) and downstream wake of vertical cylindrical obstructions, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations to supplement wake information and PIV measurements over the horizontal semicircular cylinders to explore wall shear stress. Apart from this, flow visualization was also included in this work. The results from all these works can be useful to evaluate hydraulic conditions for migrating fish and benthic fauna.

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