In situ characterization of the biological performance of a Francis retrofitted with a modular guide vane

There are two strategies to lower overall project costs to an extent that will make many potential sustainable hydropower sites economically viable: (1) design standardized/modular components; (2) use advanced tools to reduce environmental evaluation costs. In this study an autonomous sensor device (Sensor Fish) was used to study a Francis turbine retrofitted with a modular guide vane. The median nadir pressures measured were 74.7, 66.6, and 56.6 kPaA for 90-, 190-, and 380-kW operating conditions respectively. These nadir pressures were compared to other Francis turbines studied using Sensor Fish and were found to be within the same range. The proportion of Sensor Fish releases with severe acceleration events (acceleration ≥ 95G) was also investigated. The proportion ranged from 73 to 80% (runner region), 50 to 64% (guide vane region), and 9 to 28% (draft tube region), which was within the range of the other turbines used for comparison. The Sensor Fish testing that was conducted at Hurley Dam demonstrates that the modular guide vane that was retrofitted to the existing Francis turbine is potentially a suitable replacement that can provide biological performance similar to the guide vane used with other existing Francis turbines, but with the benefit of reduced fabrication costs.

Author: Jayson J. Martinez, Daniel Deng,Robert Mueller, and Scott Titzlera 


Journal: Applied Energy

Funding: U.S. Department of Energy's Water Power Technologies Office

Tool Type
Sensor Fish
Report Type
Journal Article
Applied Energy