Vessy Hydropower

Smith-Root designed a tailrace barrier to prevent fish from entering turbines.
  • Location: Geneva, Switzerland
  • Commissioned: 2008
  • Type: Industrial Scale Intake or Tailrace

Project description

Smith-Root was engaged by Services Industriel de Geneva to design an electric barrier to prevent fish from the Arve river entering the Centrale Hydroelectrique de Vessy powerstation tailrace and becoming entrained in the low head turbine draft tubes.

The seven steel flat bar electrodes are sidewall and bottom mounted into an Insulcrete™ liner. Smith-Root’s 1.5kVA-POW European Union-certified pulsators provide the electric field. Construction was contracted by the owner from the Smith-Root drawings.

Independent testing using tagged fish verified the effectiveness of the system.

Services provided

  • Coordination with Services Industriel de Geneva
    Civil and structural design of barriers
    Electrical and electronic design of the pulsators and power supply systems
    Supply of electronics
    Regular maintenance

Site characteristics

  • Pulsators: 1.5kVA POW
  • Pulsator Qty: 6
  • Power Output: 9.0 kW max.
  • Water Depth: 4 feet
  • Waterway Width: 33 feet
  • Water Velocity: 3 ft./s
  • Conductivity: 240 µs/cm max.