Understanding the effects of riverine forces on eels

Using CFD modelling for the hydropower industry

Fishermen in the Weser River at Dörverden, Germany noticed a large number of injured and dead eels in their fishing nets. They complained that the turbines of a nearby hydropower plant hit the eels, causing the observed injuries. Statkraft Markets GmbH – the plant operator – asked us to investigate the injuries involved in catching the fish with nets, and the forces involved therein. Using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), we thoroughly analysed the forces exerted on eels. With this data, biologists determined that sustained pressure from the fishing net could in fact, be the actual cause of damage to at least some of the eels.