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2001 Ronald A Newcomb is the CEO of Autek LLC an electronics defence contracting company in San Diego,

designs an Archimedes screw generator using an axial field motor/generator.

As the market potential is considered, ranges of use, and the motor/generator scaled to different sizes the understanding of potential for Salmon passage is realized. His unobstructed fish passage design makes the idea candidate for dam remediation. He Visits Red Bluff Diversion Dam and discusses his project with salmon passage experts. Visits Army Corps of Engineers in Portland, attends North West Power Counsel meeting.

2002 Patent issued by USPTO.

Newcomb works with Fish & Richardson, writes much of the patent and created his own engineering drawings for the patent. Autek continues military contracting while concepts are developed, dams visited, Congress Office Buildings visited. Newcomb begins discussing applications of the Salmon Generator and developments of the sub sea level basin called Laguna Salada in Baja California.

2003 Newcomb invited to be CEO of Aqua Genesis Ltd By Doug Firestone in addition to his work at Autek. Firestone family member designed a potential for a desalination technology, Newcomb, as chief scientist and engineer creates the engineering design package and plans, Autek, created quality control programs for Aqua Genesis.

 

2006, Newcomb asked to join the Adjunct Faculty the College of Sciences, San Diego State University.

Adj. Professor Newcomb appointed as P.I. for the ICATS, is Assistant to the Director of the M.S. in Homeland Security at SDSU. He establishes the desalination laboratory behind the CSL building to test and improve various closed loop evaporation/ condensation desalination devices. Creates the hydroelectric laboratory to examine theories about water flows and fish transit. Establishes testing protocols for desalination units and creates multiple improvements as the units designed by Firestone is inherently inefficient. He is the chief scientist and Principal Investigator for the series of projects, assistens in design issues, resommends improvements, etc. The Firestone device proves to be inherently inefficient. Professor Newcomb terminates the tests, leaves Aqua Genesis LLC in 2008.

Adj. Professor Newcomb works as part of the core test team at Parker Dam, Kaplan Generator Unit 1. discuss strategies for implementation at SDSU.

Professor Newcomb becomes a technology analyst for the State Department's U.S. Civilian Research and Development Foundation (CRDF)

He is asked to be part of the SBX inspection team leaving from Pearl Harbor prior to the intentional targeting and public destruction demonstration by the USN of an incoming satellite.

2010 Adj. Professor Newcomb leaves SDSU College of Sciences to focus on other interests.

Adj. Professor Newcomb is part of the engineering inspection team of the USNS T-AGM-23 Observation Island. At SDSU he and others discuss the implementation of the salmon friendly generator at Red Bluff Diversion Dam. He leaves SDSU to focus on Laguna Salada with Emerging Alpha and the Salmon project.

 

2011 Newcomb discovers improvements applicable to his patent.

Invents new aspect of the device and readies new patents to improve the function of the fish friendly generator.

 

Dam Transformation Power Point:

2007

2010

As PDF

SDSU Salmon Run Presentation

2007

2010

As PDF

 

The Question: What changes need to be made to hydroelectric generators to allow salmon free passage of the water ways?

Argument:

  1. Substantive, innovative design changes are required in the hydro management system to return salmon passage to a natural instinct driven path.
  2. Fish ladders are inefficient partly because they draw fish away from that instinctive path resulting in an irreparable dissonance between fish instinct and ladder function.
  3. A long screw with a given amount of energy produces low velocity in-line flows and a short screw produces high velocity in-line flows.
  4. High velocity flows create differential mixing turbulence which can be resolved by reducing turbine exit water velocity with a long screw design.
  5. Rapid decompression (at times, cavitation) is a problem of current turbine design because the time-rate change of pressure takes place over centimeters but is not a problem in properly constructed water screws where the pressure change occurs over meters, not millimeters.
  6. Eliminating components that injure fish (stay vanes, wicket gates, and draft tube piers) coupled with reduced rotational speed and water velocity will reduce damage to fish.
  7. Hydroelectric generator devolution is trending back toward the water screw for these reasons.
  8. Others have proved horizontal generation is functional and efficient in light of Newton’s laws of motion.
  9. A screw design generator allows for more energy removal, eliminating the velocity barrier.
  10. Water screws used to raise fish are effective and safer than helicical blades.
  11. Therefore, a water screw used as a generator will resolve the major problems with current dam designs and result in safe, efficient, natural catadromous fish traffic.

Google Patent link for patent 6741000

 

In a meeting with Goodwin Proctor partner R.J. Lyman, he said to me: "You solved a one hundred year old engineering problem." ~Hotel Del Coronado, April 10, 2010.

 

For more than 100 years we have been devastating the Salmon populations by killing the fry swimming downstream, blocking upstream breading migration and providing inadequate remedial methodologies such as fish ladders which are barely adequate to keep the fish species alive. It's time we correct the problems, meet our treaty obligations and return the rivers to a healthy thriving state.

"The current attempts to mitigate damage will continue to have marginal benefit. What is required is substantive alterations of strategies by the government in the management and operation of dams."

 

Continued efforts to undo some of the damage created by the mechanical devices blocking anadromous fish migration are futile while continuing to killing 40% of juvenile catadromous fish migration ( Columbia Rive system wide) I would submit that the “hundreds of millions” spent each year on mitigation will continue until either all dams are removed (not a good choice) or a device is implemented that returns essentially riverine conditions despite the existing dam structures.
When the problem is that fish cannot migrate past the generators upstream, and many are killed passing them down stream, correcting this particular problem seems elementary.
The problem is mechanical, not biological. A mechanical solution will correct the problem, not improving breeding beds or other environmental factors (though they are marginally beneficial).
An Archimedean screw as the prime driver of a hydroelectric generator, designed specifically for each dam will do precisely that. Creating a device which removes most of the energy currently wasted by the extant Kaplan and Francis turbines, as evidenced by the energetic water destroying the riverbeds below the dams, would not only result in reduced erosion of the river bed, eliminate the velocity barrier which prevents anadromous migration of adults to their breeding grounds, but also increase the available electricity due not only to this reduction in energy from the water but also from the increased productivity of newer generator technologies.

Disruptive Technology for hydroelectric machines.

A disruptive technology or innovation is one that creates a new market or value statement that disrupts the current technological basis for the old device(s) disrupting the current marketplace.
Innovations that improve a product design in ways that the market does not expect, in this case by the resolution of a century old problem. All other incremental improvements to hydroelectric machine to accommodate the needs of anadromous fishes have met the goal of incremental improvements in fish traffic but not in energy efficiency.
This innovative technology si disruptive to the market because it allows for more dams, but also eliminated the uses of the century old turbine technologies.

A screw and the power derived from them is governed by the size of the inner and outer cylinders, the number and pitch of the blades, and the length of those blades.

With these 5 variables, any size dam can have specific screw generators designed to allow for water to travel down the screw at velocities salmon are capable of traversing.

This is the only generator ever designed which will allow for safe fish passage upstream through the generator itself.

 

This device will restore rivers and fix the problem.

"Water Screws have been used to raise water for human use since Archimedes invented them some 2500 years ago.

They are still used today as this image from the Middle East shows.

Other entities are installing inferior devices as generators in the UK and proposing them for our own N.E. area. Inferior because they pass fish in one direction and not in both, they are not "in stream" per se, and the generators are less efficient. (If things cannot be described as superior and inferior, then there is no reason to think any one thing is better for any job than another. We would be unable to "improve" anything, and this is clearly not the case. In fact, this idea that all things are equal is absurd.)

Red Bluff Diversion Dams proved screw can be used to safely transport salmon.

 

As this image of one of the two water screws at RBDD (image below). While the overlay illustrates it is improperly made (the blue line indicates proper lateral pitch, none, the blades are double pitched, compare to overlay), it was used to successfully lift fish up illustrating the fish friendly nature of the screw once entrained to the screw. This however does not by itself make the screw a device fish can swim upstream through. It can still be designed to run in such a manner as to prevent fish passage. A similar construction design flaw exists in numerous screw impellers.

 

(Classic diversion dam, this is Red Bluff Diversion dam on the Sacramento River where at the left the fish ladders can be seen, however, in the water leaking around the closed gates, adult salmon strike the gates repeatedly trying to get through until they are either predated or die of exhaustion.) This dam has permanently opened its gates eliminating the diversion dam and resulting lake.

 

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