ID: 2163

  • Title:
    A High Power Pulsed Electric Field System to Deter Invasive Asian Carp

    Kempkes, Michael - Diversified Technologies, Inc. 
    Gaudreau, Marcel P.J. - Diversified Technologies, Inc. 
    Hawkey, Timothy - Diversified Technologies, Inc. 
    Allen, Michael - Diversified Technologies, Inc. 
    Belanger, Philip - Diversified Technologies, Inc. 

    Invasive species have become a global issue, as plants and animals are transported around the globe and introduced to ecosystems without natural predators or controls. One of these invasive species is the Asian Carp, which has infested the Mississippi river in the USA, and threatens the Great Lakes. To prevent migration of this invasive species into the Great Lakes, the US Army Corp of Engineers has built and operated two demonstration barriers using pulsed electric fields for a number of years. These barriers, installed in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal downstream of Chicago, are designed to block Asian Carp from crossing from the Mississippi river into Lake Superior through one of the known connections between the two bodies of water.

    As a result of the performance of these demonstration barriers, Diversified Technologies, Inc. was recently awarded a subcontract from exp Federal, under a prime contract from the US Army Corps of Engineers, to build the large pulsers required for a permanent barrier near Chicago, IL.

    This barrier uses bi-polar pulses driving an array of electrodes crossing the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. The goal of this system is to create an electric field across the canal, from the bottom to the surface and shore to shore, sufficient to dissuade the Asian carp from crossing the field, and swimming upstream to Lake Superior. The electric field requirements are designed to prevent even small fish from transiting the barrier. This field must also operate continuously, even in the presence of barges and ships transiting the canal. Two pulsers have been installed, with the first in 2021 and the second in 2023. Each pulser includes:

    4.5 MW, 4 kV DC power supply, with voltage regulation;

    4 MJ capacitor bank, which stores energy for the pulses

    Solid State pulse switches, which produce currents up to 30 kA with a frequency of up to 100 Hz, and pulsewidths of 1 1,000 milliseconds

    Mechanical output reversing switch, allowing the pulse polarity on the electrodes to be reversed

    With the success of this barrier, additional barriers are being planned on other waterways in the US. This paper will provide details on the design, construction, and operation of this pulser, which is the largest known PEF system in the world when completed.

    This effort is funded under US Army Corps of Engineers contract W912P6-18-C-0021 with exp Federal.

    PEF, barrier, pulser


    Topic 1:
    13. Pulsed power devices and methods

    Topic 2:
    11. Agricultural crops and farming

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