Supporting a wide range of testing from fish evaluations to hydraulic performance tests to innovate technologies and research
In 2011, Building 15 on Alden's Holden, Massachusetts campus was officially dedicated as the Taft Fisheries Research and Test Facility in honor of former Alden President and nationally recognized fisheries biologist, Ned Taft.
This facility was originally constructed to support hydraulic modeling efforts. Its purpose has been reinvented several times—first as a home to test nuclear power plant emergency containment sumps and then as a place to conduct live fish testing of the pilot scale Alden Fish Friendly Turbine, an effort that was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The facility was eventually reworked to create the large water flume which remains a hallmark of the building’s testing capabilities.
Known often as just simply "Building 15," the available facilities meet a wide range of fish testing and hydraulic performance testing needs. In recent years, numerous hydrokinetic turbines, fish bypass systems, traveling water screens, and other under water devices have been tested here. In addition, this facility has also been used for wave testing, including force and overtopping measurements.
The flexibility of the building and its flume means the use of this facility is only limited by the imaginations of our clients—it has the potential to be used for numerous innovative technologies, from testing unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV) to evaluating plastic debris collection systems, and more.
Our large test flume is a great resource. People know about wind tunnels, and there are lots of those around, but what we have is basically a water tunnel and there aren’t too many of those around – especially one this size. There are a lot of potential uses for it.