Seattle, United States A Seattle, Washington-based small hydro company received an investment from an engineering firm this week to commercialize a 25-kW hydrokinetic turbine. The investment is a big boost for the small start-up.
Hydrovolts, Inc. is testing currently testing the device, called the Flipwing. The floating turbine operates like a submerged paddlewheel. Electricity generated by the turbine is sent to shore by a power cable linked to the tether. The company says that no dams or significant site preparation are needed, potentially reducing costs and minimizing environmental impacts.
The company says the turbine is safe for fish because its paddlewheel blades turn slower than the water current – fish just swim around or through it.
DLZ Corp., an American civil engineering firm, is investing $250,000 in hydrovolts. DLZ is looking to develop a 10-MW hydro project in northern India with about 400 of the devices.
Hydrovolts estimates that 400 turbines will sell for about $20 million. The company also projects that 80,000 turbines, at a value of $1.6 billion, can be deployed in the western U.S. alone. In India, more than 50,000 man-made canals could be potentially tapped.
The Flipwing turbine can also be used in spillways and other water channels such as wastewater treatment plants, tailraces of existing dams, and discharges of cooling water from thermal power plants. Hydrovolts estimates that more than 20 percent of all wastewater plants have potential to employ Hydrovolts technology to generate renewable energy for use.
In other hydrokinetic news, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced selections for more than $37 million in funding to accelerate the technological and commercial readiness of emerging marine and hydrokinetic technologies. The 27 projects range from concept studies and component design research to prototype development and in-water device testing. This unprecedented level of funding will hopefully advance the ability of marine and hydrokinetic energy technologies to contribute to the nation’s electricity supply.
To see Hydrovolts installing its device in an hour, check out the video below:
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