After 2 years of engineering and build iterations the team of Turbulent has finished its first 15kW low-head hydropower turbine. This is a scalable technology that can be installed at any kind of water fall, rapid, or water control structure in rivers and canals. By basing this turbine on the principle of a whirlpool, it is both fish friendly and can let debris pass through.
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Amazing how we suddenly have so many views and comments! And thank you for all of the advice!
I just want to clarify a few things I saw asked in the comments:
– We shot this footage during commissioning. When installing a hydropower turbine you first test it for a while at half the nominal flow. That’s what you see passing through this turbine. It doesn’t look very stable yet, as it needs additional flow for the vortex to stabilize itself (Think about how you get that sucking sound at the last few liters running from your bath tub). Full flow of this turbine is 1.8m3/s with a height difference of 1.7m. That gives 15kW of useful electric power with our efficiency of 50%.
– When we were finished shooting the video, we put back the trash rack (with a spacing between the bars of 10cm as that is the maximum debris size that can pass through) and the mesh that covers the whole basin. No children, dogs, pirates,… can fall in.
-60 homes can be powered in Chile with an average household power demand of 0.25 kW. The average in many European countries is 0.5 kW. The average in American homes could well be a few MW if the comments are to go by 😛
-Yes, waterwheels have been done before, and turbines as well. We don’t claim to have invented hydropower. We claim, however, that we have made this size of hydropower an interesting investment with a lower cost and a higher efficiency. Our hope is to offer a clean, eco-friendly alternative for investors, land owners, industries etc to generate power from the rivers that they have running in their neighborhood. As one of the co-founders, I can tell you that I enjoy nature, and that I want my kids growing up learning about and seeing technologies that try to work in harmony with it.
– Some rivers meander too much for our technology. These rivers aren’t suitable. We know about this, thank you for mentioning it.
-We’re not related to any kickstarter or crowdfund campaign. I made the video in my spare time as a hobby and I’m honestly a bit surprised that it became so popular. What I was hoping for, was to meet like minded people who want to help make our vision a reality. Affordable electrification for all without harming nature. A lot of people here have been really nice, with lots of helpful advice. Thank you for that! I believe we, as a society, can achieve anything if we just work together.
– Any good scientific peer review should scrutinize the numbers. I’m busy making a new video with full flow footage and footage of our inverter power readout. Please tell me what you’d like to see in there and I’ll try and arrange it 🙂
– Last but not least: we’re still in the testing phase. Currently we’re checking all the systems and we’re making sure this turbine can do what it promises. It seems to be holding up well against erosion and debris. We had some power cable heating, but got it solved. We will also be conducting fish friendliness tests. The whole design was based on the fish friendly design parameters of the Alden turbine Labs. We will validate those numbers. This model is now being worked on and we will be ready by July 2018 with our testing phase. When all of that is done, we will be ready to start helping people everywhere to develop their very own hydropower turbine and build their future!
Thank you for your attention, stay tuned for more updates!
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