CleanTechnica is the #1 cleantech-focused
website
 in the world.


Clean Power Hydrovolts, Inc. is taking its Flipwing hydropower turbine beyond canals and into new territory.

Published on January 18th, 2010 | by Tina Casey

8

A Man, a Plan, a Canal…Hydrokinetic Power!

Share on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on FacebookPin on PinterestDigg thisShare on TumblrBuffer this pageEmail this to someone

January 18th, 2010 by
 
Hydrovolts, Inc. is taking its Flipwing hydropower turbine beyond canals and into new territory.Hydrovolts, Inc. has been going at clean hydrokinetic power hammer and tongs with a mini-turbine called the Flipwing.  The company is specializing in drawing sustainable energy in the form of hydropower from existing canals and other waterways where the current is predictable.  The Flipwing is a self-contained device similar in concept to the paddlewheel on a steamboat, but it is submerged in the water and tethered to a site.  Depending on the site it can generate from one and 20 kilowatts, enough to fill small scale power needs.

[social_buttons]

The key to the Flipwing and other hydrokinetic turbines is simple.  Instead of relying on water pressure, hydrokinetic turbines operate on the energy of the available current.  That means no need to construct dams, weirs, or other infrastructure that disrupts waterways and habitat.  We’ve covered Hydrovolts before in this site before and now it seems the company is poised to explore new territory.

The Long and Short of Hydrokinetic Power

Some of the companies that specialize in hydrokinetic power, such as Verdant Power and Hydro Green Energy, have been going long with projects on major rivers including the Mississippi River and New York City’s East River (which is actually a tidal waterway but who’s counting).  Hydrovolts has been taking the short approach with the Flipwing, which lends itself to small scale hydropower.  Canals are one obvious point of focus, as are irrigation networks.  Ditto for the thousands of abandoned mill sites that dot New England and other parts of the U.S.  The company is also looking into unusual new territory including water flowing in and out of industrial sites (which could include power plants and food processors), and even the outflow from sewage treatment plants – an idea that’s right in line with the trend toward reimagining the neighborhood wastewater treatment plant as a sustainable energy and resource recovery center.

Flipwing on the Move

Hydrovolts and its Flipwing have been garnering recognition for sustainable technology and entrepreneurship from the ZINO Society and the Clean Tech Open among others.  This fall the company earned a commitment from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to build and test a Flipwing, and it’s also working on an R&D agreement with the U.S. Navy.  If the technology proves cost effective, it could join onsite solar power in the sustainable energy toolkit of numerous facilities including military and government as well as commercial enterprises and non-profit institutions.

Image: Canal by joiseyshowaa on flickr.com.

Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.

Print Friendly

Share on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on FacebookPin on PinterestDigg thisShare on TumblrBuffer this pageEmail this to someone

Tags: , ,


About the Author

Tina Casey specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina’s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.



  • http://www.solidapollo.com SolidApollo

    What about eolic power? Seems to produce better results. In Europe its a big thing at the moment.

  • Micheal O Conghaile

    Yes, good idea, but could get clogged up!

    An ideal use on a larger scale would be on the “tail race” of hydro electric dams, there are fantastic amounts of kinetic & potential energy to be harnessed. (currently “wasted” energy)

  • Micheal O Conghaile

    Yes, good idea, but could get clogged up!

    An ideal use on a larger scale would be on the “tail race” of hydro electric dams, there are fantastic amounts of kinetic & potential energy to be harnessed. (currently “wasted” energy)

  • Mike Morrison

    What sizes are available for small units?

  • http://www.flometrics.com Steve Harrington

    Great idea, already patented in 1983 U 4,383,797

    The amount of energy generated is low, underwater things tend to grow things on them, this is not easy by any means.

    Steve

    Flometrics

  • http://www.flometrics.com Steve Harrington

    Great idea, already patented in 1983 U 4,383,797

    The amount of energy generated is low, underwater things tend to grow things on them, this is not easy by any means.

    Steve

    Flometrics

  • http://www.elementalled.com Elemental LED staff

    So could these turbines be installed by individuals? Sounds like maybe they are “personal power”-grade devices, based on the kilowatts. These sound similar to some consumer wind turbines that are now being marketed, the basic models of which generate 600W.

  • http://www.elementalled.com Elemental LED staff

    So could these turbines be installed by individuals? Sounds like maybe they are “personal power”-grade devices, based on the kilowatts. These sound similar to some consumer wind turbines that are now being marketed, the basic models of which generate 600W.

Back to Top ↑