Hydrovolts Hydrokinetic Turbines

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A hydrokinetic turbine company, Hydrovolts, has been getting into the news recently for innovative new hydrokinetic turbines that will go where no hydrokinetic turbine has gone before.

Hydrovolts turbine for clean energy generation, designed with the help of Autodesk software. (Photo: Business Wire)

“Clean technology innovator Hydrovolts is using software from Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) to create unique hydrokinetic turbines that are more easily installed in rivers, canals and other waterways for faster generation of renewable energy. The company’s smaller turbines can be quickly installed and generating power in less than an hour,” Business Wire reports.

As stated above, they can be installed many places, but the company is most focused on getting them installed in wastewater treatment plants. Hydrovolts has been in talks with Veolia Environmental Solutions, one of the biggest wastewater treatment processors in the world, regarding such plans.

“There are, according to Hydrovolts CEO Burt Hamner, over 26,000 municipal wastewater treatment plants in the United States and over 100,000 industrial treatment plants,” Herman Trabish of Greentech Media writes. There’s a lot of opportunity there.

“Hydrovolts has completed one round of financing and is about to complete a $5-million-plus second round, Hamner said.”

Although these turbines are not huge electricity generators, they are cheap and easy to install, making them a logical technology to use for a little electricity boost.

“The Portable turbine is expected to retail for under $2,000. The Canal turbine has two sizes, from 2 to 10 kilowatts output, depending on water speed, for approximately $20,000 and $40,000, [respectively]. The Waterfall turbine is in development and will likely have two sizes and a modular design. Price remains to be determined,” Hamner says.

Hamner has been in the tidal turbine field since 2005 and micro-hydropower since 2007, but this is a new area of focus for him and the horizons are still broadening.

“We are just starting to understand the possibilities,” Hamner says. “We are quoting plants that have flows of 25 million to 40 million gallons a day. Bigger cities have bigger plants. A whole river runs through a bigger city’s plant.” Of course, the bigger the plant, the bigger the turbine.

While, before, Hamner says the engineering costs of preparing a site for micro-hydro (pouring concrete, doing civil engineering) made it very difficult to make a profit in this field, Hydrovolts’ new portable, easy-to-install technology may open the doors for a boom in this sector.

Note that we’ve covered Hydrovolts’ venture into generating electricity from canals a couple times in the past. Haven’t heard much about that of late, but looks like the company might have more progress in this wastewater treatment plant arena.

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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