The days of choosing between getting power from a stream or fishing are long gone. So says Turbulent, a specialist Belgian company that claims to have succeeded in ending this dilemma with a new hydraulic turbine. Capable of providing up to 10 MW, enough energy for a small population, the innovation stands out so as not to alter the watercourse in any way and not to harm the species that inhabit it.
Although this is not the first innovation of its kind to rely on fish-friendly hydraulics, this turbine differs, above all, because it is a civil structure with a very simple and flexible design. For this reason, they can be installed within a maximum of four months anywhere there is a stream that, yes, has a waterfall or drop of at least a meter and a half. The option is also suitable for sloping rivers or canals.
Suitable for individual use, this innovation is also intended for a larger scale. So much that the installation of several turbines along a stream would generate between 3 and 20 MW and, also, to monitor a system which, on the other hand, stands out for its simplicity.
And it is that in addition to its results in terms of clean energy contribution, its ability to generate it without intermittences, and respect for the environment in which it is inserted, this proposal is strong in its simplicity. Inspired by nature, say its creators, this micro-factory receives water from the stream which is then driven to the turbine through the concrete structure. At this point, the structure functions as a propellant that redirects water to the main stream. Thus, not only does it not interfere with the stream, but it is recovered from the stream absolutely free of debris and without effects on the fish.
With up to a century of useful life for the concrete that makes up the structure, its the cost is $ 4300 per kW of energy. For those who think it’s a lot, the Belgian company influences what the energy of the water flow manages to deliver, compared to the rest of the clean alternatives: “It works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week”. With this, not only the production increases, but also the peace of mind of knowing that the energy will not be intermittent or will be at the mercy of inclement weather or whether it is day or night.
More information: turbulent.be