Since many countries pledge to shift away from coal and end fossil fuels, there is a need to develop technologies that allow the use of renewable energy sources. Even though solar panels and wind turbines are used in most cases, both of these systems have their limitation when it comes to power generation. For example, the power of wind turbines is highly dependent on wind speed, and solar panels can only produce power during the day. While a hydro turbine installed in a stream of water can produce electricity continuously, regardless of the time of day, they have a high impact on the aquatic fauna and its habitat.
Considering numerous studies about the interactions of the turbines with the ecosystems, Montreal-based Idénergie designed a hydrokinetic turbine in order to minimize the impact on the aquatic fauna and its habitat. They opted for a Darrieus-type rotor that presents no harm to the marine ecosystem. The river turbine converts the kinetic energy of the river current into electricity.
The river current enables the spinning movement of the turbines, which activates the generator. The energy which ensues is then converted into electricity thanks to the built-in smart converter. This converted energy is then forwarded to the batteries by an electric cable. The batteries recharge 24 hours a day, and from there, an inverter transforms the direct current (24-48 V DC) into alternating current (120 V AC) to power electrical devices.
Idénergie’s river turbine can meet the electric needs of a residence by generating, at maximum capacity, up to 12 kWh daily, depending on the water velocity available. Even at minimum capacity, the device produces enough power to keep common devices in a household, such as a refrigerator, TV, computer, and lighting.
The company says a single river turbine at maximum capacity is able to produce as much energy as 12 solar panels. In addition, the Canadian generator represents an annual savings of 50% compared to the maintenance costs of a gasoline generator.
In addition, the device is made mainly of noble metals such as aluminum and other environmentally friendly components, making the turbine the greenest among all available renewable energy products. These materials do not react with the environment and are easily recyclable, ensuring a sustainable end-of-life value.
Idénergie has developed a new type of subwater electric generator technology, highly efficient at low velocities and completely waterproof, thanks to an innovation that eliminates the drive shaft between the turbine and the generator. Its waterproofness limits necessary maintenance and will ensure a long product life in any type of water. Additionally, an embedded variable speed drive located inside the generator housing allows the optimal conversion of electricity, control of the optimal rotational speed, auto start-up of the turbine, continuous power optimization, remote monitoring capabilities, emergency brake, and more.
The hydrokinetic turbine installation requires only three persons with little to no experience at all. No need for cranes, riverbed modifications, or any costly civil works. The equipment can be shipped anywhere in the world, dismantled in a box, and assembled on the river bank simply by using Allen keys.