Hydrovolts, students partner for hydrokinetic energy development

A team from Seattle-based hydropower company Hydrovolts and students from the Harvard College Engineering Society (HCES) will collaborate to produce a variety of small, floating turbines that make renewable energy from water currents in canals and the ocean, Hydrovolts announced.

The project is supported by the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and by the Constitution Marina in Boston Harbor.

Hydrovolts is producing portable renewable energy generators powered by water. These floating hydrokinetic turbines turn canals and spillways into local power plants, tapping an overlooked global resource of clean energy for local use. The Hydrovolts turbine is also able to make power even from slow ocean currents, enough to charge batteries, a press release states.

Hydrovolts has a development agreement with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and demonstrated its prototype Flipwing turbine there in June 2010.

The first Harvard student project is to develop a new turbine for WHOI that will make marine renewable energy for remote instruments deep in the ocean. These instruments now are powered by batteries, and changing the batteries is very expensive, according to a press release.

Recently, Hydrovolts announced it has received investment to develop a 25-kW hydrokinetic canal turbine for hydro-developer DLZ Corp., which is developing several hydropower projects in India.

DLZ Corp., a U.S.-based civil engineering firm, has obtained permits and a power purchase agreement to develop a 10-MW hydrokinetic power project on the 14-km Chilla Canal in northern India, which currently feeds water to a traditional hydropower plant on the Ganges River.

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