If you live next to a river and want clean energy to power your home, there is great news for you. The Belgian company Turbulent has created a "fish-friendly" turbine that can be installed in just one week.
The innovative turbine can supply power 24 hours a day to dozens of homes when installed in rivers and canals. It provides low cost energy as the generator uses only running water to produce energy. Each turbine can actually power up to 60 homes. What more can we say? Oh yes. The turbine has a long operating life and requires little maintenance because it has a sort of "self-cleaning filter" that captures large debris. And it can be monitored remotely!
Better than solar?
Turbolent claims on its website that its turbine is a much better option for areas with rivers than solar power. "While solar is a great way to supplement energy needs with renewable energy, a small hydro power plant is the clear choice wherever there is a viable river. This turbine is affordable, reliable and much more compact." I don't feel like blaming these statements.
The company has already built one of its turbines for the Green School in Bali, Indonesia. The Green School wanted to power world-class education entirely through renewable energy in the middle of the jungle. The turbine generated energy from small rivers without the need for a large vertical drop and without any negative impact on the local environment. What's more: Turbulent has also been shown to be highly resistant to extreme weather conditions such as tropical storms.
Turbulent turbine, the next steps
Turbulent is now building turbines all over the world: Taiwan, Philippines, Suriname, Portugal and Chile. Past projects also include a turbine-tank combination in France, Estonia and Chile.
There is only one problem, correct me if I'm wrong. It only works when the water flows freely: which means that if the water were to freeze it, the turbine would stop. Fortunately, none of the places where turbines are built have this problem, but its use puzzles me in cold places.