A slow-flowing river or a calmly moving estuary are places that, until recently, were considered unsuitable for hydroelectric power generation. Rivtide Power saw untapped potential in these calm waters, creating a floating hydroelectric plant called MOWT.
MOWT: the energetic response of still waters
Hydroelectric energy has always played a fundamental role in the production of renewable energy. However, most existing solutions focus on fast water currents. But what happens when we look at the calmer waters, the ones that flow slowly and seem to have nothing to offer?
MOWT (Mass of Water Turbine) is a floating platform designed to produce electricity even from water with low flow speeds. Whether it is a calm river or an estuary, this innovative hydroelectric plant is ready to transform these waters into a source of energy.
Scotland, with 25% of Europe's tidal energy resources, is the ideal location to test MOWT's hydropower. After presenting a prototype in 2021, Rivtide Power received funding of approximately €116.000 from Scottish Enterprise to further develop the technology. A test that is part of the SMART:SCOTLAND project, an initiative that aims to position Scotland as a leader in the production of renewable energy.
And there are many good reasons to believe it will be a success: in addition to its ability to produce energy from slow-flowing water, MOWT offers other significant advantages. Its buoyancy, for example, allows for easy installation. Above all, its design takes into account the safety of aquatic fauna and flora. And then it is scalable: it can produce energy at both the kilowatt and megawatt levels.
Floating hydroelectric and (good) prospects
Mike Wilson, Chairman of the MW Consulting (the "parent" company of Rivtide Power), highlights the many potentials of MOWT, from the supply of renewable energy to coastal businesses to the production of green hydrogen. And then desalination: today small-scale systems require 10-100 kW to produce clean water. They often rely on diesel. We can do this with systems like MOWT, using only mechanics.
With the growing need for sustainable energy solutions, MOWT could be the answer the world is looking for, and with it all the solutions that will show us how energy potential is everywhere, even in the calmest waters.