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Your own run-of-river generator

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by Robert.Boston, Nov 21, 2013.

  1. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    #1 Robert.Boston, Nov 21, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2013
    Just got back from the annual Marine Renewables Canada conference in Ottawa, where I met the founder of a remarkable little company, Idenergie (A river turbine available to all) that's designed a small turbine that you can pop into a nearby stream to generate power. It puts out 48v DC, so as far as the balance of system, it's just the same as a solar array. The technology seems very well designed and built. Not cheap at about $10,000/kW, but because it operates around the clock, the delivered cost of power in the right setting will be cheaper than solar. Also, completely DIY.

    Obviously not a solution for everyone, but it could be a great option for you if you have the right location.
     
  2. mnx

    mnx 2013 P85

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    Awesome, now I just have to buy a house/property with a stream :)
     
  3. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Shoulda dropped in for a beer!
     
  4. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    Is $10,000/kWh their current cost or would economies of scale bring it down?
     
  5. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    #5 Robert.Boston, Nov 22, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2013
    CLARIFICATION: $10,000/kW installed -- to get the cost per kWh you need to divide by the expected lifetime output of the unit.

    That's the price for "small lot" volume. I'm sure that cost still includes a big premium from their fabricator, so big orders would drive the cost down.
     
  6. Al Sherman

    Al Sherman It's about THIS car.

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    Pretty neat. Might be an application for the outflow from our lake in Wisconsin. I'll have to check the depth and rate of flow. Would be pretty cool to have this.
     
  7. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    Thanks for the heads-up on this, Robert. I've ben trying to download some of their material without lots of success yet.

    PS: $10K/kW is NOT $10K/kWh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    At 90 cufs mean flow, with utter minimum at 60 cufs, I certainly have the raw material. As Robert knows (we've had the briefest of discussions about this in the past).

    - - - Updated - - -

    (Having better luck now - been able to download their pdf brochure).

    Their claim of being able seamlessly to tie into a PV system is questionable. That is extremely complicated; probably needs an entirely separate controller. I know that neither my MidNite nor my Outback controllers can merge PV juice with wind turbine juice - ain't-a-gonna happen. But I suppose if you throw enough $s at it, that too could be overcome...
     
  8. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    This is definitely cool. My stream isn't big enough, but I can see this being perfect for someone with the right location.
     
  9. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    I've got the opposite problem: the river by my summer home is too big, navigable, and heavily used by lobstermen. The company's president thinks that at fishing camps (personal or commercial) or other backwoods, off-grid locations, this technology would be particularly useful.
     
  10. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    Wonder if you could do something like build a small-ish tributary and have the generators run through that before rejoining the river shortly down stream.
     
  11. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    I would think that they would require some regular maintenance to free them from Sticks debris fishing line etc. Not to mention moving them when the water level changes. Not many streams/rivers have a static flow year around.

    In California, it would require fish and game clearance as you can't put anything inside the bank of a stream. Cool idea though.
     
  12. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

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    You need an astounding number of licenses to divert navigable rivers, for what should be obvious reasons. In short, you couldn't do it without Army Corps of Engineers approval, and you might need an act of the state legislature to get that approval.
     
  13. RDoc

    RDoc S85D

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    Every time I've considered a generator on our river, the issue of debris has kept me from going any further. The amount of branches, trash, etc. coming down the river is pretty impressive and I think would be pretty detrimental to turbine.
     

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