The overwhelming majority of hydropower strategies in use today rely on turbines. Turbines are most effective when properly sited with ideal laminar conditions and stable flow.
However, the majority of hydropower technologies are not effective when subjected to turbulent and unstable flows.
The Water Horse Objective
Renergé, Inc. is developing the Water Horse for remote communities dissatisfied with the cost and obtrusiveness of their electricity options. The Water Horse is a readily transportable hydro-energy solution that is minimally disruptive to other river resources, unlike traditional turbines, and is low cost, unlike diesel generators. Our modular systems can be assembled into arrays to meet power requirements ranging from 10 to 100's of kW, and function in flows previously described as "technically unrecoverable"
The Water Horse is designed to harvest kinetic energy for a flow resource that has been systematically ignored as technically unrecoverable with existing technologies. While the exact size of this overlooked resource is unknown, it is estimated that ~13 GW in the US for the current state of Water Horse development is retrievable. Assuming worldwide fresh water resource is an appropriate indicator,
over 120 GW is available worldwide.
how it works
If you have ever looked out of your window while on an airplane you may have noticed that the wings of the plane move up and down. This movement phenomena, known as "gallop", is generated by the turbulent flow and vortex-shedding. Technology behind the Water Horse applies the same physics and principles that are responsible for the up and down movement of the wings. The application of this physics and thinking opens up the opportunity for the Water Horse to harvest energy from river flows that were previously considered "technically unrecoverable".
Advantages of the water horse
The Renergé, Inc. Water Horse harvests renewable energy from free flowing water. Ideally suited to operate in unstable and irregular flows, the Water Horse provides many strong and distinct advantages when compared to existing hydropower technologies that require laminar, or stable, flows:
- The Water Horse operates in free flowing conditions and requires no separate- and potentially environmentally disruptive- equipment such as dams or penstocks.
- The Water Horse utilizes a naturally occurring galloping motion that is environmentally compatible.
- The system is modular and can be readily adapted to fit a desired terrain or profile
- The simplistic design has relatively few moving parts, which can contribute to longer performance and lower maintenance and replacement costs.
- The levelized cost of energy (LCOE) generated by the Water Horse has been calculated to be significantly less than typical remote community LCOE, which is about $0.32/kW-hr.