Our Team have developed several technologies and devices to overcome problem with low energy density of slow moving water streams. See text and videos below.
Prior art hydropower systems utilize potential energy of water from dams, called hydroelectric plants, to generate electrical power. Now days prior art hydro systems consider as not environmental friendly. Instead, the hydrokinetic power plants are developing. But there is a deficiency in utilization of slow moving, water current flows, particularly river and tidal currents close to sea side population and industry. Our newly invented technologies capture not only kinetic energy of natural flow. We have developed number of radical new solutions that exploit free gravitational forces, as well.
Velocity is a factor in the amount of hydrokinetic energy that can be extracted from flowing water. Several prior art hydrokinetic electrical generators work in very high velocity or flow environments, such as in the range of 3, 4 or 5 meters per second (about 6, 8 or 10 knots). While these high water velocities offer the potential for the extraction of large amounts of hydrokinetic energy, these velocities are present in a very small percentage of the world’s ocean waters.
Prior art paddlewheel devices have been considered as alternative electrical generators in the past. Such prior devices have all involved either a fixed or floating vessel with at least one wheel component configured to rotate as the flow of water contacts immersed blades configured around its periphery. These previous paddlewheel designs with fixed paddles are very inefficient as power generators due to both reasons shallow paddle immersion and stop effects of fixed paddles after initial contact with flow and when going up in body of water. The paddles acts only under water. over water they create only air drag.
Above described stop effects significantly reduced undershot paddlewheel efficiency and tip speed ratio. Our radical new patented designs of both deep in water immersed and surface water wheels with gravity self adapting articulated paddles 100% overcomes mentioned inefficiency. The newly invented paddles operate over water as gravity impulse boosters and under water as self adapting in free horizontal water flow.
In down going movement every articulated paddle receives gravity impulses (one or more ) for each RPM. The impulses act at the periphery of the wheel and significantly increases torque – e.g. power output. That is why the speed of water is no more the basic factor of paddle wheel / axial hydrokinetic turbine efficiency.
The new low cost paddlewheel design increased tip speed ratio, as well.
As a final result the power output of our newly patented primary hydrokinetic energy converters with same size is about three times bigger in the comparison with known hydrokinetic energy converters. When they used in a hydrokinetic power plants the cost off electricity is about 30 Euros per MWh.
Author, Inventor, Designer and Patent Holder George Tonchev Ph.D