Smart Hydro Power, a German-based engineering company, has developed a turbine which exploits the kinetic energy of flowing waters to produce electricity.
Because it is powered by kinetic energy and not with potential energy it is known as a so called ‘zero-head’ or ‘in-stream’ turbine, and as such, no dams or head differential are necessary for the operation of this device.
The turbine consists of a three bladed rotor, a 5 kW generator, the floating body consisting of a three piece diffusor and two floats.
According to Smart Hydro Power, the patented floating body is designed to adapt optimally to varying water conditions.
The diffusor has two main functions: the first increases water pressure on the rotor and minimizes turbulences within the diffusor which therefore produces a maximum output, the latter provides the generator with its stable swimming position in water, Smart Hydro Power states.
In the core of the Smart Hydro Power turbine lays a horizontal-axis permanent magnet underwater generator. The three rotor blades are made of a fiberglass-reinforced epoxy.
The turbine allows for various kinds of installations which depend on the specific demand, including floating installations which require different types of anchor systems depending on river characteristics.
Take a look at the video showcasing Smart Hydro Power’s turbine testing at the SVA Hydrodinamics Solutions facility in Potsdam, Germany.