Turbine

The Smart Hydro Power turbine was developed to produce a maximum amount of electrical power with the kinetic energy of flowing waters. 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. As such, no dams and/or head differential are necessary for the operation of this device; the course of a river remains in its natural state and no high investments in infrastructure are required. Because the amount of kinetic energy (velocity) varies from river to river, the capacity of the turbine ranges from a minimum of a few watts to a maximum of 5000 watts.

The main ambition behind the development of the Smart Hydro Power turbine was cost efficiency. Selected materials had to be robust and yet affordable which resulted in a majority of HDPE, aluminum and stainless steel components. The turbine consists of a three bladed rotor, a 5 kW generator, the floating body consisting of a three piece diffusor and two floats.

The patented floating body – comprised of a diffusor and floats – is designed to adapt optimally to varying water conditions. The diffusor design is the result of detailed computer optimizing and various wind tunnel tests conducted together with the University of Stuttgart Germany. 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.

In the core of the Smart Hydro Power turbine lays a horizontal-axis, permanent magnet underwater generator, which is specially developed for Smart Hydro Power. In order to increase fish friendliness, a slow-turning generator was chosen so that no suction arises in front of the turbine.

The three rotor blades were specifically adapted to the generator and diffusor, so that harmonious operation occurs underneath the surface of the water. Furthermore, the rotor blades are the result of cost-oriented development. As such, the rotor blades consist of a fiberglass-reinforced epoxy, which work dependably at high velocities. If they happen to break, an easy and affordable on-site replacement is made possible because of the simple design.

The turbine allows for various kinds of installations which depend on the specific demand and the relative possibility. For floating installations, different types of anchor systems are used which always depend on the local river characteristics and conditions.